A Grand Affair

A Grand Affair

0 603

< A. Lange & Söhne >

While the Grand Lange 1 radiates sophistication in black, the beauty of Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’ lies in its luminosity

Among artists, designers, and avant-gardists, the colour black is considered to be an expression of timeless elegance and creativity. It is a colour that radiates distinction and sophistication, quite like the new Grand Lange 1, with its black solid-silver dial as well as luminous hands and appliqués.

Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’

With unique assets such as the offcentre dial configuration, the outsize date, the three-day movement, and the flawless craftsmanship of its manufacture calibre, the Lange 1 triggered a fresh breeze in the realm of precision watchmaking when it was launched 18 years ago. Since then, it has been the face of A. Lange & Söhne. Featuring a more slender silhouette and a totally new manufacture calibre, the Grand Lange 1 became an icon in its own right last year. For this model, Lange’s developers succeeded in preserving the 72-hour power reserve of the Lange 1,but this time with a single mainspring barrel. This decision reduced the vertical space occupied by the movement. The characteristic dial architecture of the Lange 1 was proportionally transposed to the larger model.

With its white-gold case and black dial, the new model variation of the Grand Lange 1 projects a striking personality. Thanks to luminous hands and appliqués in rhodiumed gold, the time and the power reserve are highly legible even in the dark. The charismatic elegance of the new Lange 1 family member is underscored with a black crocodile strap and a Lange prong buckle in solid white gold.

The manufacture calibre L095.1 features a classic screw balance, a balance spring developed and produced in-house, the brand-typical movement architecture with a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and lavishly hand-decorated movement components. It is endowed with all of the characteristics that have made timepieces by the Glashütte-based company synonymous with the apex of Saxon watchmaking artistry among connoisseurs all over the world.

The limited Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’ offers enlightenment: a semi-transparent dial exposes the ingenious mechanism of the first luminescent outsize date display by A. Lange & Söhne.

A. Lange & Söhne ‘Lumen’

When it was first presented, it evoked excitement and kicked off a trend that soon found many imitators: the Lange outsize date. Together with the asymmetric dial, it elevated the Lange 1 to the status of an icon of classic design. However, the secret behind the complex mechanism responsible for this unprecedented date display format remained hidden beneath the solid-silver dial.

Now, the Grand Lange 1 with the Latin attribute ‘Lumen’ reveals this secret. The name of the timepiece, which comes in a limited edition of 200 watches in platinum cases, says it all. Parts of its dial consist of semi-transparent sapphire crystal. Only the outer ring and the surfaces of the displays for hours and minutes as well as small seconds are made of blackened silver. The sapphire crystal surfaces reveal the disc mechanism of the first outsize date that glows in the dark. Additionally, the time and the power reserve are also legible in the dark.

The technical challenge encountered during the development of the Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’ was to ensure maximum luminosity for the date display, even immediately after the daily switching operation.

Lange’s product developers solved this issue in an exceptional way. While the tens cross was coated with a white luminous compound and subsequently imprinted with black numerals, the units disc consists of transparent glass imprinted with black numerals and rotates before a luminous background.

The sapphire crystal sections of the dial are treated with a special coating that blocks most of the visible spectrum of light. For the invisible UV light spectrum, however, the coating does not represent a barrier.

Therefore, UV radiation can pass through to the luminous surfaces of the outsize date unhindered. This produces an interesting side effect: the date platform with its manually applied perlage, normally seen only by the watchmaker during the assembly process, is now visible to the owner as well. The small, overlapping circular graining produced by hand using a rotating abrasive peg is normally concealed underneath the dial.

The craftsmanship and virtuosity invested in the L095.2 manufacture movement, which is assembled twice, can also be admired from the other side through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

Only last year, A. Lange & Söhne endowed the Grand Lange 1 with a totally new, manually wound calibre. The omission of the second mainspring barrel as well as the effective arrangement of the parts reduced the overall height of the calibre without any compromise in terms of power reserve, making it possible to transpose the graceful dial architecture of the Lange 1 to the enlarged model.

The dial of the Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’ presents the indications of the hours, minutes, seconds, outsize date, and power reserve without any overlaps. Indeed, the Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’ radiates charisma from every angle.