A. Lange and Sohne quietly updated the Lange 1 Moon Phase and it quickly became their most sought after piece. Here's how they did it.
When it comes to high-end, mechanical watch complications, few are more overlooked than the humble moon-phase. Ever present as an accompaniment to more complicated watches, such as the Tourbograph and the 1815 Annual Calendar, the moon-phase rarely gets the spotlight all to itself. As the new Lange 1 Moon Phase from German watch-maker, A. Lange and Söhne demonstrates however, when done right, the moon-phase complication can easily stand-alone as a visually stunning and highly practical complication.
Watch our video of the Lange 1 Moon Phase here.
The Lange 1 Moon Phase
The Lange 1 Moon Phase is not a new watch for A. Lange and Söhne as such but rather an update to an existing model. We’re not just talking a couple of minor aesthetic improvements here though. The Lange 1 Moon Phase boasts a new base movement, as well as a complete re-design of the moonphase complication, which now includes a remarkably clever integrated day/night indicator.
Presented in a comfortably sized 38.5mm round case in your choice of platinum, white gold or pink gold, the Lange 1 Moon Phase is a great all-round dress watch. Whether you’re headed to the office or the opera, this is a watch you can confidently strap on to your wrist to complete your outfit.
The asymmetrical dial layout, typical of the Lange 1 collection, features an off-centre hours and minutes display at 9 o’clock, a dual window date display at 1 0’clock, a power-reserve indicator at 3 o’clock and, of course, the stunning moon-phase with integrated day/night indicator at 5 o’clock. Despite the amount of information displayed however, the dial remains incredibly easy to read and does not feel crowded in the least.
A Stunning Night Sky
What really makes the dial ‘pop’ however, is the interplay between the moonphase display and the day/night indicator. Traditionally speaking, a moonphase indicator is comprised of a single disc, featuring both the moon and the night sky painted around it. If a day/night indicator is present on the dial at all, it is generally shown via a separate aperture and with little fanfare. What the clever watchmakers at A. Lange and Söhne have done is take these two separate yet interrelated concepts and combine them together. The solution they came up with is astonishingly simple and yet the execution is nothing short of exceptional.
So, how did they do it?
Well, unlike the aforementioned traditional moonphases, the moonphase on the Lange 1 is actually comprised of two rotating discs. The one at the front features two, tiny sculpted golden moons set in a figure-eight configuration. These moons sit on top of a second disc – the sky disc – which completes a full rotation once every 24 hours and provides the day/night indication.
The sky disc is made from gold that's been specially treated to create a range of vibrant blues, slowly changing from gorgeous shades of azure (day), all the way up to a dark midnight blue (night). At night, the sky disc also reveals tiny, laser cut stars, simulating the night sky and creating a wonderfully romantic backdrop for the golden moon. The level of detail truly is stunning and needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.
Once set the moon-phase will be accurate for the next 122.6 years, at which point it will need to be corrected by one day.
Inside is the caliber L 121.3, a manually wound, in-house movement offering a healthy 72-hour power reserve. The movement is comprised of 438 parts in total and features 47 jewels and eight gold chatons. A sapphire exhibition caseback allows for a bird’s eye of the simple yet high-quality finishing of the movement, something of a trademark of the German watchmaker.
As mentioned previously, the Lange 1 Moon Phase is available in your choice of three different versions; white gold with a black dial, pink gold with an argenté dial and platinum with a rhodium dial, each coming fitted with its own hand-stitched, alligator leather strap. Subtle yet superbly executed, the Lange 1 Moon Phase will make an excellent addition to any collection.
Find out more about A. Lange and Sohne here.