Exactly 20 years ago in 2001, seven years after the brands resurrection, A. Lange & Söhne presented its first wristwatch with a perpetual calendar – the LANGEMATIK PERPETUAL. Their first watch with a self-winding movement that combined a perpetual calendar with an outsized Lange date. Following this success, the Saxon Manufacture further introduced seven more models, mostly in combination with other complications such as a chronograph, a tourbillon or both. Which brings us to what the brand has in store for us at Watches & Wonders 2021. Introducing the new A. Lange & Sohne LANGE 1 PERPETUAL CALENDAR. A watch that is totally focused on the eponymous complication.
So what makes the LAnge perpetual calendar different? Let’s start with the design of that off-centre dial architecture of the Lange 1’s. Now to integrate the calendar ensemble without disrupting the balance of the dial, Lange has implemented a ring at the periphery of the dial that advances once a month. This design replaces the classic control principle with a 48-step cam. Now this is quite a noteworthy feat because advancing the ring at the end of the month requires considerably more power than traditional solutions.
This extremely crisp and legible ring-shaped month display is also complemented with the Lange outsize date, a retrograde day-of-week display and a leap-year indication. All these functions can be controlled collectively or individually with correctors. However, once properly set, the mechanism is programmed to reliably indicate each month change until the year 2100.
Although the focus here is the perpetual calendar, the new LANGE 1 PERPETUAL CALENDAR additionally features a moon-phase display with an integrated day/night indicator. Just like the LANGE1 Moonphase watches, the moon appears on a monochrome light blue canopy during the day and transcends onto a dark blue starry sky at night. A beautiful and romantic rendition of a complication that has always been so dear to me.
On a more technical front however, this combination of the moon-phase display with a day/night indicator has two layers. It consists of a solid-gold celestial disc with a blue gradation which completes one full revolution about its own axis every 24 hours. Against this background, the moon – either in white or pink gold – performs its synodic orbit in 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and three seconds with such precision that it takes 122.6 years before a correction by one day is needed.
The new LANGE 1 PERPETUAL CALENDAR also witnesses the introduction of A. Lange & Söhne’s 67th manufacture calibre – a new self-winding movement L021.3. Based on the calibre L021.1 of the LANGE 1 DAYMATIC it has been endowed with a newly developed winding mechanism that includes a unidirectional winding rotor in 21-carat gold with an additional centrifugal mass in platinum, a power reserve of 50 hours, and a cam-poised balance that runs with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
Many of Lange’s quality hallmarks can be admired through the sapphire-crystal caseback: the plates and bridges made of untreated German silver and decorated with Glashütte ribbing, five gold chatons secured with thermally blued steel screws, and the hand-engraved balance cock with the superposed whiplash spring used for beat adjustments. As always, the parts of the movement, which is assembled twice, are manually finished to the strictest Lange standards. The materials, the architecture, and the artisanal finissage confirm that in terms of unique design and mechanical perfection, this watch is perpetual in every respect.
The new LANGE 1 PERPETUAL CALENDAR with a 41.9 millimetres diameter and a height of 12.1 millimetres is perfect for slim & slender wrists. Available in two versions, pink gold with a grey solid-silver dial on a red-brown leather strap and – in a 150 piece limited edition – in white gold with a solid pink-gold dial on a dark-brown leather strap. Both the versions display colour-coordinated hands and appliques in pink gold or rhodiumed gold. A well sized perpetual calendar with a legible date and a beautiful moonphase display, in my opinion these new LANGE 1 PERPETUAL CALENDAR’s would compliment any wrist, be it a man or a woman. Modest dimensions and a classic style. Personally, on the basis of the images, I am totally crushing on that beautiful salmon coloured pink gold dial.