The name Lange has been tied to watchmaking and the Saxony area of Germany for centuries. In the 1800s, Ferdinand Aldoph Lange – which is where the “A” in A. Lange & Söhne comes from – began his watchmaking journey under the tutelage of master watchmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. Passed from father to son, the Lange name flourished, before encountering considerable obstacles during the 20th century.
In 1990, the brand was resuscitated by the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, Walter, and watch industry veteran, Günter Blümlein. A Nuremberg native, Blümlein grew up in post-War Germany, had previously overseen the resurgence of IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. This started the four-year journey that Lange and Blümlein would go on with their small team to bring the company back from the ashes, with the release of their first four models on the 25th October 1994. Today, the Lange 1, is one of the most distinctive watches in modern consciousness.
Part of a limited series produced in 2017, this Lange 1 reference 191.028 is part of the “Blue Series”, a restyling of pieces which also featured a similar blue dial. The other pieces included within this update are the Lange 1 Daymatic, Saxonia, and Saxonia Automatic.
The Lange 1 aesthetic has been well-established over the years, with its asymmetric dial design and carefully designed date windows, which were inspired by the Five-Minute Clock at Semper Opera House in Dresden. The proportions of the watch have been carefully calculated according to the Golden Ratio, creating an instantly recognizable layout. What is most distinctive about this piece is the unusual dial colour. According to Anthony de Haas, product development manager at A. Lange & Söhne, the blue found on the dials of the Blue Series is the same colour as those on the pieces created in 1994, making this an interesting take on an older classic.
The calibre used within the watch is the L121.1, part of the second-generation Lange 1 movements created in 2015. An in-house creation, the movement is decorated beautifully – a detail shared across pieces from the brand that has been recognised by watchmakers like Philippe Dufour himself. Moreover, it features an artistic flourish, a balance-cock engraved by one of Lange’s master engravers. In fact, it is said that each individual watchmaker's unique engraving style can be identified as a result.
A Collected Man will be donating an amount equivalent to the total selling price of the highest-performing watch to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.