The LANGE 1 is the result of a courageous fresh start. The exceptional combination of tradition and innovation transformed it into the epitome of Lange watchmaking artistry, and, soon after its debut, it became an award-winning icon in the realm of high-end mechanical time-keeping instruments. Endowed with traditional elements of Saxon watchmaking artistry such as the three-quarter plate, the screwed gold chatons, and the screw balance on the one hand, and featuring trailblazing innovations such as the off-centre dial configuration and the novel outsize date, on the other hand, the LANGE 1 wrote horological history.
A DREAM LONG NURTURED
While Germany was divided, there was a man who never abandoned the dream that some day, exquisite watches would again be crafted by and signed A. Lange & Söhne: Walter Lange, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson. He incorporated the manufactory anew immediately after Germany was reunited. And he had an ambitious plan: The first Lange watch of the new era would live up to the legendary quality of A. Lange & Söhne’s historic pocket watches and at the same time define new standards. The result was the LANGE 1.
LANGE 1 - THE LEGEND AMONG LANGE WATCHES
Presentation of the first four Lange watches after the comeback.
Far left: the LANGE 1.
HOW A WATCH BECOMES AN ICON
The LANGE 1 embodies the knowledge and skills of an entire watchmaking dynasty that was established in Dresden in the early 19th century. With traditional elements such as the three-quarter plate, screwed gold chains, and a screw balance, it recalls the accomplishments of earlier generations of watchmakers. But with its design, it explores totally new avenues in precision horology.
The decentralized arrangement of the displays on the dial is characteristic. Their centers form the corners of an isosceles triangle. None of the displays overlap, so outstanding legibility is guaranteed. The outsize date is another key feature of the LANGE 1 watch family. It is indicated in a gold frame with numerals that are about three times larger than those in watches of comparable dimensions. The outsize date was inspired by the famous five-minute clock in Dresden’s Semper Opera House.
The unusual configuration of the dial repeatedly challenges the engineers and designers of the LANGE 1 watch family. To preserve the characteristically harmonious geometry while integrating additional displays or complications, they can hardly ever rely on proven solutions and must often find entirely new approaches. One example is the position of the month display in the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON PERPETUAL CALENDAR. It is not arranged within the dial as usual but instead on a peripheral ring.
The LANGE 1 is being continually evolved even if this is not always visible at first sight. In 2015, when the second generation of the LANGE 1 was introduced, the changes to the dial were very subtle. The real innovation was the newly developed manually wound calibre L121.1. Its outsize date advances by one day in a jump at midnight and therefore eliminates any uncertainty. Additionally, the escapement of the LANGE 1 was fitted with a cam-poised balance and a freely oscillating hairspring crafted in-house. Even today, Lange’s masters are occupied with further technical optimization projects. Thanks to such ongoing developments, the LANGE 1 has kept defending its status as a modern icon.