Looking at the entire lineage of watches created by A. Lange & Söhne, no other model can beat the Lange 1 in terms of cult status. This watch, which was part of the inaugural collection of watches launched in 1994, is now seen as one of the most iconic watches of our times and an fundamental model for the renaissance of high-end German watchmaking. In 2003, surfing on the vibe for oversized watches, A. Lange & Söhne released the Grand Lange 1. In 2012, the watch was drastically revised with a newly designed case and its own movement. And for 2022, the third generation of A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 will be released, with an even thinner case, new dials and design tweaks all around.
When first released in 2003, the Grosse Lange 1 or Grand Lange 1 was basically an enlarged version of the classic Lange 1, equipped with the same movement but housed in a 41.9mm x 11mm case. As such, the display was not ideal, with overlapping sub-dials, due to the smaller-sized calibre L901.2. From 2003 to 2008, the Grand Lange 1 was equipped with two-tone dials. In 2008 and up until 2012, the brand gave this large model monochromatic dials. A. Lange & Söhne updated the Grand Lange 1 in 2012 with the second generation. Using an entirely new and thin movement, the case was reduced to 40.9mm in diameter and 8.8mm in height. The single-barrel movement (L095.1) still provides 3 days of power reserve but was redesigned so the display would be more harmonious, without overlapping functions.
For Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022, A. Lange & Söhne releases the third generation Grand Lange 1, which plays on all the great attributes of the previous versions, yet comes with small but pleasant details. For this latest version, the case still measures about 41mm in diameter, but the height has been further reduced by 0.6mm, to a mere 8.2mm. This will certainly allow this larger watch to be even more comfortable on the wrist. Other than this reduced height, the new Grand Lange 1 retains the classic ALS design, with stepped lugs, a thin domed bezel and a pusher at 10 o’clock to quickly adjust the outsize date.
As for the dial, the strict asymmetry that has been the hallmark of the Lange 1 collection since its introduction is, as you’d expect, fully retained. Since 2012 and the second generation, the display of the Grand Lange 1 is far more balanced, with all the indications harmoniously positioned without overlapping. The latest edition still has the off-centred hours and minutes dial, a small seconds counter, a power reserve at 3 o’clock and the signature outsize date framed window at 1 o’clock. All recessed indications have a pattern with concentric lines and flat applied markers.
What’s new to the third generation Grand Lange 1 is the texture of the dial. The solid silver base is now grained, with bevelled chamfers assuring balanced transitions from the subsidiary dials to the granular texture of the main dial. This new model is released in two versions, both sharing the same dial executed in dark grey. The reference 137.038 has an 18k white gold case and a black leather strap. The reference 137.033 is housed in an 18k pink gold case paired with a red-brown strap. On both hands and markers match the colour of the case.
Under the sapphire caseback, no evolution. We still find the same calibre L095.1 as before. This large yet thin hand-wound movement – 34mm in diameter, 4.7mm in height – has a single mainspring barrel (contrary to the classic Lange 1 and its double-barrel architecture) but still store up to 72 hours of energy when fully wound. The movement is composed of close to 400 parts and features a screwed balance with an in-house hairspring beating at 21,600 vibrations/hour. Assembled twice, like all ALS movements, it is finely decorated by hand with thin stripes, bevelled edges, screwed gold chatons with blued screws and a hand-engraved balance cock.
Availability & Price
These two new editions of the A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 will be released as part of the permanent collection (not limited). The retail price will be EUR 45,900. For more details, please visit www.alange-soehne.com.