Just to recap: A. Lange & Söhne is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beloved and inimitable Lange 1 by releasing ten very special limited-edition watches over the course of twelve months. We featured the very well received Little Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” several weeks back which we absolutely raved about. But now A. Lange & Söhne have gone and released their latest white-gold 25th Anniversary celebratory Lange 1: the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar.
As trivial a dial as it may seem, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” can very well be mistaken for a basic mechanical watch. To the untrained, and even trained eye, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” is really quite inconspicuous. Kind of like the horological equivalent to a spy, in every sense of the word. Face value, it looks cool, calm, collected, well dressed, very well versed and more than capable to waltz in a room, order a dry martini and hover about anonymously. But if you were to dig a bit deeper, well it’s safe to say astonished would definitely be an understatement.
This double agent of the watchmaking world hides two of the most complicated mechanical movements known to man: the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar. But, we’ll get to that in a second. Firstly, let’s analyse the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar’s aesthetics.
Unlike the undersized nature of the Little Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” with its 36.80mm wide and 9.50mm thick white-gold case, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” has a 41.90mm wide, 12.20mm thick white-gold case. This is in part to fit the movement, which in itself is basically the same size as the Little Lange 1, but also in due fact that A. Lange & Söhne’s watchmakers needed the extra dial real estate to cater for the added complications.
The solid silver argenté-coloured dial can come across as being a bit busy and somewhat confusing. But in reality, it’s really quite a simple affair. The largest sub-dial depicts the passing hours and minutes. The smaller sub-dial shows the hand-engraved white-gold moonphase indicator (with an accuracy of 122.6 years!) and the passing seconds. The large apertures show the date. What would have been the power reserve indicator is a retrograde day indicator, and the leap year indicator is located just above 6 o’clock. So just like the majority of perpetual calendars, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” and its respective functions are all visible on the dial quickly and easily.
Powering the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” is A. Lange & Söhne’s work of art, the calibre L082.1 automatic movement. Combining the highly complex nature of a perpetual calendar with the magical beauty of a perpetual calendar, the L082.1 is spectacular. It’s made up of 624-components, has a unidirectional rotor made out of 21-karat gold and platinum, a diamond endstone that holds the tourbillon within its black-polished cage, a tourbillon cock with a blue engraving of the Lange 1’s iconic oversized date apertures with the number 25, a stop-seconds mechanism which enables the wearer to physically stop the tourbillon cage by pulling the crown, as well as a full perpetual calendar. Oh, and you obviously get all the usual trimmings we’ve grown accustomed to expecting from A. Lange & Söhne, and then some.
Just like the Little Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” presenting itself as a very interesting, very appealing and very lust-worthy piece, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” is all that and more. I love the idea of having such an understated aesthetic masking the true and mind-blowing complexities hidden under the proverbial hood.
I guess that’s what German engineering gets you.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” is available in a limited run of 25-pieces and costs $335,800.