The road was long, but we have arrived: at the start of the year, A. Lange & Söhne kicked off the gradual launch of the 25th anniversary editions of the Lange 1. Made up of 10 different models, unveiled one a month, the series has now come to a conclusion with the final model – the Lange 1 Tourbillon “25th Anniversary”.
While all other watches in the Lange 1 family have remained in the catalogue since their debut, the Lange 1 Tourbillon was always a limited edition, making the last instalment of the anniversary series the rarest.
The model was first unveiled in 2000 in pink gold (250 pieces) and platinum (150 pieces), followed by a honey-gold version (150 pieces) a decade later to mark the 165th anniversary of Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s birth. Then the watch received the “Handwerkskunst” treatment in 2014 (20 pieces), giving it a platinum case and glossy, black enamel dial, resulting in a very desirable watch. And Lange also quietly produced a handful of one-off examples over the years, including a recent one for retailer The Hour Glass in Tokyo.
Interestingly, Lange 1 Tourbillon “25th Anniversary” marks the first time that the watch is produced in white gold. The case remains the standard size, 38.5mm wide and 9.8mm in height, also the same dimensions as the standard Lange 1. And like all prior 25th anniversary editions, it features a solid silver dial with blued steel hands and printed blue markings.
Visible at five o’clock is the tourbillon regulator, which is secured by a black-polished steel cock carrying a diamond endstone. Crucially, while the tourbillon was partially hidden by the dial in the inaugural and Handwerskunst versions, the tourbillon is fully visible here, thanks to a wider aperture and a transparent printed date disc.
Because of its compact size, the arms of the tourbillon cage are broader than the those found in other Lange tourbillons such as the 1815 Tourbillon. It has black polished arms, without any anglage as a result of its size and shape.
Notably, it is a hacking tourbillon, thus when the crown is pulled out, the tourbillon comes to a halt. Lange was the first brand to introduce a hacking tourbillon in 2008 with the Cabaret Tourbillon. Today, only two other brands within Richemont group boast such a tourbillon – IWC and Montblanc.
The movement uses a traditional balance wheel with timing screws on the circumference as opposed to the weights found on Lange’s in-house balance wheels. It is attached to hairspring that was produced in-house.
Because of its blue printed numerals, the date disc is prominent, aptly drawing attention to Lange’s patented big date mechanism. At the time of its relaunch in 1994, Lange was the first brand to introduce a big date display in a wristwatch.
Two discs were needed to fit the large numerals in a 38.5mm case – a circular one for the ones and a cruciform for the tens. In contrast to a regular date wheel which typically consists of three components, Lange’s instantaneously jumping outsized date requires a total of 66 parts.
Visible through the sapphire case back, the hand-wound cal. L961.4 features a three-quarter plate with an “island” bridge. It is equipped with double barrels for a three-day power reserve.
The cocks for the tourbillon and intermediate wheel feature the same anniversary engraving as found on the earlier commemorative editions, filled in with blue lacquer. The cock for the intermediate wheel also incorporates a reproduction of the outsize date displaying “25”.
The Lange 1 Tourbillon “25th Anniversary” thereby completes the 10-piece set, which will be delivered in a special box if purchased as a set.
Material: 18k white gold
Movement: Cal. L961.4
Functions: Hours, minutes, sub-seconds; power reserve indicator; outsize date; tourbillon
Frequency: 21,600bph, or 3Hz
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Crocodile with white gold pin buckle
Price and availability
The Lange 1 Tourbillon 25th Anniversary (Ref. 722.066) is limited to 25 pieces and is priced at €165,000. The 10-piece 25th Anniversary set is priced at €833,600. For more, visit A. Lange & Söhne.
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