October 25, 2016
by Kenny Yeo
Some 22 years ago, on October 24, 1994, something remarkable happened: the great name of A. Lange & Söhne was resurrected. This took place at the Dresden Castle, where Walter Lange along with Günter Blümein presented the first modern collections of A. Lange & Söhne. The very first collections consisted of the now iconic Lange 1, the Saxonia, the Arkade, and the superlative Tourbillon Pour le Merite. To celebrate this momentous occasion and to mark the 22nd anniversary of A. Lange & Söhne’s revival, the company has just released the Lange 1 Time Zone in Honey Gold, a special-edition piece that will be limited to just 100 pieces.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone has always been one of the most popular models in the Lange 1 family since its introduction in 2005. And it’s not difficult to see why. Keeping the key design elements of the Lange 1 intact, the Lange 1 Time Zone adds to it the very functional and practical second timezone complication, that’s indicated as a sub-dial at 5 o’clock.
Longtime fans of A. Lange & Söhne will know that “Honey Gold” is a very special material for the brand, and it’s only used for their special and exclusive models. Most recently, it was used in the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘200th Anniversary F.A. Lange’ watch, which was limited to just 200 pieces.
Honey Gold is an 18k gold alloy that is proprietary to the brand and unique for two reasons. The first is that it is harder than regular gold alloys that are used in watches. It has a hardness rating of over 300 Vickers, while most gold alloys used in watches have a rating that is typically between 150 to 290.
The second thing that makes Honey Gold special is its color. It has a soft, almost mellow, gold hue that is hard to place. I guess the most accurate way to picture it is that its hue is somewhere between regular yellow gold and rose gold. It’s very unusual and feels special, and it is unlike any other gold that is used in watches. For this special edition piece, A. Lange & Söhne has not messed about with the basics, so the case diameter has been kept at 41.9mm – the same as the regular production A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone watches.
The use of Honey Gold in the case construction aside, what’s also unique about the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone in Honey Gold is the dial – specifically, the cities ring. In the regular Lange 1 Time Zone watches, Central European Time is represented by Berlin. But in this limited edition watch, Berlin has been replaced by Dresden. In addition, the GMT indicator is now rendered in blue instead of red. And the peripheral ring of the second timezone, which used to be black, is now rendered in the same blue hue of the GMT indicator as well. The dial is solid silver, while the various appliqués are also rendered in matching honey gold.
Driving the watch is the in-house-made caliber L031.1, which features A. Lange & Söhne’s extremely high standards of finishing. Like all other Lange calibers, the L031.1 has plates and bridges made out of untreated German silver, and the balance cock and intermediate-wheel cock are both engraved by hand. Power reserve is a very respectable 72 hours, and the entire caliber consists of 417 parts.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone in Honey Gold also comes with a matching dark brown alligator strap with a honey gold prong buckle. All in all, this is a very attractive special edition watch of one of Lange’s most popular and practical models, and I’m sure it will be warmly received by collectors. As mentioned previously, the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone will be limited to just 100 pieces, so don’t be surprised if they have all already been accounted for. Price is $64,300. alange-soehne.com