On 24th October, the LANGE 1 celebrated its 20th anniversary. First presented in Glashütte in 1994, the watch has received more awards than any other timepiece from A. Lange & Söhne. We present a multimedia look at two decades of the LANGE 1.
For A. Lange & Söhne, the LANGE 1 marks the start of a new era. In the video, CEO Wilhelm Schmid talks about the secret of the success of this iconic watch, and about the huge importance of the watch whose almost unchanged design has perfectly represented the brand DNA for 20 years.
World premiere of the LANGE 1, one of the first four watches to appear after the re-establishment of the company, and a symbol of the successful relaunch of the traditional brand of A. Lange & Söhne.
Special model, a much sought-after collector’s item, 100 pieces, gold, elaborately guilloche-work on dial.
250 pieces in pink gold, 150 in platinum – a tribute to the famous “Jahrhundert-Tourbillon” of the Paris World’s Fair of 1900.
A special technical feature is the continuous and realistic display of the waxing and waning moon.
101 sets of two watches, correct representation of the phases of the moon: northern hemisphere (watch in white gold), southern hemisphere (watch in pink gold).
Home time and time in one additional time zone at a glance, with the focus on optimum legibility.
The first LANGE 1 with a self-winding movement, mirrored dial, day-of-week display.
150 pieces, patented stop-seconds mechanism.
Simultaneously advancing calendar display, easy legibility, tourbillon with stop-seconds.
New manually wound movement to enable the harmonious dial design to be transposed to the bigger model, flat construction.
200 pieces, semi-transparent dial showing the mechanism of the first luminescent outsize date display.
Three pieces to date, winner’s watch for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, case back with hand engraved “Como” coat of arms on a rotatable city ring.
15 copies, tremblage and relief engraving techniques, the blue numerals of the outsize date are painted by hand.
Moon-phase display prominently positioned on the main dial, patented process for coating the lunar disc.
Five sets with the LANGE 1 and LITTLE LANGE 1 in different colour combinations, bezel of the ladies’ model set with 64 diamonds, each of the sets limited to 20 pieces.
„The design of the Lange 1 has remained unchanged for 20 years.“
„The unconventional design of the Lange 1 brought us the attention we needed for the relaunch of the brand.“
„I think the Lange 1 is so successful because of its timeless beauty.“
„It was love at first sight.“
Extensive design studies are the basis for any new watch model. These design studies are created over the course of several years of development in the internal “Research and Development” department. After the re-establishment of the company in 1990, four years elapsed before the presentation of the first Lange watches of the new era – including the LANGE 1.
The mechanical production of the basic parts, such as the plates, bridges and springs, is followed by the finishing process. The parts are finished to bring them up to the high standard required by A. Lange & Söhne. For example, the “perlage” finish is used for plates. This surface decoration of overlapping circles is performed by hand at A. Lange & Söhne.
The balance cock of every Lange watch is engraved by hand, making it unique. The component, which is used to house the balance staff, is decorated freehand by the engravers with luxuriant floral ornamentation. The engraving tools are made by the engravers themselves.
To ensure the ultimate flawlessness of the movement, at Lange the assembly process is carried out in two stages. After the first assembly, every movement is taken apart and each individual part is then cleaned. Only at this stage do some parts receive their final surface finish – for example, the gold chatons are polished by hand and the three-quarter plates are decorated with the Glashütte stripes. The working screws that have been used up to that point are replaced by thermally blued screws. The movement is then reassembled. The picture shows a LANGE 1 TIME ZONE movement.
The outsize date is one of the most striking and fascinating functions of any LANGE 1. The sophisticated mechanism permits a numeral display about three times bigger than in watches of comparable dimensions. This innovation, which was first shown in 1994 in the premiere model of the LANGE 1, makes it not only considerably easier to read the date, but also to use the function. The date is not adjusted via the crown in the usual way, but is switched daily via a convenient push-piece.
After the second assembly, each watch is subjected to a strict final inspection, during which the surfaces, water-resistance, functions and finally the accuracy are checked once again. Only when the models have undergone these tests without revealing any defect do they leave the manufacture in Glashütte on their way to the about 200 points of sale for A. Lange & Söhne.