The Saxon watchmaker, A. Lange & Sohne, has prepared its novel Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase timepiece for the upcoming SIHH 2014 event. It is a watch with a typical Lange 1 design with an off-centered dial and an oversized date indication. In this case, the off-centered dial is simultaneously used for the watch’s enlarged moon phase display which is not only big, but also extremely accurate, so much that it requires a single correction every 122.6 years. A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase runs on caliber L095.3, a pretty thin hand-wound movement. Initially, it will be released with a rose gold casing, while the versions with housings crafted from yellow gold and platinum are set to follow it.
As it could be expected, the main distinguishing trait of the new A. Lange & Sohne timepiece is its moon phase which is based on a huge 14.3 mm wide lunar disc which emerges on the top end of its off-centered dial. It revolves constantly at a slow pace to match the movements of the moon, thanks to the carefully crafted gearing on the lunar disc which is partially coated with the patented mixture used to achieve a more intense shade of deep blue. The said patented coating blue background for moon is the representation of a night sky with no less than 382 stars. The smallest of these stars are just 0.07 mm wide, which is actually even thinner than a single human hair.
Synodic Month for a Single Adjustment every Century and a Quarter
However, the true significance of the feature is not visual, but mechanical in its nature. The moon phase feature of the watch from the Lange 1 collection is exceptionally accurate. This is because the mechanism utilizes the synodic month which is based on the movements of the Earth’s satellite. The synodic month lasts for exactly 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds which allows the feature to be precise to 99.998 percent. To put it in more simple terms, this actually means that you need to adjust its perpetual calendar feature once every 122.6 years. This is, of course, providing that the watch has been continuously working up to that point. If this was actually the case, all you need is a simple press on a pusher that stands on the eight o’clock position of the case-band.
A Hand-Wound Manufacture Movement with 72 Hours of Power Reserve
The all-important lunar disc is a part of the watch’s manufacture caliber L095.3 which incorporates 446 parts and 45 jewels (of which seven are with screwed gold chatons) in its construction. It has a lever escapement, while its shock-resistant screw balance osciallates at the rate of 21,600 vph. For the steady rate, the movement utilizes a precision beat adjustment system that includes a lateral setscrew and a whiplash spring. Despite having only a single barrel, the 34.1 mm wide movement manages to provide power reserve of three days due to its reduced thickness that measures only to 4.7 mm. It should be said that caliber L095.3 likewise possesses an in-house designed and made balance spring and a hacking feature which enables precise setting of the watch. It is a three-quarter plate movement that uses rigid Sterling silver as its base and includes lovely hand-performed finishes. The fact that it supports a hacking feature enables precise time setting.
As the member of the Lange 1 series, new A. Lange & Sohne timekeeper includes several usual collection’s element such as a dial which stands slightly tilted to a side, as well as a large panoramic date display with two separate windows (as seen on Lumen model which the Glashutte based Saxon watchmaker presented at the last edition of the SIHH). Apart from the dial with Roman numerals that is used also for the moon phase, the solid silver dial of the watch also includes a small seconds counter which in ensemble with the larger dial evokes the appearance of gears of a mechanism. The dial also possesses the brand’s recognizable up/down (or ab/auf as it is written in German) retrograde power reserve indication.
Red Gold, Yellow Gold or Platinum
A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase watch has a round housing with the diameter of 41 mm and the slim profile of 9.5 mm. As it has been said, the first version of the watch to be released is the reference 139.032. All of the numerals, indices, hands and pointers on the watch’s argenté colored dial are made in red gold. Other case material options which are expected to follow are yellow gold and platinum. The former with the reference number 139.031 has a Champagne colored dial with yellow gold hands and accents, while the platinum one with the reference 139.025 has a rhodié colored dial and rhodiumed gold details. Each of the versions is made with a crocodile leather strap which is in different shades of brown for golden models (lighter one is used for the yellow gold version) and black for the platinum model. Naturally, in all instances, the material of the clasp matches the one of the case.