For those of you living in countries where restrictions have been lifted for air travel and even for those of us who can’t travel but like to keep an eye on the time in some other country, a GMT or second time zone watch is of the essence. As part of its 2020 novelties, A. Lange & Söhne revisits its Lange 1 Time Zone with a new manufacture calibre, ring-shaped day/night indicators and a new daylight saving time indication. Presented in three versions – white gold/black dial, pink gold/silver dial and a limited edition of 100 yellow gold/champagne dial – the Lange 1 Time Zone offers first-class comfort and service. Just ahead of the official release today, we were able to take some photographs of the pink gold version.
The face that launched a thousand ships
The Lange 1, presented to mark the resurrection of A. Lange & Söhne in 1994, is the most eloquent ambassador of the Saxon brand. With its multiple references to the founder’s 19th-century watchmaking adventure in Dresden, in the shape of its asymmetric dial and hallmark outsize date, the Lange 1 has become the most recognised face of the brand. From the classic three-hand model to the complex tourbillon perpetual calendar, there are currently nine different models of the Lange 1 in the permanent collection.
The Time Zone model made its debut in 2005 and has reappeared periodically. Naturally, the 25th Anniversary of the Lange 1 celebrated last year with ten special editions included a homage model to the Time Zone in white gold with a silver dial and blue trimmings.
At a glance
GMT watches, or watches displaying a second time zone, allow you to consult home (zone) and local (main) time at a glance. If you check out our dedicated GMT page, you’ll notice that many of these models rely on an extra central hour hand that points to a 24-hour scale on the dial or a rotating bezel to indicate home time. If there isn’t a 24-hour scale, most watches include a day/night indicator.
The Lange 1, relying on its asymmetrical layout, interprets the complication in a different and even more legible way using two separate dials for the two separate times: local time can be consulted in the larger disc with applied gold Roman numerals and home time (or the second time zone of your choice) is displayed in the smaller disc with Arabic numerals. The description ‘at a glance’ has never been truer. But, how can you tell if it’s night or day?
New ring-shaped day/night indicators
Those of you familiar with earlier versions of the Lange 1 Time Zone will remember the rotating arrow hands featured on both time discs. The day/night indicator in the second time zone was actually placed outside of the disc, an appendage of sorts. For 2020, the arrows have been substituted for an even cleaner and more legible solution: the day/night indicators are now ring-shaped and have been positioned on the central axis of both time circles.
Featuring blue printed semicircles, the discs rotate once about their axes every 24 hours while the hour hand performs two revolutions in the same period. When it is located in the segment that matches the dial colour, the display spans the period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; when it lands on the blue background it is night-time.
Switchable city ring
So why is there a city ring representing the 24 time zones on the periphery of the dial if this is not a world timer? The city ring is there to simplify the task of setting the time in the smaller subsidiary disc. The arrow at 5 o’clock – which incidentally has been restyled for the 2020 models and is now more prominent and easier to distinguish – points to the city you have selected.
To select the city, a pusher on the caseband at 8 o’clock activates the city ring as it jumps from west to east by one time zone. Synchronised with the hour hand, every switching cycle advances the hour hand of the small subsidiary dial by one hour.
Suppose you return from your business trip and want to readjust the time to reflect your current local time all the while keeping an eye on the time of the country you have just left. Thanks to the synchronisation mechanism, you can transfer the time in the smaller disc to the larger disc. To do this, the crown has to be extracted to the second position and the pusher on the caseband pressed and held.
By holding the pusher, the hour hand for the zone time will stay in position and the new main time can be set independently. This action might alter the date and to set the correct date there is a second pusher in the caseband at 10 o’clock.
Daylight Saving Time Indication
Daylight saving time (DST) might be observed in Europe and North America, but not all countries in the world adhere to DST. The newly designed golden arrow at 5 o’clock to indicate the city you have selected has a double function.
The hollowed-out area of the arrow contains a daylight saving time indicator. If the aperture is red, the city observes DST, in which case one hour has to be added from spring to autumn in the northern hemisphere and from late summer to spring in the southern hemisphere. If standard time applies to the city all year round, the aperture reveals a white background.
New Calibre L141.1
All models in the Lange 1 family previously fitted with movements based on the calibre L901 are now endowed with new movements. The new movements consolidate the experience acquired with the development of 65 calibres to date. The Lange 1 Time Zone is now equipped with manufacture calibre L141.1, a hand-wound movement that retains the 3-day power reserve of the former model, but eliminates the twin mainspring barrel. The 72-hour power reserve is now achieved with one spring barrel. Fitted with a lever escapement, the movement has 448 parts and measures 34.1mm x 6.7mm.
The finishes are in keeping with Lange’s tradition of beautifully hand-decorated movements: the classic three-quarter German silver plate decorated with ribbing; the screwed gold chatons; the blued screws; the chamfered, bevelled and polished edges; the mirror-polished whiplash spring; the polished internal angles; and the hand-engraved floral pattern on the balance cock all attest to the remarkable finissage that goes into every Lange movement.
Straps, Price & Availability
The dimensions of the Lange 1 Time Zone have not been altered and the case, in a choice of yellow, white or pink gold, still measures 41.9mm x 10.9mm and displays polished and brushed finishes. All three models are presented on hand-stitched alligator leather straps in different shades of brown and a prong buckle in the same metal as the case. The yellow gold model is a Special Boutique edition of 100 watches. The retail prices are as follows: EUR 49,200 white gold and pink gold and EUR 52,200 for the limited edition yellow gold model.
For more information, please visit the official alange-soehne.com website.