It’s amazing how much difference changes to metal or dial colour/ material/ texture can make to a watch. This year, A. Lange & Söhne have released a new Little Lange 1 Moon Phase with a guilloché argenté-coloured dial in a 36.8mm pink gold case and containing a new movement.
This is not the only Little Lange 1 in their current collection, there is also a smaller (36.1mm) model with a mother-of-pearl dial in pale blue in either a pink gold or white gold case. If we go back a bit further, to 2009, we can find the precursors to today’s watch, with two Little Lange 1 Moon Phase models with ‘day time’ and ‘night time’ versions so to speak, with one with a solid silver white mother-of-pearl dial (Ref. 819.048) or with a dark blue mother-of-pearl dial (Ref. 819.049). These two were in 36.8mm 18 carat white gold cases and had diamond-set bezels. Inside, was the manually wound Calibre L901.9.
Today’s smaller sibling of the Lange 1 Moon Phase has no diamonds and with its sizing and dial, is arguably less overtly directed at women and more open to all, although it has been categorised as a woman’s watch. At 9.5mm thick it is also 0.5mm thinner than the aforementioned models, and 1.7mm thinner than the Lange 1 Moon Phase.
All the other familiar hallmarks of the Lange 1 are present – the classic Lange large date at 2 o’clock, Up/ Down power reserve indicator between 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock, the moon phase display, small (stop), and the time indicator.
The moon disc of the Little Lane 1 Moon Phase’s name has two golden moons on an argenté-coloured background, and only needs to be corrected by one day every 122.6 years.
The dial is a solid gold with guilloché engraving in all the right places and a silvery-white color. You still have the iconic hour and minute dial on the left, the date and power reserve on the right, and, with this model, the moon phase tucked into the seconds sub-register on the bottom right. The moon phase is also stunning, with a matching silvery background and vibrant rose gold moon and stars.
Pink gold hands and markers match the case, and the white leather alligator strap also has a pink gold buckle.
Visible through the sapphire caseback is the new manual-wind Calibre L121.2 (based on the current Lange 1 movement) with untreated German silver, engraving (notably the hand-engraved balance cock characteristic of Lange) and hand-finishing. The date instantaneously changes at midnight, and the running seconds hand at 5:00 flies goes back to ‘0’ when the movement’s 72-hour reserve is at its end, for more accurate re-setting upon winding.
Overall, for me this is one of Lange’s stars for 2017. The combination of a case size that hits the sweet spot for many and a classically-oriented dial whose (guilloché) finishing is ‘more watch-y’ as it were, plus no diamond-bedecked bezel, makes it a woman’s watch that is an understated elegant daily wearer.
For those interested, the RRP is €38,500.