Released in 1994 shortly after their resurgence, the Lange 1 is widely considered one of the most recognizable watches to come out of A. Lange & Söhne's hallowed halls. Known for its archetypal Lange design, the Lange 1 combines dressy aesthetics with an unusual asymmetrical dial arrangement to create what has since become a true icon as a stalwart of the brand. Created during A. Lange & Söhne's re-establishment in the early '90s, the Lange 1 was among the first batch of novelties released to mark the Saxon brand's return to watchmaking, following the cessation of their operations in 1948. The purpose of the Lange 1 was to surprise watch experts, garner unanimous approval and address the question of what a modern A. Lange & Söhne watch would look like if the company never ceased to exist all those years ago.
Offered here today is the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar Ref. 345.033. For context, the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar was introduced sometime around April 2022, in two distinct versions. The first one, which we sold a few months back, was a limited edition with a salmon dial encased in a white gold case, whilst the other, which is the one we are thrilled to present today, is the permanent production variant, distinguished by its grey dial and housed in an elegant pink gold case.
The Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is probably one of the largest members within the Lange 1 family. It sports a 41.9mm x 12.1mm case, which is 3.4mm larger (diameter-wise) than the classic Lange 1s you are probably used to seeing on the site. That being said, considering the number of components and features being offered in this reference, I’d say that this case size is arguably quite compact and relatively conservative by today’s standards. Even so, the diameter-to-height ratio seen here is still fairly balanced with all things considered. Let’s not forget, this is still a grand complication and I think it is still very wearable for most modern wrists.
When I think about a Lange 1, I always think about its emblematic dial layout with its appealing asymmetry. Here on its beautiful grey dial, we have the outsize date window at 11 o’clock, a day-of-the-week indicator at 9 o ‘clock, the large hours and minutes counter on the right side, and the moon phase cum small seconds indicator at 7 o ‘clock – a layout that is reminiscent of the Daymatic design, which I think is excellent because you’d still be able to peek at the time even when the watch is partially obscured under your shirt cuff. Moving on to the two crucial indications that make a perpetual calendar – the month and the leap year, here, the month is indicated via a disc along the periphery of the dial and this is supplemented by a leap year pointer at 6 o ‘clock. This placement is simple and clean and does not interfere with the emblematic Lange 1 layout that enthusiasts all adore and love.
Powering this complexity lies A. Lange & Söhne's magnificent self-winding, 63-jeweled, Cal. L021.3 movement. Methodically beating away at 21,600 BPH, this movement provides an impressive 50-hour power reserve and is proudly displayed behind the Lange 1's exhibition caseback. It is fitted with a newly developed winding mechanism that features a unidirectional winding rotor made from 21-carat gold and a centrifugal mass made out of platinum. This rotor right here is an aesthetic masterpiece that carries the design DNA of the original rotor on the Langematik. Again, with its emphatic and superlative finishing throughout, charming German silver architecture, and beautifully engraved balance cock – as is A. Lange & Söhne's signature, the Cal. L021.3 is an ultimately fitting tribute to the incredible watch it powers.
Overall, the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is undoubtedly an impressive watch that eloquently illustrates A. Lange & Söhne’s no-compromise approach to watch design and construction.