One-Minute Tourbillon with hacking second mechanism, black enamelled dial and hand-made engravings and finishes, enclosed in a 38.5mm case made of solid platinum – here is the factsheet of the new A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst 20th anniversary limited edition. Today, 24 October 2014, is the 20th anniversary of A. Lange and Sohne relaunch. Yesterday, we’ve examined the Lange 1, with a complete review of this early icon. Now it’s time to introduce to you the watch that celebrates the anniversary of the brand. And before you ask, it is an impressive one.
The German Brand A. Lange and Sohne was successfully relaunched exactly 20 years from us, the 24 October 1994, presenting a collection of 4 watches: the Arkade, a small rectangular watch wit large date; the Saxonia, a classic round watch with large date; the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” and a singular watch, with an unusual display, named Lange 1. The latter quickly became a proper classic, the emblematic watch of the collection and a true icon. In order to celebrate both the anniversary of the brand and of this watch, A. Lange and Sohne just unveiled a 20-piece limited edition, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst. Also note that ALS introduced a few days ago another commemorative collection: the Lange 1 20th anniversary set of watches for men and women.
The key feature of the design is certainly this glossy black enamelled dial. Even if it uses the exact same layout than a classic Lange 1 (except the Tourbillon of course), its construction is quite complex. It is made of a white gold plate, covered by enamel. The hour-markers are made of white gold too and mirror polished. If you look closely at the dial, you’ll notice that they are not applied but inserted in the enamel – quite a complex achievement. The A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst comes with matching hands, made of rhodiumed gold. The small second sub-dial is slightly recessed and made in guilloché solid-silver. The outsize date – key element of the Lange style – sits classically at 2, next to the power-reserve indicator at 3.
The case is made of solid platinum and measures a reasonable and perfectly sized 38.5mm, just like the classical Lange 1. Adding some complication does not necessarily mean to be big. And that’s very good news. So the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst will keep the superb comfort of the Lange 1 and its delicate visual eccentricity. Alongside the different treatment of the dial, the main update can be seen both through the dial and from the case back. It is time now to move to the mechanics.
The tourbillon is of course a stunning complication and A. Lange and Sohne knows how to integrate it in a watch. Slightly off centered, just like the rest of the indications and like in the Richard Lange “Pour le Merite”, it can be seen through the dial, next to its mirror-polished cock bridge. Another usual feature of the A. Lange and Sohne Tourbillon watches is the diamond endstone bearings for the central axis of the regulating organ, also clearly visible on both sides and inserted in screwed gold chatons.
The back of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst shows an exclusive finishing. The 3/4 plate is more opened than on the classical Lange 1, allowing a view on the two barrels. Then the tourbillon bridge, crown-wheel and intermediate-wheel cocks are elaborately engraved. For the rest, the typical ALS finishing is here: hand made bevelled angles, perlage, screwed gold chatons and blued screws. Final feature, a 2008 invention by ALS: the patented stop-seconds mechanism is also integrated in the A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, in order to immobilize the balance wheel inside the rotating tourbillon cage and to finely adjust time. The caliber L961.3 boasts 72 hours of power reserve, ticks at 21,600bph and measures 5.9mm in height.
The A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst will be manufactured in 20 pieces only, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic Lange 1. It will for sure be a future collector and a record-setter for future auctions.
- Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L961.3; manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three- quarter plate made of untreated German silver; steel tourbillon cock specular-polished on the dial side; intermediate wheel and crown-wheel cocks as well as tourbillon bridge on the movement side in German silver, engraved by hand. 378 parts, 51 jewels including 2 diamonds.
- Oscillator: Shock-resistant screw balance; balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour
- Power-reserve: 72 hours (3 days) when fully wound
- Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds; power-reserve indicator; Lange outsize date; one-minute tourbillon with patented stop seconds
- Case: Solid platinum, Diameter: 38.5 millimetres; height: 10.2 millimetres
- Dial: Black enamelled white-gold main dial; solid-silver subsidiary seconds dial; Rhodiumed gold hands