One of the great tricks of watchmaking is that changing a dial colour and metal can completely transform a watch compared to its original iteration. The Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar is not new to the catalog. It was released in two versions in 2021, one in white gold with a solid-pink gold dial (described by some as salmon), limited to 150 pieces, and a pink gold version with a grey dial. It was the Lange 1’s first perpetual calendar that didn’t come paired with other complications. But now it comes transformed with a sleek black dial set in platinum with a pop of colour in the cobalt blue aperture of the moon phase indication.
It transforms the look of the watch, giving an edge to its otherwise classic look. The blue background on the moon phase indicator is the same traditional colour that has been used for more than a century on moon phase indicators, but against the black background and in graduated hues, it looks brand new and downright cool. The lower half of the indicator that covers the moon to indicate its phase is finished in a gorgeous spiral guilloché pattern that adds texture to the surface, distinguishing it nicely from the rest of the tone-on-tone dial. It’s only one of several exquisite finishes here—something we’ve come to expect from Lange & Söhne—including the elaborately engraved balance cock on the movement. The rotor, made of high-colour 21-karat gold, is decorated in a raised cobblestone-like pattern out of which the Lange logo stands in relief. The effect is mesmerizing and makes the caseback as interesting as the front view, to say the least.
The proportions, 41.9 mm x 12.1 mm, are the same as the first two versions, as is the movement, the automatic L021.3, with a 50-hour power reserve. Thanks to extra cams and the genius of Lange’s watchmakers, all of the calendar functions jump instantaneously—and all at one time at midnight at the end of the month. Don’t forget to wind it though, or the show stops until you’ve reset the whole thing.
Altogether, the dial layout adds up to a significant variation on the traditional perpetual calendar architecture used by other classic brands, and one that many feel is cleaner and less dense. Aside from the moon phase, dial readings include Lange’s signature oversized date display and off-center hour/minute subdial, a retrograde day of the week indicator between 8 and 10 o’clock, month index on a ring encircling the dial’s outer edge, and a leap year indicator in a small window at the six o’clock position.
Pricing information is available upon request, but in 2021, they were priced at US$104,500 for the pink gold and US$116,000 for the white gold. This one will soar above that, given that it’s in platinum. As for quantities, it’s officially unlimited but it will obviously be a rare piece.
Previously published on Robb Report.