The Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”, introduced prior to the SIHH 2019, was the first of a commemorative series of ten watches. Two other limited edition pieces followed, with the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase and the Little Lange 1. For the fourth model in the collection, A. Lange & Söhne introduces the most complicated and exclusive model of this watch family. Meet the 25-piece A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary”.
The recipe for this fourth watch is pretty simple: take the most complex Lange 1 model, adapt it to the 25th-anniversary theme and you’ll get a very discreet watch (at first) that hides an incredible level of sophistication. The base for this new edition is familiar and avails itself of the same proportions and movement as this version we reviewed a few years ago. Needless to say, we’re in front of one of Lange’s masterpieces here.
The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, even in its latest “25th Anniversary” edition, might be the most complicated piece in the collection, but it looks very familiar. All the attributes of the 1994 Lange 1 are still present, including its signature display with off-centred hours and minutes, oddly placed small seconds and the emblematic outsize date. The same can be said about the case, which retains the same design as most watches in the Lange 1 sub-collection.
However, a closer look reveals certain delicacies, which betray the “Haute Horlogerie” pedigree of this watch. While the moon phase indication inside the small seconds isn’t entirely novel (see here), two indications reveal the presence of a perpetual calendar. The first is the month that is displayed on a disc on the periphery of the dial, indicated by an arrow at 6 o’clock. The second is the small window at 6 o’clock, which is the indication of the leap year. Other than that, the display is all about the Lange 1 – and in fact, similar to the “Daymatic” version with its retrograde day of the week indication.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” stands apart from the crowd with its rather large 41.9mm case – there’s a lot running inside, so all in all, this is still a rather decently proportioned watch. The case is 18k white gold and is paired with a blue alligator strap with silver stitching. The dial is the main update, with an argenté finish over the solid silver plate and all the indications and markers are printed in deep blue – the signature style of the 25th-Anniversary Collection.
Turning the watch over reveals its true beauty. While discreet dial-side, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is a feast on the movement side. The self-winding movement (with central rotor) is regulated by a tourbillon, only visible on this side of the watch, and running at 3Hz. The movement is decorated with superb details, as expected from such a high-end Lange – including black polishing on the upper side of the tourbillon cage and a diamond endstone bearing that holds the tourbillon.
Special to this 25th-anniversary edition: the tourbillon cock and the bridge that hold the seconds wheel are decorated with specific, blue-coloured engravings and a “25” shaped like the Lange outsize date. The number 25 not only refers to the birthday but also to a symbolic detail that occurred during the launch, which took place on 24 October 1994. On this day, the date displays of the debut watches were set to the 25th so they would be current when showcased in the following day’s newspapers.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” will be limited to 25 pieces and priced at EUR 324,500. After this edition, there will be six more versions to come, until the end of the year. More details at www.alange-soehne.com.