To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the existence of its iconic Lange 1 piece, A. Lange & Sohne has launched a special Handwerkskunst version of the model. The name of the 20-piece limited edition means “craftsmanship” in German and it refers to heavy use of decorative techniques that were used throughout its creation. The anniversary series is made with a pitch-black enamel dial, while its movement is adorned with intricate decorations, some of which are not that often seen in the brand’s model. Among other strong points of the platinum cased cliassic, A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst also features a stop-seconds function on its tourbillion movement.
A Recognizable Styling
Lange 1 is one of the most recognizable models by the Saxon brand. It was originally launched 20 years ago after the unification of the country and the reestablishment of the brand. When it first appeared, Lange 1 was quite different from the watches on the market. It featured a special asymmetric outlay of the dial whose refinement soon grabbed a lot of attention. Lange 1 includes an off-centered dial which is moved to left and down. Inside it is a small seconds counter which sits at the five o’clock. Another extremely recognizable feature of the watch was inclusion of a two-window oversized date display. The watch from the Saxon manufacturer was actually the model that started the trend of watches with this sort of calendar display which remains quite popular up to this day. Underneath the date windows which sit at two o’clock (and which can be adjusted to correct date with a pusher at the left side of the case) is a power reserve indication whose indications carry German inscriptions for up and down.
This original appearance and set of features were used in all Lange 1 model from that point. Additionally, they were equipped with additional complications such as perpetual calendar, moon phases or tourbillion. However, the basic design remained the same.
Enamel and Intricate Finishes
The new commemorative limited edition replicates the original looks of the watch. In this case, the watch also bears a Handwerkskunst designation. This series which generally includes special edition and anniversary models is characterized with the extensive use of decorative arts (another commemorative Lange1 Handwerkskunst model which we have written about was released last year).
As the first look on the new model reveals, it features a lovely black enamel dial which was created inside the brand’s workshops and painted on a white gold background. The blackness of the dial looks quite well in the combination with applied numerals, hour markers and hands made of gold with rhodium treatment. Inside the off-centered dial is the small seconds counter which is made of blackened silver and lowered below the rest of the dial. The front side of the timekeepers also includes a tourbillion whose cock is superbly finished with very demanding black polishing technique. The aperture that actually shows the tourbillion cage displays additional lovely finishes. Namely, its borders are embellished with polished chamfers. Finally, the iconic date display is also enameled and features gray numerals on a black background.
Uncommon Sunray Motif
More distinguishing features can be observed once you turn over the commemorative wristwatch. Its transparent section reveals its L961.3 manufacture caliber with a host of decorations. It includes a three-quarter plate which is made from untreated silver from Germany. It is decorated with a sunray pattern which is rarely seen in other watches by A. Lange & Sohne. Its strategically hollowed portions show twin mainspring barrels which can be seen through the openings. The most lavish looking portions of the movement are tourbillion bridge, intermediate-wheels cock and crown-wheel which are all embellished with captivating and complicated engravings. There are also seven gold chatons as well as two additional endstones for the tourbillion cage which is the trait inspired by the brand’s vintage pocket watches.
Hacking Seconds Tourbillon
When it comes to technical side of the movement, we should say that caliber L961.3 has 378 components in total and that it integrates 51 jewels in its construction. The caliber features a lever escapement which is equipped with a shock-resistant screw balance. Its balance spring is made inside the brand’s workshops and it beats at the frequency of 21600 vph. Once fully wound by hand, the watch can run for another three days. The caliber is also supplied with a tourbillion stop-seconds mechanism for precision adjustment. This patented feature was initially shown in another model by the brand which some six years ago. As for the size, Caliber L961.3 is 30.6 mm wide and 5.9 mm thick.
A.Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Handwerkskunst features smaller and more classical dimensions. Its case has the diameter of just 38.55 mm and the height of 10.2 mm. The round case is made of platinum and each of the housings in the series is numbered in order to designate the specific place of the copy in the 20 piece limited edition.