A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone Watch Gets A New Caliber The German maestro updates an oft-ignored classic by Rob Nudds June 25, 2020 MIN READA. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone Watch Gets A New Caliber
New releases from A. Lange & Söhne are rare. When they do come along, they should be given the respect and attention they deserve. While the latest A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone is not a new model per se, it does feature a new caliber, which thoroughly bolsters this model’s presence in an already star-studded catalog.
The Lange 1 model first emerged in 1994 as the soon-to-be icon charged with establishing the brand as a major player. It was the piece that put the Lange family name back on the map. Since then, it has remained (in several forms) a mainstay in the Lange catalog.
Thanks to its defining role, the Lange 1’s memorable layout has remained largely unchanged since inception. Different complications have entered the fray (with my personal favorite — and personal favorite watch, period — is the day/night moonphase complication(s) seen on reference 192.029, but the dial’s iconic arrangement holds firm to the original.
Here, with the Time Zone, the secondary sub-dial houses a second time-zone. The new caliber features ring-shaped day/night indicators and adds a daylight saving time indication to improve useability and legibility.
A welcome addition
The Lange 1 Time Zone debuted 15 years ago in 2005. It made waves by being the first post-reunification Lange watch to show the time in 24 time zones. Around the outside of the dial was the instantly recognizable city ring, which can be adjusted to switch the second time zone. Most importantly, though, is that this release injects two unlimited variants (in white and pink gold cases) into the range.
The most recent releases (such as the 25th-anniversary model (116.066) last year limited to 25 pieces, the honey gold limited (116.050) from 2016, or the model before that (116.049) seemingly created just once per year for eight consecutive years), have all had strictly restricted production runs. In fact, the last time A. Lange & Söhne released a regular Time Zone model was 2012 (116.039). Prior to that, there was another unlimited release in 2009 (116.033), and before that, you have to go back to 2005 for the inaugural trio of timepieces that kicked off this sub-family in the first place (116.021, 116.025, and 116.032).
How does it work?
The largest of the sub-dials shows the home time. Meanwhile, the secondary sub-dial shows the second time zone, which is linked to the city ring. This feature is a holdover from the previous model. By pressing the corrector button at 8 o’clock, the city ring jumps eastward by one time-zone. Concurrently, the hour hand of the smaller sub-dial jumps forward by one hour, thus indicating the time in the city that sits beneath the applied golden arrow that sits neatly between the 4 and 6 o’clock hour markers on the second time-zone sub-dial.
Within this applied golden arrow, a further indication can be seen. Should the arrow aperture appear red, this means the selected city operates a daylight saving program, which may need to be accounted for depending on the time of year. If the background of the arrow is pale, however, then this means the city uses standard time all year round.
By adjusting the time with the crown instead, both time zone displays move at the same time. Should you need to rapidly synchronize the home time dial with the second time-zone dial, you can pull the crown out to the second position and hold down the corrector at 8 o’clock while setting the time. This will hold the hour hand of the second time zone in place. If it is also necessary to adjust the date, this can be done with the pusher at 10 o’clock.
Perhaps the biggest visual update for these three new references is the style of the day/night indicators. Both time zones have their own indications. In previous iterations, these were small rotating discs that intersected their corresponding sub-dial, set with an applied arrow. This made the dials a bit busy, especially in comparison to these cleaner updates. Now, the day/night indicators have been moved to the center of their corresponding sub-dials.
Quirky. Ingenious. Very cool.
These “micro-dials” are printed with blue semi-circles and rotate around the same axis as the hour and minute hands once every 24 hours. Meanwhile, of course, the hour hands perform two rotations about the same axis every 24 hours. Whenever the hour hand is overlapping the blue segment of the micro-dial, the time is between 6 pm and 6 am (nighttime hours). When the hand is working against the dial background color, the hours between 6 am and 6 pm are displayed. Quirky. Ingenious. Very cool. It is an intuitively readable simplification of a dial display that needed a bit of attention, in my opinion.
The new caliber L141.1
Aesthetically, the new manufacture caliber L141.1 (replacing the L031.1) is nothing new. That’s not to say it isn’t remarkable. Occasionally, I have to check myself for taking Lange’s brilliance for granted. But here we are. The movement is made from German silver and features the typical 3/4 plate for which Lange and his company were known. The “Doppelfederhaus” (double barrel) of previous iterations has been replaced by a single barrel, while the power reserve of 72 hours remains the same. A free-sprung balance operating at 21,600 vibrations (or semi-oscillations, as A. Lange & Söhne likes to say) per hour keeps time for this modern masterpiece. The power reserve indicator is retained as is the small seconds sub-sub-dial for the home time.
…move fast if that’s the one that takes your fancy.
Despite this caliber update, the three A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone references come in at the same size as previous models. The cases are 41.9mm wide. They stand 10.9mm tall on the wrist. And, finally, Lange lovers have some variety to choose from. The new model is available in three case/dial combinations. You can choose between the white gold case with a black dial, the pink gold case with the argenté dial, or the yellow gold case with a champagne dial. The latter (the yellow gold model) is limited to just 100 pieces so move fast if that’s the one that takes your fancy. Learn more about the brand here.
Brand A. Lange & Söhne ModelLange 1 Time ZoneReference136.021 Yellow gold. 136.029 White gold. 136.032 Pink gold.Dial136.021 Champagne. 136.029 Black. 136.032 Argenté.Case Material136.021 Yellow gold. 136.029 White gold. 136.032 Pink gold.Case Dimensions41.9mm wide, 10.9mm thick.CrystalAnti-reflective sapphireCase BackSapphire display backMovementL141.1Water ResistanceUnstated. Probably 30 meters (So don't shower with it on. Please…).StrapLeatherFunctionsSecond time-zone, power reserve indicator, daylight savings time indicator, big date, day/night indicators.Special Note(s)136.021 limited to 100 pieces. Watch of the Week
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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