With the off-centre displays and peripheral month ring, the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar endows a sophisticated complication with a unique face.
Launched in April 2021, the white-gold model of the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar version with a solid pink-gold dial, limited to 150 pieces, and the pink-gold version featuring a grey solid-silver dial, are now joined by a platinum model with a black dial, the dark background of which effectively highlights the moon-phase display with its integrated day/night indicator.
Centred exclusively on its eponymous complication, the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar represents the highest standards in precision, design and originality, and the new model version, housed in a 950-platinum case and measuring 41.9 mm in diameter, is complemented with a black dial, thus enriching the watch family with a particularly refined colour combination.
The month ring of the new model provides the framework for all the displays. The numerals of the outsize date and the leap year contrast well against the black background, and all calendar indications switch instantaneously and therefore produce unambiguous readings at any given time. They can be advanced collectively or separately with correctors, and once set correctly, the mechanism is programmed to accurately display the turn of the month until 2100, long after many us have departed this mortal coil.
Designing a mechanism for a perpetual calendar that takes into account the different durations of the months in a year as well as the leap years, presents a challenge that the ambitious A. Lange & Söhne developers took on in 2001 with the Langematik Perpetual. Adding a day/night indicator to the moon-phase display is also typical of the manufacture’s continued quest for precision. Constructed across two levels, it consists of a solid-gold celestial disc with graduated blue hues that rotates around its own axis once during 24 hours.
Against this backdrop, the white-gold moon performs its synodic orbit in 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds — with such precision that the display only needs to be corrected by one day after 122.6 years. First implemented in the Lange 1 Moon Phase, the indication depicts the earth’s companion moving across a bright-blue sky during the day and a dark-blue starry sky at night, thus indicating the diurnal and nocturnal hours respectively.
The high standards of artisanal perfection upheld by the Saxon manufacture are apparent with a glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback of calibre L021.3 , which has been elaborately finished by hand and assembled twice.
The technical features of the manufacture movement include a unidirectional winding rotor in 21-carat gold with a centrifugal mass in 950 platinum, a power reserve of 50 hours and a balance with eccentric poising weights that beats at a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
Lange-typical quality hallmarks such as plates and bridges made of untreated German silver decorated with Glashütte ribbing, five gold chatons held by blued-steel screws as well as the balance cock engraved free-hand, with the whiplash spring mounted above to regulate beat adjustments, reflect the manufacture’s lofty aspirations in every single detail.
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