Fifteen years after the launch of the Lange 1 Time Zone, A. Lange & Söhne has now unveiled a new model with an updated manufacture movement. The update for 2020 sees a few innovations like a daylight savings time (DST) indication and a more intuitive ring-shaped day/night indicators for both time zones.
First presented in 2005, the Lange 1 Time Zone was ideal for connoisseurs of fine watchmaking who need a timepiece that helped them keep track of two time zones in an increasingly connected world. To set the second time zone, one simply had to press the lateral pusher in the side of the case at 8 o’clock to advance the rotating city ring — inscribed with the names of 24 world cities each representing a major time zones — in an easterly direction.
At the same time, the hour hand on the second-time-zone subdial at 4 o’clock moves forward by one hour with each press of the pusher and indicates the zone time of the city beneath the applique placed at 5 o; clock on the second time zone dial. The watch also has a synchronization mechanism that enables the wearer to transfer the time zone indicated on the subdial to the main dial. The characteristic outsize date is connected with the main time and can be changed via the pusher at 10 o’clock
The new watch is available in three case materials – yellow, white, or pink gold. The measurements of the case are the same as before, the width is 41.9 mm and height 10.9 mm. All three versions have solid silver dials; while the yellow gold case is matched with a champagne tone dial, the white gold case is presented with a black tone dial and the pink gold version comes with an argenté dial.
The big changes made to the movement are now visible on the dial. While Roman numerals are used for the main dial, Arabic numerals are used on the second zone time dial. Those familiar with the Lange 1 Time Zone will notice the new day/night indicators for zone and local time. Up until now, rotating arrow hands signaled whether time indicated was for the day or night. On the updated model, rotating discs at the center of the two time dials do this job. The discs feature two blue printed semi-circles, and rotate once about their axes in 24 hours while the hour hand performs two revolutions in the same period. The hours and minutes hands are above the blue background between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., so it becomes immediately clear if the time displayed is in the a.m. or p.m.
Another convenient feature on the updated movement is the presence of a DST indicator. The golden arrow applique at 5 o’clock indicates the reference location for the zone time that has been set. If the aperture is red, the city has a daylight saving time regime and one hour has to be added to the zone time from the spring to the autumn in the northern hemisphere and from late summer to the spring in the southern hemisphere. If standard time applies to the city all year round, the display appears on a bright white background.
All these aforementioned updates to the Lange 1 Time Zone are down to the new manufacture caliber L141.1. The first Time Zone models were powered by Caliber L03.1, which was based on the original Caliber L901 of the Lange 1 family. With the introduction of this new movement, all models of the Lange 1 family now run new movements. Unlike the first movement whose 72-hour power reserve was thanks to two mainspring barrels, the new L03.1 maintains the same power reserve with just one barrel. The outsize date doesn't jump immediately on the Time Zone like it does on the regular Lange 1. This was done to preserve the profile of the movement and reduce production costs.
Further technical details include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring made in-house and oscillating at 3 Hz (21,600 vph). Made up of 448 parts, the movement is lovingly hand-finished and assembled twice, as is wont with Lange movements. The three-quarter plate is made of untreated German silver and is dotted with screwed gold chatons and blued screws. A whiplash precision index adjuster as well as hand-engraved balance and intermediate-wheel cocks are visible via the caseback.
The hand-stitched alligator leather straps have prong buckles in the same material as the case. All three versions of the new Lange 1 are available now, the yellow gold boutique edition is limited to 100 only, prices are at €52,200 (yellow gold), €49,200 (pink and white gold).