Revered watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne continues to create horological history with new limited edition “25th anniversary” timepieces in honour of the LANGE 1 family of wristwatches
In the mid-1800s, German clockmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded a new watch manufactory, Lange & Cie., in the town of Glashütte. His purpose was noble – to bring wealth to the impoverished people of Saxony through the creation of a new industry. Little did he know that this landmark moment would forever put his hometown on the map as the birthplace of German watchmaking. As the company grew, so did their popularity. Some of their earliest handcrafted pocket watches were recognised as extremely advanced for their time. But tragedy fell in the mid-1940s when the company’s main production building was destroyed during World War II and the land that housed the workshops was eventually expropriated, taking the brand off the grid.
But for a maison that led the industry in its heyday, this did not signal the end. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, Walter Lange decided it was time to reintroduce the family name to the horological universe. He took over the house in 1990 with German-Swiss entrepreneur Günter Blümlein as his partner, sharing his great-grandfather Adolph Lange’s vision to craft the world’s finest watches. Four years later, the LANGE 1 timepiece was born under his leadership on October 24, 1994, and this date has gone down in history as a milestone moment for the brand. The LANGE 1 was presented as part of four new watches, marking the brand’s debut collection after its rebirth and was very well received. It was an exciting time for the industry as the timepiece brought with it something completely new and unique. All the world stopped to take notice. Featuring a revolutionary dial arrangement, it was the first watch with an outsize date display and off-centre dial for hours and minutes. T
he asymmetric design was inspired by the famed Five-Minute Clock at the Semperoper opera house where, for 175 years, the clock above the stage displayed the time in a unique double aperture. Bearing all the hallmarks of a classic A. Lange & Söhne timepiece, the LANGE 1 also boasted a three-day movement and a three-quarter plate. It was the perfect balance between aesthetics and innovation that would serve as a benchmark for future timepieces. This ushered in a new chapter for the maison.
In the years that followed, the LANGE 1 family grew, building on the success of the original watch with new models. Now, 25 years later, the foremost LANGE 1 model is still recognised as one of the 20th century’s greatest timepieces. That is why, its aesthetics and movements have remained unchanged.Its popularity turned the LANGE 1 into the cornerstone of the watch family which currently features nine models. They come in various case diameters and are manually wound or self-winding. Additional functions have been introduced over time, such as a second time zone or a unique combination featuring a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar.
During SIHH 2019, A. Lange & Söhne announced that in honour of the iconic LANGE 1 on its 25th anniversary, the watchmaker would release a new take on existing models within the LANGE 1 family every month of the year until October, limited to just a few watches per edition. The LANGE 1 “25th Anniversary” became the first timepiece to be introduced as part of the limited edition run in January this year. An iteration of the original award-winning watch, it is rendered in white gold and limited to 250 pieces. Special features of the timepiece include a deep-blue printed argenté dial with a recess, blue date numerals and a hand-engraved balance cock with blue lines.
Another prominent feature of the watch is the engraved hinged cuvette crafted from solid white gold. The engraving depicts the Lange headquarters in Glashütte that dates back to 1873, the names of Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein and a relief engraving of the inscription “25 YEARS LANGE 1”. This new limited edition model, including other timepieces of the 25th anniversary series that followed in the months ahead recalls the historic event that put A. Lange & Söhne back on the map of international precision watchmaking in 1994. Each of the models, rendered in white gold, pay tribute to the key milestones in the journey of the LANGE 1 and its family of watches.
The limited edition timepieces boast several hallmarks of the original watch including an argenté-coloured dial in solid silver with printed deep-blue numerals and hour markers, blue date numerals and a blue alligator leather strap with a grey seam. Key touches added to the LANGE 1 family in the 25th anniversary edition run include a bigger dial for the GRAND LANGE 1 and an updated look with a white-gold case.
A striking interplay of silver and blue hues features on the dial of the LANGE 1 MOON PHASE. The LANGE 1 TOURBILLON PERPETUAL CALENDAR is differentiated from its older siblings with the addition of a tourbillon behind the dial and a perpetual calendar indication. And the GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE anniversary model brings the moon into sharp focus. Every piece introduced this year has recorded astounding success and as A. Lange & Söhne hopes to lead watchmaking innovations for the next 25 years, the iconic LANGE 1 model will continue to chart a course for the industry to follow.
Discover more To browse the collection, visit the newly revamped A. Lange & Söhne boutique in The Dubai Mall, 04 3253923 or alange-soehne.com