Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 1 (with new in house calibre L121.1)

This year, prestigious German watch manufacture A. Lange & Söhne is introducing a new version of its iconic LANGE 1 timepiece, which is considered as the Magna Carta for the venerable manufactory’s self-perception. Unveiled at SIHH 2015 luxury watch exhibition, the new edition of the successful model will be endowed with a technically evolved manually wound calibre; however the inimitable design of the LANGE 1 has been preserved.
Introduced in October 1994 by A. Lange & Söhne, the legendary LANGE 1 line reflects a fusion of innovative design, outstanding functionality and immaculate craftsmanship demonstrated the Saxons’ courage to embrace change as well as their respect for tradition. So it was not surprising that the LANGE 1 initiated a trend and meanwhile ranks among the world’s great classics.
A new manufacture calibre – the 50th in the portfolio of in-house movements – writes a new chapter in the successful history of the icon whose family now includes 15 different models.
Conversely, the characteristic dial configuration remained practically untouched. A slightly narrower bezel is the only visible hint of a modification. It adds openness to the face of the watch despite its unchanged diameter of 38.5 millimetres.
The familiar asymmetric dial with the outsize date display and the prominently positioned power-reserve indicator conceals the new manually wound movement with the calibre number L121.1; its development reflects nearly 25 years of experience. The result is a systematic technical evolution.
Quite a few things have changed in the new movement. It’s precisely jumping outsize date display switches at midnight. The force needed for this action is slowly built up during a period of several hours. Additionally, the escapement of the LANGE 1 has a balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and a free-sprung hairspring crafted in-house. Beneath the hand-engraved balance cock, it still breathes with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. The reliable twin mainspring barrel with a power reserve of 72 hours was retained as well.
All brand-typical quality hallmarks are readily visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. They include the Glashütte ribbing decoration of the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; this legacy component already protected the precious inner lives of pocket watches 150 years ago. It provides the perfect stage for the eight gold chatons that are secured with thermally blued screws.
The LANGE 1 is available in the classic case-dial pairings of yellow gold/champagne, pink gold/argenté and platinum/rhodié.

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