Marking the resurrection of A. Lange & Söhne in 1994, the Lange 1 is the most eloquent ambassador of the German brand and considered a true Saxon watchmaking icon. With its asymmetric dial and outsize date, the Lange 1 is just shy of its 30th birthday and has, as you can appreciate in Brice’s extensive guide to this family, been interpreted with numerous complications and materials but always faithful to its distinctive, unwavering design. The Lange 1 Time Zone debuted in 2005 and was revisited in 2020 with a new manufacture movement designed to increase the watch’s functionality. The latest Lange 1 Time Zone lands in a luxurious platinum case with a solid silver rhodium-coloured dial. Something that collectors would easily name a “stealth” edition of this high-end traveller’s watch.
Ideal for travelling across time zones, GMT watches allow you to consult home and local time at a glance. Many GMT models rely on an additional central hour hand pointing to a 24-hour scale; when they are not equipped with a 24-hour scale, they usually feature a day/night indicator. The Lange 1 Time Zone, which was designed with legibility and practicality in mind, relies on an intuitive, easy-to-consult layout; local time is displayed in the larger, off-centred disc with Roman numerals, while the second time zone is read in the smaller disc with Arabic numerals. This layout means the hallmark big date window at 2 o’clock, and the AB/AUF power reserve indicator still occupy their prime real estate locations on the dial – that wouldn’t be a Lange 1 otherwise…
But how do you know if it’s night or day? Lange also considered this and devised a simple, effective solution for both time zones. Using ring-shaped indicators with a semicircular section highlighted in dark blue positioned on the central axis of both time circles, travellers can determine whether it is night or day at a glance.
The city ring representing the 24 time zones might be confused with a world timer. However, the Lange 1 Time Zone is not a world timer but uses the city ring to simplify setting the time in the smaller subsidiary disc. Using the corrector button at 8 o’clock, the city ring switches in increments of one time zone, as does the hour hand; all you have to do is align the arrow in the smaller time circle with the city of your choice, and you’re good to go (in the official photographs, the city is New York).
But there is more. Thanks to the incorporation of the manufacture calibre L141.1, the arrow in the smaller dial also indicates whether the city you have chosen uses daylight saving time (DST). If a red area inside the arrow appears, you will know that the city observes DST and adjust accordingly. The aperture reveals a white background if the city relies on standard time all year round.
Additionally, the model features a unique synchronisation mechanism allowing you to transfer the time in the smaller subsidiary dial to the larger one by pulling the crown to the second position.
The latest Lange 1 Time Zone flaunts a sober, monochromatic dial made of solid silver with rhodium plating to match the gold hands and appliques that are also rhodium-plated – such a combination for the classic, time-only Lange 1 is known as the “stealth” among the collecting community. The only hints of colour are the red GMT marker on the city ring and the red interior of the arrow, and the blue day/night ring indicators. Previously available in yellow, white or pink gold, the new Lange 1 Time Zone comes in a luxurious 41.9mm x 10.9mm platinum case with polished and brushed finishings.
Like the 2020 editions, this platinum Lange 1 Time Zone is powered by manufacture calibre L141.1. This manual-winding calibre retains the formidable 3-day power reserve of the first 2005 editions but is now on a single mainspring barrel. Fitted with a lever escapement, the movement has 448 parts and measures 34.1mm x 6.7mm. Finishings are in line with Lange’s Saxon heritage and include the classic three-quarter untreated German silver plate decorated with ribbing; the screwed gold chatons; the blued screws; the chamfered, bevelled and polished edges; the mirror-polished whiplash spring; the polished internal angles; and the hand-engraved floral pattern on the balance cock.
The new platinum Lange 1 Time Zone model is not labelled as a limited edition and joins the earlier white and pink gold models. It is presented on a black, hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a prong buckle in 950 platinum. In keeping with the brand’s new policy, the price is on request. For more information, please visit alange-soehne.com.