When you buy a watch you do not simply buy an instrument that keeps the time. You buy into a heritage, a history that has been carefully, laboriously and lovingly cultivated over time. After all, the timepiece is a testament to all of those emotions and moments that have gone into creating something that is truly unique. Men identify themselves with their timepieces that become a part of their own persona. And A. Lange & Söhne is one of those brands that combines a unique history with a passion for masterfully crafted luxury timepieces.
The company was founded in Dresden, Germany in 1845 by watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange. However it was expropriated after WWII, after which the brand dissolved.
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In 1990 Walter Lange, the founder’s great-grandson, sought to re-establish the brand. A new watch manufactory was built in Glashutte, Germany. Today it produces just a few thousand wristwatches each year. All the movements of A. Lange & Söhne timepieces are extravagantly decorated and assembled by hand.
This year the watchmaker introduced the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar at Watches and Wonders. Overall, the watch is a magnificent achievement in horology, integrating intricate engineering to equip the watch with its own distinct features.
In order to incorporate the calendar components into the off-centre dial design, the month indication has been placed with a ring around the outermost circumference of the dial that advances once a month.
This presented new challenges as this action required a greater generation of power from the movement in comparison with other traditional fixtures.
The Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar has a diameter of 41.9 mm and a height of 12.1 mm. It comes in two versions. There’s a pink gold with a grey solid-silver dial and, in a 150-watch limited edition, in white gold with a solid pink-gold dial. The pink gold or rhodium gold hands compliment the balanced design.
In the pink gold edition, the hands and hour markers of the minute scale are luminous. The white-gold version has a dark-brown leather strap, where the pink-gold model is fixed with a red-brown leather strap.
The Perpetual calendar also features a moon-phase display with an integrated day/night indicator. This combination is composed of two intricate layerings consisting of a solid-gold celestial disc with a blue gradation. The indicator completes one full revolution on its own axis every 24 hours.
Against this background, the moon, coming either white or pink gold, performs its orbit in 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes and three seconds. This is configured with such precision that it takes 122.6 years before a correction by one day is needed.
The watch has a sapphire-crystal caseback. The plates and bridges are made of untreated German silver and adorned with Glashutte ribbing, five gold chatons (the head of a ring where stones are affixed) secured with thermally blued steel screws.
There is also a hand-engraved balance cock with a superposed whiplash spring used for beat adjustments. All the parts of the movement are assembled twice. They are manually finished to adhere to the finest quality standards of A. Lange & Söhne.
The distinguished characteristics of this watch are what make A. Lange & Söhne a sought-after brand among horology enthusiasts. Its dial is reminiscent of a celestial dream. It’s sure to delight its wearer for years to come and become a cherished family heirloom.