A look at one of the most underappreciated yet one of my personal favorite releases from SIHH 2015, the updated A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1.

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-8

So what’s new in the updated Lange 1? Upon a first glance, you’d think not much. Afterall, the Lange 1 is the watch that brought A. Lange & Söhne and to a greater extent Saxon watchmaking (back) on the map just over two decades ago, and has become a modern classic. While it has seen minor updates and improvements throughout the years, this year marks by far the most significant change, though from an aesthetic point-of-view Lange knew not to mess with what is a perfect recipe.

SIHH 2015 A Lange & Söhne-7

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-4

The Lange 1 was reintroduced in three versions last month: yellow gold with a champagne dial, rose gold with an argenté (silvered) dial and platinum with a grey rhodium dial. From the dial side of the watch, the only visible difference is the A. Lange & Söhne logo at 12 o’clock, which is now executed in a less prominent (and dare I say more elegant) font.

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-11

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-7

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-3

As I mentioned earlier, the main difference in the Lange is under the proverbial hood. Although the new L121.1 movement might look the same as its predecessor with its typically German three-quarter plate, hand-engraved balance cock, double barrels, screwed gold chatons and an overall meticulous finish, there are a number of significant improvements that constitute it as a new movement. For one thing, the movement is fitted with a new, larger balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and a freely oscillating in-house manufactured hairspring; something few watchmakers can claim.

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-12

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-9

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-6

The others changes can’t even be detected from looking at the case back. For one thing, the big date function is now instantaneous, meaning it jumps at precisely midnight rather than slowly advancing over the course of minutes (or even hours in some watches). This requires the date mechanism to store sufficient energy for several hours before the date jump can occur.

Another new feature is the “zero-stop” mechanism for the small seconds. This means that when the 72-hour power reserve dwindles down to 0, the small seconds will always stop at the 60 seconds position, making precise time-setting much easier.

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-5

Even though I said there are almost no cosmetic changes in the new Lange, the case features a slightly slimmer bezel while retaining the same dimensions of 38.5mm in diameter and 9.8mm in height, making the watch appear slightly larger than it really is thanks to the seemingly larger dial. On the wrist, it feels just as good as it ever did.

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-10

A Lange & Söhne Lange 1 2015-13

The Lange 1 is priced at EUR 29’800 for the two gold models and EUR 42’300 for the platinum version, and I now want one more than ever. In platinum, thank you.

More information on http://www.alange-soehne.com/en/