The new Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase gives the moon-phase display — which is designed to remain accurate for 122.6 years and features a patented coating process on the moon disk — a spot of distinct prominence on the dial. A. Lange & Söhne has produced a dozen moon-phase watches since its re-founding in the Saxon town of Glashütte in 1990, but none have ever had so large a display for the lunar complication on the dial.
In addition to having a vividly realistic look, the moon-phase display of the new Grand Lange 1 watch is in sync with the actual orbit of the moon. The display is connected with the watch’s hour-wheel continuum, meaning that it is constantly in motion, just like the moon itself, moving in increments too small to be detected by the naked eye.
Also notable is that the moon-phase display of the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase indicates the time that elapses from new moon to new moon with an impressive accuracy of 99.9978 percent. The precise length of an average synodic month is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and three seconds. For the sake of simplicity, the makers of most moon-phase watches round this cycle down to 29.5 days. The result is a deviation of 44 minutes and three seconds per lunar cycle, or one entire day every two and a half years. The Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase’s much more precisely calculated seven-gear transmission reduces this deviation to less than one minute per lunar cycle. Once correctly set, and assuming the watch runs continuously, the moon-phase would need to corrected by just one day every 122.6 years. If you do happen to let the watch stop, however, the display can always be adjusted by using the recessed push-piece embedded in the case flank between 7 and 8 o’clock.
The watch’s solid-gold moon disk, with its realistic, star-filled nocturnal sky, undergoes a patented coating process developed by Lange that imparts bright color effects and crisp texture details. The process involves interference effects, with a superposition of waves, that eliminates all non-blue hues of light that fall on the watch. This is responsible for the intense blue tone of the night sky, which also features more than 300 laser-cut stars, of different sizes and with extremely sharp contours.
Like other Lange 1 and Grand Lange 1 watches, this Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase has an off-centered dial, a large “outsize” date display and a hand-decorated manufacture movement, Caliber L095.3. Because the movement uses only one spring barrel for its lengthy 72-hour power reserve, it is remarkably thin, measuring just 4.7 millimeters. Its other features include a classical screw balance, a balance spring developed and manufactured in-house, a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, and numerous hand-decorated movement parts. The case — available in yellow gold, pink gold or platinum — has a diameter of 41 millimeters, and comes on a hand-stitched crocodile leather strap with a prong buckle. The price of the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase is $48,200 for the yellow- and rose-gold versions, and $63,000 for the platinum model.
IBG 2014 attendees will have a chance to see the A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase up close and to check out its groundbreaking moon-phase complication. Click here for more on the event and to order tickets for one of the four event cities.