The A.Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Moon Phase preview
Some brands belong to the Olympus of watch-making, even to the Olympus of haute-horlogerie and the approach I use when I write about them implies full respect, almost tiptoeing. I think it is a bit like when an art historian is asked to write about Van Gogh or Piero Della Francesca for example. The A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Moon Phase is a re-visitation of one of Lange's classic timepieces; a symmetric case, perfectly smooth lugs, a big and off-centre hour counter along with the outsized date are the main characteristics of the most famous collection from this brand.
The technical strength of the manually wound caliber Lange L121.3 with 72 hours of power reserve is basically the crafting of the moon phases, both from the technical and aesthetic points of view. The moon phase complication is so accurate that an error of one day compared to the synodic year is due to occur only after 122,6 years (one lunar month equals in average to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2,9 seconds). Aesthetically speaking, the layout of the sky and the moon phase tend to reproduce, in a fully and romantic manner, the day/night indication; the moon follows its own orbit on a sky that, within 24 hours, moves from a light-blue colour during the day-time to a dark-blue colour with stars at night-time (stars are laser-applied). This is a perfect day-time/night-time representation that is made possible thanks to the perfect integration of 70 tiny components.
Among the features that have made the Lange 1 famous among connoisseurs, is the "perfectly jumping" outsized date that was first introduced on 24 October 1994; that's the reason why, all of the brand's presentations, show the big date window as positioned on the 25th digit (the brand's manufacturing symbol). A technical delicacy for connoisseurs that is nowadays extremely rare in the world of watch-making and yet one additional proof of savoir-faire of the famous Saxon watch-making school. The Cotes de Genève decoration on the three-quarter plate and the engraving on the balance wheel are simply amazing and so is the foreground swan-neck regulating system.
Three references will be available on the market; one will feature a white-gold case, one will be rose-gold, and another one will be platinum-made; all these cases will be coupled with a black alligator-skin strap that is hand-crafted and features a pin buckle. This short presentation is only a preview of a collection that deserves a more detailled review and whose high-resolution images will be available from Wednesday 18th onward, at the end of our photo session devoted to the brand.
(Photo credit: courtesy of A.Lange & Söhne)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter®