In The Wild: A Meander Down The Thames with The Saxonia Moon Phase

Two things happened last week. The first, waking up to sunshine beaming in through my bedroom curtains (I can assure you that having lived in London for 21 years, that’s a blessing not to take for granted). The second, was the box on my desk containing one of my favourite watches from this year’s SIHH –  the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moon Phase. All in all, one hell of a start to the day.

It’s one thing to have complications thrown into a watch. It’s quite the another having them in such perfect harmony that it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. As we have come to expect from Lange, the watch is executed to perfection. Even at 40mm, which some may consider to be slightly larger than optimal for a dress watch — I found it to be immaculate. When it comes to complications, Lange have chosen their instantly recognisable big date (seen at 12) and the ever romantic moon phase at 6. The moon phase display is a delicate solid-gold lunar disc created using a patented coating process. Beneath it you can see all 852 stars (almost) that were laser cut into the sky. Once set, the moon phase display only has to be corrected by one day every 122.6 years — in short, never again in my lifetime.

The big date, is for me quite simply what makes a Lange, a Lange. Being a Lange, the watch keeps itself to itself. Those who know, know. Despite my default attire being a t-shirt and shorts, it still worked, even if it did raise a few eyebrows on the city train into work in the morning.

Something under appreciated on the dial is the gold-framed split double aperture which frames the date windows, actually hides a space-saving configuration adopting two separate display segments for the units and tens. One of the most deeply satisfying features of the watch is the push button (located at 10 o’clock) which allows you to quickly adjust the date (something everyone in the office were keen to ensure functioned correctly).

Some further fine details — within the Saxonia, you have a shock-resistant screw balance, balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour and whiplash spring which gives you 72 hours when fully wound.

On the final evening that I had the watch, all the stars (or moons) aligned — when I had the opportunity to capture (albeit not particularly well in the dark) a full moon above Albert Bridge while the full moon was visible on the dial (you can check out their world tour series of images on their Facebook page). The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moon Phase is quite frankly delightful in every way.

It’s available in a white gold (ref. 384.026) or pink gold (ref. 384.032 — my vote’s definitely for the pink gold!) and retail for Euro 28,500. If you’re in the market for a world class, modern dress watch that offers just that little bit more than a three hander, from one of the very top manufactures, you simply can’t go wrong with the Saxonia moonphase.

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