New Watch: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst

The Lange 1 Handwerkskunst with black enameled dial. Source: A. Lange & Söhne

Every year A. Lange & Söhne releases a special edition Handwerkskunst model that shows off the manufacture’s métiers d’art skills. Usually they’re ornately engraved takes on existing models, but to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the brand unveiled the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst at a gala at Dresden’s Royal Palace. The black enameled dial gives the watch an extremely clean look and the more intricate engraving is reserved for the back of the movement. Only 20 are being made, and we expect they won’t be around for long.

First Thoughts: It was exactly 20 years ago to the day that the first modern A. Lange & Söhne collection was presented in Dresden, Germany, and this is the watch Lange chose to release to mark the occasion. It seems a fitting tribute, balancing the various techniques and design traits that has made Lange such a collector favorite in only two decades. The aesthetics of the dial are modern and extremely legible, while the movement finishing couldn’t be much better. Every edge is beveled, there are seven screwed gold chatons and diamond endstones for the tourbillon, and hand-engraving adds interest without going overboard. I’m searching for a quip here, but, honestly, I’m too busy ogling this movement to come up with anything good.

Cocktail Party Fact: The first A. Lange & Söhne collection contained four basic models, including the Lange 1, and no watch has come to represent the Saxon watchmaker more that this archetype. It has undergone few changes over two decades -- there are now multiple sizes and a few variations with complications -- but the off-center time display and prominent large date display are always present. The date display resembles a special Lange clock that has resided in Dresden’s Semper Opera House for over a century.

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The Basics

  • Case Diameter: 38.5mm
  • Case Thickness: 10.2mm
  • Case Materials: Platinum
  • Dial: Black enameled white gold with silver sub-seconds dial
  • Strap: Black crocodile with platinum deployant buckle
  • Complications: Power reserve indicator, big date, one-minute tourbillon with stop-seconds function
  • Reference Number: 704.048F

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The Movement

  • Caliber: L961.3
  • Parts: 378
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Winding: Manually wound
  • Finishing: Solarized finish on German silver three-quarter plate, hand-engraving on tourbillon bridge, crown-wheel cock, and intermediate-wheel cock, seven screwed gold chatons, and two diamond endstones for the tourbillon

Getting One

  • Availability: Limited edition of only 20 numbered pieces, exclusive to A. Lange & Söhne boutiques
  • Price: $221,700

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