A New Moon In Dresden

As a wannabe watch connoisseur, I have become consumed  by the concept of watch design. And more specifically the designs which exemplify the work of the great brands (think ultra-thin Royal Oak and Portugieser). One other watch that features prominently, for me, alongside these two aforementioned creations is the A. Lange & Söhne, Lange 1. It’s an inspired watch. It’s elegant, intriguing and understated in equal measure. When you rarely see one in the wild — all that’s required, is a simple nod. Good on you sir — well done.

It was back in 2002, when the Lange 1 moonphase enriched the manufacture’s most successful watch family with a model featuring the popular and romantic astronomical complication. And now Lange has taken it to the next level with this, the all new Lange 1 moonphase display with a day/night indicator.

It is hard to fathom that in this age of discovery, we still know very little about the origins of the moon. And as a result, we continue to be deeply fascinated by our closest celestial neighbour. I, therefore, believe this is one reason we find the moonphase display to be so intoxicating. Lange’s moonphase complication tracks the lunar cycle — with an average duration of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds — so accurately that it takes 122.6 years for the display to deviate from the true synodic period by just one day.

This new Lange 1 employs some structural differences to its predecessors. For example, the arrangement of the display is now based on a separate solid-gold moon which orbits in the foreground. Behind it, a celestial disc, which is also made of solid gold and performs one revolution every 24 hours. On the disc, the different times of day are represented by varying blue hues. During the day, it shows a bright sky without stars, while at night it depicts a dark sky with prominently contrasting laser-cut stars. In this manner, the moon always orbits against an enchanting background that doubles as a day/night indicator when setting the watch.

Now, hold tight, here comes the watch geek stuff: Within the 38.5mm (white/pink gold or platinum) case, the manual wind Lange manufacture calibre L121.3 movement used is based on one introduced two years ago by Lange. It features twin mainspring barrels with power-reserve of 72 hours; escapement with a cam-poised balance and a free-sprung Lange hairspring. Suspended beneath the hand-engraved balance cock, the balance beats with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.

Look, if you’re in the market for a truly handmade watch with pedigree — you can hardly go wrong with a Lange 1 — and this new moon is a beauty! I for one, can’t wait to get my hands on it at SIHH!

Technical Specifications

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L121.3, 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

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

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; power-reserve indicator; Lange outsize date, moon-phase display with integrated day/night indicator

Case Dimensions: Diameter: 38.5 millimetres; height: 10.2 millimetres

Case: White Gold / Pink Gold / Platinum

Dial: Solid silver, black / Solid silver, agent / Solid silver, rhodié

Hands and appliqués: Rhodiumed gold, luminous /  Pink gold, luminous / Rhodiumed gold, luminous

Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather

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