For the 20th anniversary of its signature Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne unveils the limited edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, featuring a platinum case with a black champlevé enamel dial and hack seconds tourbillon.
20 years ago A. Lange & Söhne presented its first collection of four watches, including the timepiece that would become its most recognisable, the Lange 1. That put the resurrected brand name of A. Lange & Söhne back on the horological map, establishing it as the flag bearer of high-end German watchmaking. To commemorate that 20th anniversary, Lange has gone back to its archives and brought back a timepiece from its recent past in the form of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst.
This is the third generation of the Lange 1 Tourbillon, the first from 2000 in pink gold or platinum, and the second in 2010 in honey gold for the 165th anniversary of the firm’s founding. Though similar to the earlier generations, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst differs in several aspects.
Like the other timepieces in the Handwerkskunst (it translates as “craftsmanship”) series, this features a hand-made dial. But unlike the earlier models which had relief engraved dials, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst has a dial in black enamel – a first for Lange.
The dial is a disc of white gold engraved with the markings and indices, before being covered in black enamel and fired in an oven, a technique known as champlevé. Unlike white enamel, black enamel is uncommon, due to the difficulty in getting a consistent tone across multiple specimens. The black enamel dial is combined with a recessed seconds sub-dial made of solid silver, and a black polished cock for the tourbillon.
Mechanically this is similar, but not identical to the earlier generations of the Lange 1 Tourbillon. The movement is the calibre L.961.3, manually wound with a three day power reserve. What makes it different from the earlier Lange 1 Tourbillon is the addition of a hack seconds feature – when the crown is pulled out the seconds hand as well as tourbillon cage both stop for more accurate time setting.
The three-quarter plate is decorated with a sunday finish, with the cocks for the tourbillon and intermediate wheel engraved with a floral motif. A similar engraving decorates the plate that covers the crown wheel.
Size-wise this is identical to the original Lange 1 Tourbillon, with a case diameter of 38.5 mm. Limited to 20 pieces, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is priced at €145,000 without taxes and available at Lange boutiques.