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A. Lange & Söhne - In The Zone

A. Lange & Söhne In The Zone

The new A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone has a surprise up its sleeve.

Every summer, A. Lange & Söhne release a new version of their Lange 1 Time Zone. In previous years, this would have been in conjunction with their participation and sponsorship of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the vintage and classic car event by Lake Como. The distinguishing feature of the Como editions of the Lange 1 Time Zone was that they had Como in place of Berlin for the GMT+1 time zone, commemorating the partnership they had with this prestigious event.

This year, rather serendipitously, as if to offer us additional (and much-needed) comfort in light of the challenging turn that 2020 has taken, A. Lange & Söhne have released a new Lange 1 Time Zone with an innovative new movement.

In The Zone

Lange 1 Time Zone © A. Lange & Söhne

At first glance, the 2020 Lange 1 Time Zone looks very much like its predecessors, which will be enormously pleasing to long-time enthusiasts and supporters of the brand. The Lange 1 Time Zone is an iconic part of the Saxon watchmaker’s repertoire, a key member of the Lange 1 family. The Lange 1 was one of the four watches unveiled at the rebirth of A. Lange & Söhne in 1994 and can arguably be said to be one of the most significant modern watches ever to be created. It’s a good rule of thumb that one shouldn’t mess with a winning formula, and the new Lange 1 Time Zone is certainly a prime example of this rule.

The only hint that there’s something different about this Lange 1 Time Zone is the day/night indication on both local and home time displays. Previously, the indication of day and night was made via a smaller inset arrow, making one rotation in 24 hours. The newer, more intuitive, system incorporates the day/night indication directly within the local and home time display dials directly, with a blue arc that makes a complete turn every 24 hours. As the hour hand rotates once every 12 hours, the alignment of the hour hand with the blue arch is a simple and effective way of immediately determining whether the hour displayed is an AM or PM reading.

In The Zone

Lange 1 Time Zone © A. Lange & Söhne

Additionally, the cal. L141.1 now includes a function that indicates whether a city uses daylight-savings time, allowing the wearer to quickly tell the correct time wherever he or she is.

WorldTempus had the opportunity to ask Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne, what he thought was the brand’s most significant release in 2020. Despite the release of the high-complication Zeitwerk Minute Repeater during Watches & Wonders Geneva, his choice of watch was in fact the new Lange 1 Time Zone.

In The Zone

Wilhelm Schmid © A. Lange & Söhne

He explained, “As the world grows smaller in this time of increasing international networking, we have launched a revised version of this model. The watch is dedicated to open-minded people who are connected to the world. At the push of a button and thanks to its switchable city ring, it answers questions like ‘is it the right time to call friends overseas’ or ‘does daylight-saving time apply in the region where I want to set up a conference call’. Fifteen years after the first version, we endowed the watch with a new manufacture calibre. In order to guarantee optimal legibility, we have moved the redesigned day-and-night indicators to the centres of the dials. And we extended the functionality by adding a daylight-saving time indication for the second time zone.”

In The Zone

Lange 1 Time Zone © A. Lange & Söhne

To sum up, the new Lange 1 Time Zone keeps everything about the previous models that we all loved, and adds extra functionality and practical utility. On the one hand, I want to say that this is very German, but on the other hand, I’d really rather not resort to using such national stereotypes — surely there are other cultures, other countries, that are capable of great personal restraint and pragmatism whilst outperforming their competition in every way. So I’ll just say that A. Lange & Söhne would fit perfectly into any of those cultures anywhere in the world, no adjustment needed. Thanks to the new Lange 1 Time Zone, they wouldn’t even need to adjust their watches.

Our full interview with Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne, will be published next week.

 

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