A. Lange & Söhne’s Little Lange 1 Moon Phase embodies what I love about women’s watches right now. It’s a smaller version of a men’s model – and that’s a good thing, since it generally means a great movement, meticulous finish, and a dignified design, particularly since you’re talking about A. Lange & Söhne. When a company that makes something as magnificent as the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite makes a ladies’ watch, it isn’t going to be a token girly watch with lots of flowers but no real functions. We also have a new Saxonia ladies watch in 35mm. So, here’s our hands-on look at the A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase & Saxonia Ladies watches.
The Little Lange 1 was first introduced in 2009, but contains a new movement, the manually-wound Caliber L121.2. It is the perfect size for ladies: 36.8mm wide, and 9.5mm thick, compared to the men’s model, which is 38.5mm wide and 10.2mm thick. The date is a big date, a signature feature on Lange’s men’s pieces. The moon phase is a welcome departure from the traditional blue and gold sky/moon color combination seen on men’s watches since the beginning of time.
The silver background with gold stars creates an alternate tone-on-tone dial composition that is more harmonious than one broken by the bright blue. Add to this a guilloché pattern and you have a balance of decorative and tasteful that many good watch brands don’t get right. Like the men’s, with a Caliber L121.3, the moon phase will need a correction every 122.6 years. You can see the movement through the case back, with Lange’s signature engraved balance cock and ¾ plate made of German silver. It has a 72-hour power reserve, and the dial has a subtle power reserve indicator between 2 and 4 o’clock.
It comes with a white alligator strap with a pink gold prong buckle. The width is 36.8mm, which is large, but not condescending as, say, a 26mm size would be. Not every woman has a tiny wrist, and even if they do, they don’t necessarily want a small, dainty watch.
Also new for ladies this year from A. Lange & Söhne is the Saxonia Ladies, a new 35mm size watch for the collection. According to Lange, Saxonia stands for “the union of minimalistic design with mechanical fascination,” which sounds about right as a description of this collection. As a classic watch, it has all the right elements: applied gold baton hour markers with a double baton set at 12 o’clock, classical minute track, and slim hands.
What makes the 35mm perfect as a ladies’ classic watch are the mother-of-pearl dial and the small seconds hand at 6 o’clock (with a stop seconds feature). Adding a date window – especially one of Lange’s massive date windows – would have been too much on this watch. The case is 35mm wide and 7.3mm thick – anything wider might be inelegant as a ladies’ dress watch. As a serious piece of horology for ladies, it’s sized just right considering it’s a time-only piece. The mother of pearl and gold feminize the dial without getting too precious. The white alligator strap with prong buckle wrap the watch up quite nicely.
The movement is the manually-wound Caliber L941.1 which, of course, is the same movement used in the larger 37mm men’s model. Lange’s go-to time-only movement, the L941.1 is decorated in the brand’s usual manner and visible through the case back. It has a Nivarox balance spring and a 45-hour power reserve. Really, nothing new here with movement, it’s what you’d expect from a Lange in a woman’s watch that has a cost of entry that’s significantly less than that of other pieces from the brand itself as well as its competitors.
In rose gold, the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase is priced at $39,500, compared to the men’s, at $40,900, which by the way is a great option if you prefer a bigger case and no guilloché. It takes a certain amount of confidence in the product as well the consumer to price the two at essentially the same price point. There are a handful of brands out there that one can imagine being placed into this category and A. Lange & Söhne would certainly be one of them.
The Saxonia collection represents entry level pricing for A. Lange & Söhne, and there are two versions of the Saxonia, one in white gold and the other in pink gold. Both are priced at $16,100. By comparison, the 37mm men’s Saxonia is priced at $14,800, (with the Caliber L093.1) and the 40mm at $24,500. But neither of these have the small seconds or mother-of-pearl dial. Both the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase and Saxonia cater to different sub-markets in the ladies watch market and Lange has presented some truly fantastic pieces. alange-soehne.com