I think the power of this balanced, yet asymmetric dial is its ability to appeal to people who would otherwise not like asymmetric dials (people like me). The dial is nicely laid out, with nothing overlapping over anything else. Anything. That is the genius of the Lange 1 design – that nothing has to overlap with anything else. This increases legibility, and if there is anything I like less than unbalanced symmetry, it is poor legibility. Therefore, I think that the appeal of the Lange 1 collection is because of how successfully the dial usually allows for the display of multiple pieces of information without any visual obstruction.

The Lange 1 Moon Phase dial is impeccably conservative yet timeless in its design. It offers the time, moon phase indicator, power reserve indicator, big date indicator, and a day/night indicator. That is a fair amount of stuff, and all of it is pretty useful. Even the movement is designed to make the watch logical to use, as opposed to merely an operational promise of its intended functions.

Advertising Message

For example, a pusher on the side of the case allows you to change the date, since it is on a 31 day cycle. I used to think that the placement of this pusher was a liability because it looked like it could be easily hit. It requires a good hard press, but I suppose that could happen. More important though is that this pusher makes it easy to adjust the date on non-31 day months. That convenience is a great design feature, and something I’ve come to appreciate in the Lange 1. With that said, the moon phase does need to be adjusted using an inset pusher.

One only needs to adjust the moon phase if they let the watch wind down or the far less likely chance that they will live to be over 122 years old. The moonphase disc itself is gold while behind it, the evening part of the day/night disc has laser-engraved stars. A. Lange & Sohne does a remarkable job of choosing mostly perfect materials, finishes, and colors for its dials. These are produced by a supplier as I understand, but they are incredibly meticulous. Don’t get a timepiece at this price and expect anything but a flawless dial in both design and execution. But once in a while all the text on the dial does make the overall item look super Germanic to me. If the people at the Lange factory just heard me say that, they would all be smiling with pride as they understand me saying so means that their work is recognizable and appreciated.

Inside the Lange 1 Moon Phase is the newly updated in-house Calibre L121.3. Seeing the movement from the back, it is deceptively simple and pleasant. This isn’t one of Lange’s more elaborate casebacks as you might find in a chronograph like the Datograph Up / Down (aBlogtoWatch review here). What you see instead is more than a 3/4 plate of hand-finished German silver with customary blued-steel screws, gold chatons, and a hand-engraved balance cock. My only gripe about the movement is the seemingly odd decision to not decorate the area of the movement directly underneath the balance wheel.

Advertising Message

The watch case is on the thinner side at 10.2mm thick, and the movement is about half that size at just 5.7mm thick. In that space A. Lange & Sohne are able to assemble 438 tiny hand-finished parts. The movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with 72 hours of power reserve. As a manually wound watch I am very happy that the dial has a power reserve indicator. Even listening to the movement sounds nice. When I put my ear up to the case the beating is more deep and metallic sounding than most other watches. Even in audio quality the Lange is trying to outdo other timepieces.

This particular version of the Lange 1 Moon Phase is the reference 192.032 in the 18k pink gold case, and it comes matched to a beautiful brown alligator strap. Really, all the components are top-notch. I am not shy to say that 38.5mm wide is a bit petite for my tastes, but with a suit jacket and something elegant this watch is a stunner. It also works more casually if this is a size that works for your body type. Compared to larger watches, this size can be surprisingly comfortable and convenient.

The Lange 1 Moon Phase also comes in an 18k white gold case with a black dial (very chic) with the reference 192.029, and also the solid platinum reference 192.025. Even though the platinum piece is the most expensive – with its silver dial and matching case tone – that version feels the most conservative of the trio. In 18k pink gold with the silver dial with matching pink gold hands, the Lange 1 Moon Phase has a good amount of welcome warmth to it.

The personality that the Lange 1 Moon Phase has is all about its fantastic build quality and astute technical performance. It is the epitome of classy being interesting without having to resort to playfulness – a tough challenge for a watch these days as classy tends to mean boring, and interesting tends to mean polarizing.

Recommending A. Lange & Sohne as a brand is a piece of cake. What’s more challenging is being able to afford one. You pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one, but you do get what you pay for (unlike many other watches out there). It isn’t the most expensive Lange watch out there but it also isn’t nearly the least expensive. With a retail price of €39,500, the A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Moon Phase is anything but an impulse buy for the majority of budgets. With that said, it is also a satisfying and safe decision as well. alange-soehne.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: A. Lange & Sohne
>Model: Lange 1 Moon Phase (reference 192.032 as tested)
>Price: €39,500
>Size: 38.5mm wide, 10.2mm thick
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Lover of finely made classic timepieces that will look good today or in 50 years. Having a friend that can afford it also helps.
>Best characteristic of watch: Truly timeless classy men’s watch design that most people can appreciate. Lange took a nice watch and made it better, still offering something that no other brand seemingly can.
>Worst characteristic of watch: I want this dial design on the Grande Lange 1 Moon Phase case. Sometimes the volume of text on the dial seems excessive. Area right under the balance wheel is unfinished and should have been decorated.

Advertising Message

Subscribe to our Newsletter