On October 25, 2016, 22 years after the inaugural launch of its first four timepieces in the modern era, Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne released a special, limited edition of its popular Lange 1 Time Zone watch, in a new case made from the brand’s proprietary Honey gold and bearing several other subtle but striking details on its dial.
The watch, limited to 100 pieces worldwide, has an asymmetrical but meticulously organized dial, made of solid silver, that allows the wearer to read his or her home time, as well as the time in a second time zone, simultaneously. To set the second time zone, simply use the lateral pusher in the side of the case to advance the rotating city ring — inscribed with the names of 24 world cities, each representing one of the 24 major time zones — from east to west. At the same time, the hour hand on the second-time-zone subdial at 4 o’clock will move forward by one hour with each press of the pusher. The watch also has a synchronization mechanism that enables the wearer to transfer the time zone indicated on the subdial to the main dial.What makes this limited edition stand out is the use of Dresden, rather than Berlin, on the 24-hour city disk to represent Central European time. It’s an apt choice, as it is Dresden — in the state of Saxony, not far from A. Lange & Söhne’s hometown of Glashütte — which hosted that milestone press conference back in October 1994 that announced the rebirth of the legendary Lange watch company, at the historic city’s famed residential palace.
Other small visual details, along with Dresden’s presence on the world-time ring, serve to differentiate this special edition from the standard version of the Lange 1 Time Zone. The dots between the city names and GMT reference are blue, rather than red, and the peripheral ring on the second time-zone subdial, in black on the mainstream version, is also in blue. Like all Lange 1 Time Zone models, its array of functions includes a day-night indicator (overlapping the corner of the second-time-zone subdial); an outsize date for the home time (in a double window at 2 o’clock); and an “up/down” (“AUF/AB”) hand-type power reserve indicator between 2 and 4 o’clock. The hands and applied indices are in the same 18k Honey gold as the case, which measures 41.9 mm in diameter and 11 mm thick.
The Lange 1 Time Zone contains the manually winding, in-house Caliber L031.1, whose numerous decorative enhancements are visible through a sapphire caseback. The movement has 54 jewels, a lengthy 72-hour power reserve, and the typical Glashütte three-quarter mainplate and bridges made of untreated German silver. Made of 417 parts, it has been assembled, disassembled, and re-assembled a second time before being fitted into the case, a process that speaks to Lange watchmakers’ dedication to immaculate quality control. The watch comes on a hand-stitched dark brown alligator strap with a honey-gold pronged buckle. It is priced at $64,300 and available for sale exclusively in A. Lange & Söhne’s 17 boutiques around the world.