A. Lange & Söhne brought the mechanical watchmaking to the next level, with a series of innovative solutions that follows its 2012 watch collection. This week, at the SIHH 2012 watch show in Geneva, the prestigious German manufacturer introduced a new Datograph Up/Down watch, a Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, a new Grand Lange 1, a Lange 1 Timezone in white gold and a Saxonia Thin white gold watch.
We have recently reviewed a new Datograph Up/Down watch that the watch experts and collectors at the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie marked as a great surprise. This stunning reinterpretation of the brand’s most famous chronograph comes with a number of subtle changes that significantly increased the quality of a watch, while preserving the original design and harmonious proportions.
Apart from slight changes in size (the diameter of the new model is now 41 mm instead of 39 mm, while the thickness is 13.1mm instead of 12.8 mm), the great improvements of mechanical performances marked this watch as a highly successful reinterpretation of the brand’s trademark.
New A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Fly-Back Chronograph has the power-reserve of 60 hours, instead of original 36 hours. The level of power is displayed on the dial, which is another novelty that comes with the Datograph Up/Down watch. Furthermore, a new Caliber L951.6 movement features a shock-resistant balance with eccentric poising weights and a more sophisticated in-house constructed balance spring. Besides, by redesigning the zero-reset mechanism, the German watchmaker improved the power transmission from the pusher to the movement.
Another successful job is done within the brand’s iconic Lange 1 family. Eighteen years after the debut of the first Lange 1, which was a milestone event in the brand’s history, A. Lange & Söhne decided to reinterpret the original, giving it an altered dimension and a new inner life.
A new watch, called Grand Lange 1 comes with a slight larger and slimmer case (with the diameter of 40.9 mm and the thickness of only 8.8 mm), but it preserves the harmonious proportions of the icon, down to the last detail. Inside the case that is made with a choice of yellow gold, pink gold or platinum, there is a totally new hand-winding Calibre L095 movement which is only 4.7 mm thick.
This great mechanism, decorated and assembled by hand is revealed through a sapphire-crystal caseback. Its stability is assured by the three-quarter plate that is, just like bridges, made of untreated German silver. Besides, a proprietary Lange-made balance spring provides superb accuracy. With just one mainspring barrel, the movement provides the superb power-reserve of 72 hours. It has 397 components and 42 jewels and it oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
Like the original watch, a new model has a beautifully designed dial with two sub-dials: the big one indicates hours and minutes, while the smaller one counts seconds. The silver dial also features a power-reserve indicator and an outsize date. The new Grand Lange 1 comes with a hand-stitched crocodile strap. A yellow gold model (117.021) is available with a medium brown strap, a pink gold variation (117.032) comes with a strap in red-brown color, while a version with a platinum case (117.025) matches black strap.
A Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar watch that is also presented this week inGeneva is another haute horology masterpiece from the brand’s most famous watch family. To be more precise, it is the most complicated member of the family. Its exceptional design allows harmonious integration of perpetual calendar’s displays in the Lange 1 dial, without making it less readable. However, the renowned watchmaker needed fundamentally new mechanical solutions in order to make the calendar works properly. Thus, it designed the very first rotating peripheral month ring ever integrated in a wristwatch.
All displays of the perpetual calendar – the outsize date, the retrograde day, the month ring, the aperture leap year and the moon-phase indication work smoothly, switching simultaneously and providing easy readings. Furthermore, the amazing complexity of the mechanism allows the watch to operate correctly, without any adjustments until the year 2100.
In order to preserve great readability, A. Lange & Söhne did not make the tourbillon visible through the dial side. Still, you can enjoy this great complication through the sapphire-crystal caseback. The tourbillon cage completes one rotation each minute and along with a proprietary Lange balance spring provides superb accuracy. Platinum centrifugal mass on the outer periphery of the rotor contributes to the high winding efficiency of a new self-winding Calibre L082.1 movement. (The middle segment of the rotor is made of 21-karat gold.)
There are two versions of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar watch. The first one is made of pink gold (720.032) and it is available with a red-brown hand-stitched crocodile strap. The model with a platinum 41.9 mm case (720.025) is produced in the limited series of 100 pieces which come with black crocodile straps.
Soon, I’m going to review the remaining models from the A. Lange & Söhne 2012 Collection (Lange 1 Timezone and Saxonia Thin), so stay tuned and find out the most interesting information from the world of haute horology.