Released in 1994, shortly after A. Lange & Sohne's long-awaited emergence from dormancy, the Lange 1 is and will likely always be the de facto symbol of the brand. Having become the archetypal Lange design, with most of the brand’s collections having links to its aesthetic, the Lange 1 combines a dress watch-focused form with an unusual dial arrangement to create what has since become a true icon amongst Lange's litany of stunning references.
Beginning with its construction, the Lange 1 ref. 191.032 that I have here was launched in 2015 and features a wonderfully executed and carefully crafted 38.5mm rose gold case that stands just 9.8mm tall and thus retains the classy dress watch aesthetic that the model is known for. While many watch models increase in size as they evolve to meet modern standards, it is fantastic to see the brand retain the original case sizing after all these years, despite having been through a few iterations. It goes to show the timelessness and strength of the overall design and proportions the Lange 1 had from the start.
Perfectly circular with rounded edges, elegant lugs and a domed bezel, its rose gold shines with a soft red undertone that is muted where the case is brushed and spectacular where it is polished.
Standing out against its rose gold construction, the ref. 191.032 features a beautiful solid silver dial with the Lange 1's classic asymmetrical layout. With its off-centre outsized date indication - inspired by the Five-Minute Clock in the Semper Opera House, the Lange 1 is recognisable by even the newest watch of watch enthusiasts.
Containing rose gold dial furniture such as its hands, hour markers, and date aperture borders, the ref. 191.032's dial links back to its case with appealing consistency. As mentioned, the hour and minute sub-dial at 10 o’clock is asymmetrically positioned with the seconds sub-dial found to its right at 5 o'clock and a power-reserve indicator found above that at 3 o’clock.
Powering all of this complexity lies one of A. Lange & Sohne’s immaculately finished and outstandingly beautiful movements, the in-house, manual-wind cal. L121.1. Methodically beating away at 21,600 BPH, this movement provides an impressive 72 hours of power reserve and is proudly displayed behind the Lange 1's exhibition caseback. With its emphatic finishing throughout its stunning ¾ baseplate, charming German silver architecture and Lange's signature engraved balance cock, the cal. L121.1 is a fitting tribute to the incredible watch it powers.
This A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 191.032 is a fantastically elegant dress watch that is understated but immediately recognizable and iconic.