In 2003, A. Lange and Sohne introduced a new Lange 1 timepiece. It was larger than the classic, gaining 3.4 mm in diameter, and boasted a beautiful two-tone dial in champagne and white. It caught people’s attention—and why wouldn’t it? Its large 41 mm dial and stunning appearance were befitting its name: Grand Lange 1. Since then, the Grand Lange 1 has housed many milestones for the watchmaker, from Lange 1’s 25th-anniversary celebration to a semi-transparent dial revealing iconic features, the first exclusive two-watch set and more.
Originally, the watch came to be to appease wearers with bigger wrists and a taste for grander watches. It was a larger iteration of the Lange 1, featuring the same movement, even though it didn’t really fit the watch’s large diameter of 41 mm. The original Lange 1 was 36.8 mm in diameter. In 2012, the watch got a much-needed update: its very own movement, calibre L095.1 suited to the larger diameter. The watch has advanced a lot over the years. Given that, here’s our insight into the Grand Lange 1 timepiece:
Its humble beginnings
The Lange 1 was first introduced in 1994, and it quickly established itself as the flagship model of A. Lange and Sohne. The design was based on a pocket watch that Ferdinand A. Lange had given to his son Richard, which featured a three-quarter plate movement and an off-centre time display. This layout allowed for a clear view of the balance wheel, which is one of the most important components of a mechanical watch movement. It’s also what gives the Lange 1 its distinctive look.
The original Lange 1 was 36.8 mm in diameter, but in 2003, A. Lange and Sohne introduced the Grand Lange 1 owing to the growing demand for bigger watches. As its name suggests, this was a larger version of the original Lange 1, with a diameter of 41 mm. Despite the new dimensions, the timepiece retained the classic flair of the Lange 1. Two sub-dials, a power-reserve indicator, an aperture date display and a twice-assembled movement mark this timepiece today. In the same year as its launch, the watchmaker launched the Grand Lange 1 “Luna Mundi”, a moonphase iteration, which comprised an exclusive set of two watches. It was the maison’s first two-watch set, limited to only 101 sets.
The original Lange 1 was powered by the calibre L901.0, which was a manually wound movement. The Grand Lange 1, on the other hand, was powered by the calibre L903.1, which was an automatic movement.
The 2012 redesign
Come 2012, the Grand Lange 1 truly came into its own. It was reimagined to suit its large size and received its own movement, calibre L095.1, which was specifically designed for the larger watch. Thanks to that, the watchmaker could ensure that none of the elements of the iconic watch overlap. Each feature was given its own spotlight, and how. Additionally, the watch contained only one mainspring barrel so as to keep its weight light despite the large dial. This was a big step forward for the model, and it helped to cement its place as one of A. Lange and Sohne’s most iconic timepieces. In the same year, it introduced two timepieces: platinum and solid silver.
Semi-transparent dials, moon phases and much more!
Following the redesign, the watchmaker introduced many more editions of the watch.
For instance, in 2013, it launched an all-black version of the Grand Lange 1, boasting sophistication and style. It also introduced the Grand Lange 1 “Lumen”, which featured a semi-transparent dial. The timepiece’s design revealed the secret behind Lange 1’s characteristic date display which was inspired by the renowned five-minute clock in the Dresden Semper Opera House that Ferdinand A. Lange helped complete.
Come 2014, Grand Lange 1 introduced a moonphase iteration, with a moonphase in its larger sub-dial. Featuring a solid silver dial and pink gold hands, the watch’s stunning visuals became a fan-favourite in no time. The moonphase complication is a nice touch, and it’s definitely one of the most eye-catching features of the watch. In 2016, the watchmaker combined the moon phase function with their “Lumen” timepiece to form the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase “Lumen”.
The Grand Lange 1 got another update in 2019 when it celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Lange 1 watch. It was the seventh model of the collection, and it featured a blue-printed argente-colored dial with blued hands. What’s more? For the first time, the watch featured a hand-engraved lunar disc.
Safe to say, Grand Lange 1 has never shied away from making big, head-turning upgrades, in keeping with its name and spirit. This is made evident in its latest iteration launched this year. In March 2022, A. Lange and Sohne introduced a new Grand Lange 1 with its thinnest dial yet. Measuring only 8.2 mm in height, it’s a huge difference from its original height of 9.8 mm. It fits comfortably on your wrist and under your sleeve without interfering with your everyday activities.
Grand Lange 1: delving into the latest watch
The Grand Lange 1 is a big watch and one that promises a head-turning appeal. It also has the widely-adored characteristics of the Lange 1, but magnified—and the watch is better for it. The timepiece has a lot of functions and complications, which are all displayed clearly on the dial.
In the 2022 version, the wearer can admire the movement, composed of 397 parts, through the sapphire crystal case back. Plus, it boasts one mainspring barrel instead of two, so as to support its slimness. It has a power reserve of 72 hours and an up/down power indicator. The two recessed subsidiary dials with bevelled edges integrate seamlessly with the granularly textured main dial while retaining their unique craftsmanship. The hues come into play to further the visual symmetry of the dial. The wearer can choose from two versions, 18-carat white gold or pink gold, both of which feature a grey dial with the hour markers and Roman numerals in the same gold.
Rest assured, the Lange 1’s status as an icon is well-deserved, and the Grand Lange 1 is a fitting successor that does the original justice. It’s a beautiful watch that’s sure to turn heads, and it’s definitely one of the best watches A. Lange & Sohne has to offer.