By Harlan Chapman-Green

Introduced back in 1994, the Lange 1 was the revitalising tool for this old German company. The watch has been their Dark Side of the Moon for over 22 years now and it’s always been that eponymous model that we associate the new A. Lange & Söhne with. Believe me, when we went on the factory tour back in June it was clearly evident that there was love and respect for the watch, even from those whom haven’t been there since the start.

The favourite for me of the Lange 1 collection is the Time Zone model. I was privileged enough to be able to wear a real running one at the manufacture in Dresden and I have to say it really popped. All of the watches were fantastic but that was another league altogether. Just like you’d expect, the case had a very heavy feel to it, even for gold, like it had been forged in a factory that makes steel girders as well.

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Perhaps the reason for this favour of the Lange 1 Time Zone over the other models is because it shows exquisite mastery of complications in the simplest way it can. It still retains the golden triangle of the Lange 1, extending from the centre of the time dial to the centre of the outsize date and the power reserve indicator. In this case, it’s also reflected on the lower half of the dial with the second time zone subdial. This watch is a world timer, but not in the conventional way. Rather than displaying all 24 timezones on the dial and then expecting the user to be able to read the time anywhere in the world, the travel time is displayed on a second time dial complete with it’s own day/night indicator. The city ring changes and moves the hour hand on the sub-dial around making time reading super easy, if I owned one though it would spend most of the time mirroring the time dial just ‘cause I like symmetry, who doesn’t?

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There are a few changes for this boutique edition, of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a special boutique edition. Perhaps one no-one may have spotted the change in the city ring if Lange hadn’t pointed it out for us. There’s a change in one of the cities on the hour ring itself, Berlin has been replaced by the very beautiful and much more local Dresden on the ring itself, of course this makes no difference to the time as Germany isn’t even wide enough for a differentiation from Berlin. The markers between the cities are also coloured blue instead of red like on the ‘bog standard’ Lange 1 Time Zone watches.
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The watch is also crafted from honey gold, a Lange exclusive blend of metals that makes a colour more subtle than rose gold and warmer than yellow gold, too. The movement inside the watch is the classic Lange 1 Time Zone movement, a calibre L031.1 that’s been hand finished and made out of German silver. 72 hours of power reserve and a hand-engraved balance cock make this watch stand above others. If you haven’t had a closeup look at the work on that, you really should, it was hypnotising to watch the artisans engraving their own distinct styles on it.

This watch is limited to 100 pieces and will be available only at 17 A. Lange & Söhne boutiques.

For more info, please visit alange-soehne.com