By Nancy Olson
Today marks the start of Watches & Wonders Geneva 2021, a digital platform for the second year in a row. But that hasn’t stopped watch brands from offering classics and innovative complexities. This new A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is a gorgeous interpretation of the well-loved—and highly intricate—complication for which it is named. Heretofore, the Lange 1 has been released in a moon phase version and a tourbillon, as well as a tourbillon perpetual calendar. Now, this Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar makes its debut, powered by an all-new caliber with a innvovative winding system and a peripheral month ring that advances perfectly on cue instead of the traditional 48-step cam system.
The Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar’s dial configuration, first used on the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar (2012), reveals lots of information in an eminently organized fashion. The month display that so purposefully encircles the dial is complemented by the Lange outsize date, a retrograde day-of-the-week display and a leap-year indication; the moon-phase display elegantly announces day or night, and hours and minutes are shown on the offset dial. The instantaneously advancing calendar displays may be advanced collectively or individually with correctors.
The in-house self-winding movement L021.3 is based on the caliber L021.1 of the Lange 1 Daymatic, here fitted with a newly developed winding mechanism. It includes a unidirectional winding rotor in 21-karat gold with an additional centrifugal mass in platinum; it boasts a power reserve of 50 hours. The cam-poised balance has a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. Not so incidentally, this is A. Lange & Söhne’s 67th manufacture caliber.
The movement’s plates and bridges are made of untreated German silver, finely decorated with Glashütte ribbing. Other quality hallmarks for which Lange is known—many of which are visible through the sapphire crystal caseback—include five gold chatons secured with thermally blued steel screws and the hand-engraved balance cock with superposed whiplash spring used for beat adjustments.
The moon-phase display with a day/night indicator deserves more than passing mention. It comprises a solid-gold celestial disc on a blue background (light blue for day and star-decked dark blue for night), completing one full revolution every 24 hours. The moon is either in white or pink gold, depending upon the style variation of the watch, and its synodic orbit, which requires 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and three seconds, is so precise that it will be 122.6 years before a correction of one day is needed.
The 41.9mm Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is available in two versions: pink gold with a gray silver dial retailing for $104,500, or white gold with a pink gold dial (a limited edition of 150 watches) that retails for $116,000. The white gold variation has a brown leather strap, while the pink gold model comes with a reddish-brown leather strap.