Last year A. Lange & Söhne’s big release was the Odysseus, the Saxon maison’s answer to the Royal Oak, Nautilus, Overseas et al. It was… fine. Not my favourite Lange and not my favourite sports luxe piece, but a solid watch all the same. Now though I’m happy to report that the fine watchmaker is back to their usual form with the stunning Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar.
Lange doing a perpetual calendar isn’t really big news in and of itself. They did their first 20 years ago and have since built it into a good number of their watches, often with a Tourbillon or Rattrapante thrown in for good measure. Because why not, right?
This is, however, one of the few times the leap year-counting calendar complication has been incorporated into the brand’s signature Lange 1 and the only time it’s done so on its own merit. Yes, this is the only time I’ve been able to write that it’s impressive because it’s ‘just’ a perpetual calendar.
Movement-wise, it’s very similar to 2012’s Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, albeit without the tourbillon cage. That means the same 48-step cam system controlling the various displays, complete with the peripheral month display. It’s an odd system as moving the ring takes a lot more energy than a traditional display, meaning it’s just not as practical. It does however fit with the asymmetry of the Lange 1, so points for dedication.
The calendar comes complete with a moon phase indicator (not technically necessary for a perpetual calendar but usually thrown in, too) and the whole mechanism needs correcting once every 80 years or so. If you manage to stop it winding down in that time you’re a better collector than I.
The Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar comes in two distinctly different colours. On the one hand you have the more classic feel of a 41.9mm rose gold case, paired with matching gold indexes and numerals on a lovely anthracite dial. It’s pure Lange elegance.
The other variation however is the one I very much want to own. The white gold case has been matched with a beautiful pink gold, salmon dial and feels a lot more vintage or retro than classical. It’s just as precious inside and out, it just has that bit more personality – which after last year’s Odysseus focus and 2019s obsession with blue and silver – is great to see. It’s also unfortunately the limited edition of the two.
The rose gold and anthracite is a part of the constant A. Lange & Söhne collection and priced at €98,000; while the white gold and salmon is limited to 150 pieces and will set you back €109,000 if you can get hold of one. Good luck with that.
Price & Specs:
Model: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar
Ref: 345.033 (18-carat pink gold, solid silver grey dial, red-brown leather strap)
345.056 (18-carat white gold, solid pink gold case, brown leather strap)
Case/Dial: 41.9mm diameter x 12.1mm height, 18-carat pink gold or 18-carat white gold
Movement: Lange Manufacture Calibre L021.3, automatic, 63 jewels, 621 parts, 5 screwed gold chatons
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, perpetual calendar with precisely jumping displays for the outsize date, the day of the week, month, leap year, moon-phase display with integrated day/night indicator
Strap: Alligator leather
Price/Availability: €98,000 (pink gold) and €109,000 (white gold), limited to 150 pieces in white gold
More details at A. Lange & Söhne.