As we anticipated, the 10th and final “25th Anniversary” Lange 1 watch is a spectacular one-minute tourbillon. First presented in the Lange 1 watch family in 2000, the Lange 1 Tourbillon was the world’s first wristwatch combining a tourbillon, an outsize date, a three-day development and force hold indicator. Returned to by A. Lange & Söhne in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1 out of an extremely spectacular platinum release with a black enamel dial, this 10th and final 25th anniversary model is decked out in a 38.5mm white gold case with a silver dial with blue decorations, the same material and shading combination as the other nine celebratory Lange 1 models of 2019.
How the Lange 1 met the tourbillon
Dresden, 24 October 1994 has become a landmark date in watchmaking history marking the arrival of A. Lange & Söhne after a 40-year in addition to hiatus forced by the predetermination of East Germany following WWII. Encouraged by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, Walter Lange set out to revive his great-grandfather’s watchmaking legacy. Four models were introduced in 1994 to mark the launch of the restoration of A. Lange & Söhne. The Lange 1 with its outsize date and harmonious helter-skelter dial layout is probably the most popular face of the brand however there was also an extremely sophisticated tourbillon model in the inaugural line-up. The Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ demonstrated that Lange was resolved to making ALS back famous of high horology and combined a one-minute tourbillon with a fusée-and-chain transmission.
In 2000, the classic Lange 1 was enhanced with a tourbillon becoming the world’s first watch to combine the gravity-opposing complication, an outsize date and a 3-day power hold and comparing indicator. A couple of years later, the tourbillon was upgraded with a stop-seconds mechanism that could instantaneously prevent the balance from turning inside the rotating tourbillon cage. The challenge of the Lange 1 Tourbillon was the way to combine all these disparate components while maintaining the idiosyncratic visual character of the Lange 1.
Reconciling the elements
Even with a tourbillon onboard, the face of the Lange 1 retains its personality with the outsized date window at 2 o’clock, the off kilter hours and minutes on the left, the AB/AUF power hold indicator on the privilege and the tourbillon roosted in a large aperture where the small seconds usually dwell. As you can see, the tourbillon aperture is larger than the one featured on the Handwerkskunst twentieth anniversary and almost frames a complete circle. A more liberal view, the circular aperture also reveals part of the sapphire circle bearing the units of the date window, chosen in blue for the occasion.
The one-minute tourbillon is suspended between two diamond end-stones (you can see the second diamond on the converse) and the steel tourbillon cockerel gleams like a mirror thanks to the black cleaning of its surface. Like all the other “25th Anniversary” models, the decorations on the strong silver argenté dial are blue with blued-steel hands and blue Roman numerals and markers, blue engravings as well as blue decimal and units for the date. The small red triangles to indicate the finish of the force hold (AB) give a tactful dash of shading along with the rubies.
Turning the watch over reveals the classic German silver three-quarter plate decorated with Glashütte ribbing and gleaming with eight screwed gold chatons and the tourbillon rooster engraved by hand with blue accents and the number ’25’ in a scaled down date window to help you to remember the auspicious occasion. The completions are on a par with Lange’s impeccable reputation with hand-inclined angles, perlage, screwed gold chatons and blued screws.
The in-house manual-winding development – caliber L961.4 – is composed of 381 parts, and has a hearty force hold of 72 hours. The balance spring is manufactured in-house with a recurrence of 21,600vph and the screw balance is stun resistant. The development also features the 2008 patented Lange stop-seconds mechanism that immobilizes the balance wheel inside the rotating tourbillon cage, a sophisticated accuracy time-setting feature.
Availability and price
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon “25th Anniversary” is a restricted release of 25 watches and comes with a blue alligator leather strap with gray sewing and a white gold deployant clasp. The retail cost is EUR 165,000. More information at alange-soehne.com .
The gather together of the ten Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” Editions is: Lange 1 , Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase , Little Lange 1 , Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar , Lange 1 Time Zone , Lange 1 Moon Phase , Grand Lange 1 , Lange 1 Daymatic , Little Lange 1 Moon Phase and the Lange 1 Tourbillon.