Time flies — one should pardon the obvious pun — when you’re witnessing horological history in the making. In 2019, it will have been 25 years since the postwar resurrection of A. Lange & Söhne, Germany’s most prestigious luxury watchmaker, and the launch of the watch that has defined its modern era, the now-iconic Lange 1. As one would come to expect in this day and age of watch-world anniversary mania, the company will be celebrating this milestone in style at SIHH 2019, kicking off in Geneva on January 14, with the release of the limited-edition Lange 1 25th Anniversary Edition.
Appropriately for this “silver” anniversary, the watch features an argenté-colored dial made from solid silver, whose highlights include recessed areas, printed deep blue numerals and hour markers, blued steel hands, and blue numerals for the outsize date, the double-window display that helped make this model’s asymmetrical design a hit among watch aficionados for 25 years and running. The case is an understated 38.5 mm in diameter and 10.7 mm thick, made of white gold and outfitted on its rear side with a hinged cuvette back that covers a sapphire viewing window offering a view of the movement.
Engraved into the silver cuvette caseback is an illustration of the historical Lange headquarters building that dates back to 1873; the names of founding family scion “WALTER LANGE” and his partner “GUNTER BLUMLEIN,” the men responsible for launching the modern era of the company in October 1994; and the inscription “25 YEARS LANGE 1.”
Beneath that very special commemorative caseback ticks the movement, Lange’s manually wound Caliber L121.1, which superseded and replaced the model’s original Caliber L901.0 in 2015. Made entirely in-house at A. Lange & Sohne’s manufacture in Glashutte, in the German state of Saxony, this version of the movement also features some special enhancements not found on standard versions of the Lange 1. It is equipped with all the elements that fans of the model have come to expect — a precisely jumping date display, a freely oscillating balance spring, a 72-hour power reserve in twin mainspring barrels, the traditional three-quarter mainplate in untreated German silver with eight screwed gold chatons — along with anniversary-inspired touches like the number “25,” rendered in the style of the outsize date display, incorporated into the hand-engraved motif of the balance cock, and the hand-executed lines of that decorative pattern blued for a rich contrast with the movement’s metallic elements.
The Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” timepiece is mounted on a hand-stitched, dark blue alligator leather strap with gray stitching and a pronged buckle made of white gold. It will be priced at 43,000 euros; the U.S. price is still pending and expected to be announced at SIHH 2019.