A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone has received a series of modifications for 2020, not least a new manufacture movement, the calibre L141.1. Despite making changes, the 2005 model’s legendary beauty and optimal proportions remain undiminished.
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik), the name Lange returned to the world of watchmaking. Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, embarked on a four year journey with a small team of watchmakers, developing the brand’s inaugural collection.
On the 24 October 1994, A. Lange & Söhne unveiled its modestly sized collection of new models, including the Saxonia, the Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite, the Arkade ladies’ watch and, finally, the Lange 1.
The Lange 1 was inspired by the famous Five-Minute Clock in the Dresden Semper Opera. From the outset, it was unusual. The hour and minutes indications were biased to the left side of the dial, the small seconds display was generously proportioned and a succinct power reserve indicator sat adjacent the crown.
Most notably of all, the watch featured an oversized date display. Two apertures, framed in the same precious metal as the case, presented a combination of black numerals set atop white discs. The date indication was breathtakingly beautiful and notably legible, a perfect example of form and function in harmonious union.
Despite the dial having an asymmetric layout, the proportions of the model seemed perfect. Indeed, from the outset, the brand had found the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of design.
While A. Lange & Söhne has enlarged its portfolio of models over the years and embraced a number of different styles, its love for the Lange 1 has never faltered. This is evident from the number of variations on the Lange 1 theme, including the Lange 1 Time Zone, first released in 2005.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone simultaneously displays the home time and local time, conveying information in a simple to interpret form. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the German luxury marque has just released an updated version of the watch with a new manufacture movement, the calibre L141.1. Additional enhancements augment legibility, however, rest assured the timeless styling of the 2005 model continues to endure, a fitting testament to the original design.
The brand’s press release (June 2020)
In precision watchmaking, the “second time zone” function is a particularly convenient complication, especially because more and more people travel, work and communicate intercontinentally. For them, A. Lange & Söhne had already introduced a watch with two time zones in 2005. It was based on the Lange 1 and comfortably displayed the time in 24 time zones.
The new version of the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE combines functionality with eminent legibility and superb craftsmanship. Its personality is characterised by an asymmetric dial with two time displays, an outsize date and a power-reserve indicator. And it retains the switchable city ring that allows convenient setting of the second time zone.
Two times at a glance
In contrast to world time watches, the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE provides the time at home and the time in a second zone at a glance. While the larger time circle shows home time, the smaller of the two time circles can be set to a second time zone by adjusting the city ring. When the time is adjusted with the crown, both displayed times are corrected simultaneously.
Ring-shaped day/night indicators
One of the key innovations is that the day/night indicators for home time and zone time, originally displayed with rotating arrow hands, have been shifted to the centres of the two time circles. There, together with the hour hand, they inform the user whether the time indication applies to the first or second half of the day. The ring-shaped day/night indicators are not only harmoniously designed, they are also intuitively readable. Featuring blue printed semicircles, the discs rotate once about their axes in 24 hours while the hour hand performs two revolutions in the same period. When it is located in the dial-colour segment, the display spans the period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the blue background from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Innovative daylight saving time indication
The new LANGE 1 TIME ZONE has another convenient feature. It is located in a small aperture of the golden arrow applique at 5 o’clock that indicates the reference location for the zone time that has been set. If the aperture is red, the respective city has a daylight saving time regime. In this case, one hour has to be added to the zone time from the spring to the autumn in the northern hemisphere and from late summer to the spring in the southern hemisphere. If standard time applies to the city all year round, the display appears on a bright background. This feature is technically implemented with coding on the underside of the city ring.
Simple change of time zones
A feature retained from the predecessor model is the convenient adjustment of the second time zone based on a switchable city ring with 24 time zones. They were defined in 1884 and are represented by 24 reference locations. When the corrector button at 8 o’clock is pressed, the city ring jumps from west to east by one time zone. At the same time, the hour hand in the small subsidiary dial advances by one hour and now indicates the zone time of the city beneath the golden arrow applique that stands for that particular time zone. The hands on the large numerals circle can be set to display the time at home or the time in another freely selectable time zone. To simplify the distinction, zone time is indicated with printed Arabic numerals while home time is displayed with gold Roman numeral appliques.
The new model also retains the unique synchronisation mechanism that makes it possible to transfer zone time from the smaller to the larger dial. This is useful when – during an extended stay abroad, for instance – the user wishes to swap zone time and main time. If the crown is pulled out to the second position, the times of both zones can be adjusted synchronously. But in the process, if the button for setting the second time zone is pressed and held, the hour hand for zone time will stay in its position. Now, the defined new main time can be set independently of zone time. Finally, it may be necessary to correct the outsize date which is connected with main time. This is done with the pusher at 10 o’clock.
New manufacture calibre
With the new manufacture calibre L141.1, all models of the LANGE 1 watch family that were originally based on the calibre L901 are now endowed with new movements. The most recent one reflects the experience accrued with the development of 65 calibres so far. In comparison with the predecessor model, the 72-hour power reserve is achieved with only one spring barrel. Further technical details include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring crafted in-house and calibrated for a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
Lange-style quality hallmarks such as the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, screwed gold chatons, blued screws, an elaborate whiplash precision index adjuster as well as hand-engraved balance and intermediate-wheel cocks are visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. The artisanal decoration of the movement, which is assembled twice, reflects A. Lange & Söhne’s high standards in every detail.
The dimensions of the new LANGE 1 TIME ZONE remain unchanged. The case has a diameter of 41.9 millimetres and a height of 10.9 millimetres. The LANGE 1 TIME ZONE comes in three case/dial combinations: white gold/black, pink gold/argenté, and – in a limited edition of 100 – yellow gold/champagne.