Fifteen years ago, Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne released its first Lange 1 Time Zone, one of many variations on the classic Lange 1, which led the Saxon manufacture’s inaugural collection in 1994. The watch, containing the in-house Caliber L901, was Lange’s first with a dual time-zone indication. For the model’s newest incarnation this year, the company equips it with a new in-house movement and improved functionality with the added daylight savings time indication.
The watch retains its generous case dimensions of 41.9 mm in diameter and 10.9 mm thick, as well as all the key elements of its asymmetrically designed dial: the main time display on the large subdial at 9 o’clock, a second time zone displayed on two hands in 12-hour format on the smaller subdial at 5 o’clock; Lange’s hallmark “outsize” date in a framed double window at 2 o’clock; a power-reserve indicator spanning the arc between the previous two features, and surrounding it all, the switchable city ring that allows for easy setting of the second time zone.
New on this updated version are the day-night indicators for both home time and local time, now represented by ring-shaped indicators in the center of the subdials rather than the rotating arrow hands on the original model. Composed of blue-printed semicircles (one for 6 AM to 6 PM, the other for 6 PM to 6 AM), these disks rotate once on their axes every 24 hours while the hour hands make the same rotation twice in that span. Another useful addition is the golden arrow pointer at 5 o’clock with a tiny aperture that indicates whether or not the reference city for the home time uses daylight savings time or year-round standard time (the aperture will be filled in red if the former applies, in white if the latter).
The new daylight-savings feature is incorporated into the underside of the switchable, rotating city ring, the major feature retained from previous iterations of the Lange 1 Time Zone. To set it, one simply presses the lateral pusher in the side of the case at 8 o’clock to advance the ring — inscribed with the names of 24 world cities, each representing one of the 24 major time zones — in an easterly direction. 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 maintains the synchronization mechanism that enables the wearer to “swap” between the time zone indicated on the subdial and the one depicted on the main dial.
The new manufacture movement, Caliber L141.1 — the 65th to be produced by A. Lange & Sohne since its revival in 1994, in case anyone’s counting — is on display behind the sapphire exhibition caseback, and improves upon the impressive 72-hour power reserve of its predecessors by storing it in a single spring barrel rather than twin barrels. The manual-winding caliber still boasts a freely oscillating in-house-crafted balance spring, calibrated for a 21,600-vph frequency. Its aesthetics, as per Lange tradition, are as meticulously derived as its technical details — the decorated three-quarter mainplate made of untreated German silver, blued screws, screwed gold chatons, and hand-engraved wheels and cocks being among the highlights.
The Lange 1 Time Zone for 2020 comes to the market in three distinct executions: in a rose gold case with an argenté dial ($52,900); in a white gold case with a black dial ($52,900); and a yellow gold case with a champagne-colored dial ($56,100, a special boutique edition, limited to 100 pieces). All the dials are solid silver; all the straps are hand-stitched alligator leather in varying shades of brown and prong buckles made of the same materials as the cases.
|Manufacturer:||A. Lange & Söhne, Ferdinand-A-Lange-Platz 1, D-1768 Glashütte, Germany|
|Functions:||Hours, minutes, small seconds, large date, second time zone, day-night indicator, power-reserve indicator|
|Movement:||Lange manufacture Caliber L141.1, manually wound, 448 parts, 38 jewels, chock-resistant screw balance, in-house balance spring, 2,600 vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve|
|Case:||Rose gold, yellow gold, or white gold, sapphire exhibition caseback, crown for setting and winding the watch, pushers for correcting date and setting second time zone|
|Bracelet and clasp:||Hand-stitched alligator leather strap with gold or steel prong buckle|
|Dimensions:||Diameter = 41.9 mm, height = 10.9 mm|
|Price:||$52,900 (rose gold or white gold), $56,000 (yellow gold, limited edition of 100 pieces)|