Pre-SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Rocks a Classic with the Lange 1By Darren Ho
A. Lange & Söhne takes us back to a classic — the Lange 1 watch that shaped the brand’s return to watchmaking 25 years ago on 24 October 1994.
To no one’s surprise, the pre-SIHH announcement by A. Lange & Söhne takes us back to a classic — the Lange 1 watch that shaped the brand’s return to watchmaking 25 years ago on 24 October 1994. After all this was the OG, envisioned by Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein back when the latter gent first decided to back the former in reviving a famed watch name.
What was surprising to us was that Lange had offered up anything at all prior to the fair. We’d expected they would keep it completely under wraps till the first day of the fair. But perhaps the impatience of customers and press was driving the management of the brand mad. Thus, they released a tidbit of what’s coming.
I expect that what’s being presented at the fair will be only a segment of A. Lange & Söhne’s releases this year. They’ve traditionally released special pieces on 24 October itself as a surprise, and this year calls for an even greater spectacle on the day.
The Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” jubilee edition celebrates the silver jubilee of the watch’s success. It’s been arguably the most coveted Lange watch since the German re-unification, respected among collectors, retailers and critics alike. The 250-piece limited edition watch comes in white gold with its asymmetric dial and outsized date format on a silver dial referencing the silver jubilee.
What’s special is the use of a deep blue for the indices, labels and markings on the dial, including the brand’s logo, outsized date and power reserve (apart from the two red markers to signify an unwound mainspring). The blue matches the blued hands and alligator leather strap.
What’s different is the case back. Lange has gone a traditional route with a half-hunter inspired case format, with a hinged case back that covers the refined L121.1 caliber. The case back is engraved with the headquarters of the brand, as well as Blümlein and Walter Lange’s name and the 25 year indication in German.
The relief engraving on the case back in charmingly delicate, almost sketch-like and illustrative in style, giving a dreamy feel to its decoration. Open it up and the technically fascinating L121.1 caliber is shown, with all the hallmarks of Lange’s prowess and a specially engraved balance cock that is lined in blue, with a “25” marking on it to reflect its importance in Lange 1 history.
We’ll bet that the watch will be sold out in a matter of hours even before the fair starts, and to those lucky chaps who’ve pre-ordered one, we say congratulations (through gritted teeth).