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SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”

by Frank Chuo on January 10, 2019

The Lange 1 was among the first watches presented as part of modern day A. Lange & Söhne in 1994 and has since been the undisputed face of the brand. This year, the Lange 1 turns 25 and Lange is celebrating with a “25th anniversary” edition in white gold limited to 250 pieces. Its special features include a deep-blue printed argenté dial with a recess, blue date numerals, a hinged cuvette with an engraving of Lange’s headquarters, and a hand-engraved balanced cock with blued lines.

Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” (Press Release)

The 24th of October 1994 is the holiest day in A. Lange & Söhne’s recent history. It is the day on which company founder Walter Lange and his partner Günter Blümlein presented the first post-resurrection Lange wristwatches at the Dresden Palace, including the Lange 1. The asymmetric layout of its dial triggered discussions, and its technical facets – such as the outsize date and the twin mainspring barrel – were enthusiastically received.

Every style-defining design is polarising in the beginning. This is because it must overcome habitual expectations to unfold its aesthetic appeal. The Lange 1 is a prime example of this. An outsize date and an asymmetric dial arrangement, paired with a lavishly finished mechanical calibre – in the mid-90’s, this was deemed a provocation by many. The Lange 1’s unusual design garnered plenty of attention for the brand – just what the company needed.

The historic event in 1994 put A. Lange & Söhne back on the world map. This year, the brand celebrates its 25th anniversary and it is doing so with a collection of different models in white gold that pay tribute to the key milestones of the Lange 1 watch family. The hallmarks they share are argenté-coloured dials in solid silver with printed deep-blue numerals and hour markers, blue date numerals, and matching blue alligator leather straps with grey seams.

The Lange 1 (the base model) leads the series of “25th Anniversary” Lange 1 models. It has remained virtually unchanged in design since 1994. What has changed, however, is its movement. The manually wound Calibre L121.1 introduced in 2015 features a precisely jumping outsize date display and a freely oscillating Lange balance spring. Paired with a large cam-poised balance, it boasts improved rate accuracy. The opulently finished movement – as was the case with the first Lange 1 Calibre L901.0 – is fitted with twin mainspring barrels with a power reserve of 72 hours as well as other typical Lange hallmarks of quality. Noteworthy elements include the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, eight screw gold chatons, and the hand-engraved balance cock. In this special edition, it showcases a very special engraving: the outsize date with a “25” that symbolises the 25th anniversary. The manually executed lines of the new engraving motif are blued for the first time and thus stand out with a particularly rich contrast.

The Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”, limited to 250 pieces, has another prominent feature: the engraved hinged cuvette crafted from solid white gold. The engraving depicts Lange’s headquarters which dates back to 1873, as well as the names of Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein, and a relief engraving of the inscription “25 YEARS LANGE 1”.

Technical Specifications

Movement  Lange manufacture Calibre L121.1, manually wound, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand

Movement parts 368

No. of jewels 43

Screwed gold chatons 8

Escapement Lever escapement

Oscillation system Shock-resistant cam-poised balance; balance spring manufactured in-house, frequency 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring

Power reserve 72 hours when fully wound

Functions Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; power-reserve indicator; jumping Lange outsize date

Operating elements Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; push piece for rapid correction of the outsize date

Case dimensions Diameter: 38.5 millimetres; height: 10.7 millimetres

Movement dimensions Diameter: 30.6 millimetres; height: 5.7 millimetres

Glass and caseback Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)

Case White gold; cuvette in white gold with engraving

Dial Solid silver, argenté

Hands Blued steel

Strap Hand-stitched alligator leather, dark blue, grey stitching

Buckle White-gold prong buckle

Limited edition 250 watches, engraved limitation number

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