A. Lange & Söhne launched during Watch & Wonders 2021 a new perpetual calendar with two colours variations for cases and dials. One A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar comes in a serious but warm combination of pink gold case and grey dial. The second variation comes in a daring and sought after combination of white gold case and pink gold dial. This one is limited to only 150 pieces and makes the object of today’s review.
Disclaimer and notes:
Due to the pandemic situation, it was not possible to see and photograph the watches in the metal. The watch presented today was available for digital seeing and remote shooting. The photographs are realised by ALS’s official photographs after my specifications, especially for Watch I Love Magazine. In this way, it is possible to bring you the familiar style images to my review.
Since the images and viewing of the watch were realised remote, I lack the entire set of media that I usually use for the reviews so I invite you to watch again the official presentation video:
The choice of the gold white case/pink gold dial for review was made due to my affinity to the “salmon” dial style watches, which I find particularly attractive. So let’s go deeper in details.
The watch presented today comes in a 41.9mm diameter and 12.1 mm height white gold case. The traditional shaped case presents itself with an exceptional contrasting set of brushed and polished details. The raised convex bezel was treated with a rigorous polish also encountered on the solid lugs. The last ones are soldered onto the case. The caseband was decorated with a longitudinal subtle straight brush. The sides of the watch reveal the polished caseback edges. The crown is a familiar A. Lange & Söhne flat style one with the embossed name.
Coming back to the lugs, I have to mention the extraordinary craftsmanship of ALS team: The beautiful and “simple” contrast we can notice is the result of extensive experience. There are no visible soldering discolourations, there are no details on the polished or on the brushed sides to reveal the complexity of this design.
Due to its proportional dimensions, the watch should have a good on-the-wrist posture. Naturally, the weight of the precious metal (especially at this size) will make its presence noticeable with the note that it is a matter of familiarisation. Those with a sweet tooth for gold watches and bracelets will find this one a bliss on the wrist. The case presents in various positions the correctors for advancing all calendar displays or separately correcting the month, day of the week, and moon phase.
The Lange 1 dial
Creating the Perpetual Calendar in the prominent and well familiar Lange 1style provoked the engineers and watchmakers from Glashütte to find some solutions. We have the unmistakable Lange 1 dial with the addition of a perpetual calendar.
Since the Lange 1 asymmetry is actually a construction of geometric shapes, the dial of the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar might not be on everyone’s taste. Nevertheless, no one can take what belongs to Cesar – the layout and the presentation are more than noteworthy.
The dial is presented on the higher point with the brand’s name presented in an arched form, followed underneath by the location “Glashütte” – I feel here a note of pride, nevertheless well deserved.
The recognisable outsized date (a signature and a key element of Glashütte, along with the three-quarter plates) makes the first corner of the triangles shaped by the heavy points of the date, time display and small seconds.
The median area of the dial presents the day indication via a retrograde slim lance rhodium gold hand and the time display. The hours and minutes hands are presented against an interesting distinctive area. A recessed register combines applied gold Roman numerals and diamond hour markers with a printed minutes’ scale.
The lower side of the dial presents the rest of the indications: moon phase with integrated day/night complication, month and leap year. The perpetual calendar function uses a small aperture displaying the leap year, followed underneath by an applied gold triangle indicating the month on an outer ring circumvoluting the entire dial. The month ring will need, as expected, an entire year to make a full rotation.
The moon phase aperture hides ingeniously a 24 hours day/night indication. Two disks overlay: the moon phase display with a precision of one correction needed every 122.6 years on top and a disk rotating in 24 hours displaying a clear blue sky for the day and wonderful starry night for night. The superimposed disks make an unforgettable show. The rhodium hand is responsible to display the running seconds with the help of the printed indexes.
The unrivalled, unmistakable and inimitable A. Lange & Söhne style movement
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is powered by the automatic Lange manufacture calibre L021.3. This movement is based on the ALS Lange 1 Daymatic. On the technical side, the L021.3 is a slow 3Hz beater featuring an impressive 50 hours of power reserve. The 621 components from which 63 jewels with 5 of them in gold chatons is decorated and assembled by hand.
The first visually striking element is the rotor weight. Crafted in 24 karat gold, the three pieces rotor displays skilful skeletonised arms, a gorgeous positive engraving on the middle piece and blue screws fixing the platinum heavyweight. This fabulous piece is just an appetiser for what follows underneath.
The swan neck regulation, sinuously placed on the hand-engraved balance cock is another recognisable element. But the list continues… The bridges manufactured in german silver are hand bevelled, polished and further adorned with the impeccable realised Glashütte ribbing. From time to time, we can found the gold chatons fixes with blue screws and presenting a noteworthy polished sink. Going a level down, we notice the perlage present on the main plate.
The colours and contrasts are fantastic… The long time collectors and fan of the brand already know that this show will become more personal and unique in time. The German silver used by Lange will develop in time a specific patina.
A. Lange & Söhne took the Lange 1, reverse its display into Daymatic and added the perpetual calendar function. 20 years after the first perpetual calendar, the Langematic Perpetual and 9 years after the first Lange 1 Tourbillon QP, the German brand makes some wishes come true with a Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar, this time without a tourbillon.
This magnificent example of German engineering is not for everyone. Regardless of love as a result of an acquired taste, pure love for the unusual asymmetry or not loving it at all, the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar remains one of the strongest contenders in the QP area. Disregarding the love or hate for the dial, certain is that the movement side offers a spectacle that is original, exquisite and unparalleled.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar Technical Specifications and Price
Lange manufacture calibre L021.3, self-winding, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; unidirectional winding rotor in 21-carat gold with an additional centrifugal mass in platinum; balance cock engraved by hand
- Movement parts: 621
- Jewels: 63
- Screwed gold chatons: 5
- Escapement: Lever escapement
- Oscillation system: Shock-resistant cam-poised balance; balance spring manufactured in-house, frequency 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
- Power reserve: 50 hours when fully wound
- Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds; perpetual calendar with precisely jumping displays for the outsize date, the day of the week, the month, and leap year; moon-phase display with integrated day/night indicator
- Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; correctors for advancing all calendar displays or separately correcting the month, day of the week, and moon phase
- Diameter: 41.9 millimetres; height: 12.1 millimetres
- Diameter: 35.8 millimetres; height: 8.8 millimetres
- 345.056 – limited to 150 pieces
- 345.056 – 18-carat white gold
Crystal and caseback
- Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
- 345.056 – Solid pink gold
- 345.056 – Rhodiumed gold
- 345.056 – Leather strap, dark brown
- 345.056 – Prong buckle in 18-carat white gold
- 109.000 €