Earlier this month, during SIHH 2012, German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne introduced a redesigned version of their popular Grande Lange 1. The original Grande Lange 1 had a 41.9 mm case and overlapping dials. The new Grande Lange 1 has a 40.9 mm case and the dials no longer overlap. (For reference, the Lange 1 has a case diameter of 38.5 mm and has non-overlapping dials.)
Incorporating non-overlapping dials was no easy feat. The new Grande Lange 1 required a completely new movement in order to accommodate this design change; the movement diameter was increased while the case was slimmed down. The overlapping dials of the original Grande Lange 1 was something many purists complained about, so the new dial design should be a welcome change.
Both the current Lange 1 and the now discontinued original Grande Lange 1 have double power barrels. The new Grande Lange 1, however, only has a single power barrel. This allows for a much thinner movement and hence a thinner case. The height of the case is now a mere 8.8 mm high, compared to 10 mm for the Lange 1 and 11 mm for old Grande Lange 1.
The new Grande Lange 1 is available in three variations:
The new movement, caliber L095.1 – features: 397 parts, 42 jewels, 7 screwed gold chatons, a lever escapement, a shock-resistant screw balance, a frequency of 21,600 vph (3Hz), a precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring, and an in-house manufactured Lange balance spring. Functions include hours, minutes small seconds with stop second function, power-reserve indicator and outsize date.
A sapphire crystal case back allows a view into the exquisite German made movement which is hand decorated, hand assembled (twice), hand engraved (balance cock), precision-adjusted in five positions and features plates and bridges made of untreated German silver.
This year, Lange has taken two of their most iconic timepieces, the Datograph and Grande Lange 1, which some would argue were perfect already, and made them better. Furthermore, they did so while preserving the elegance and proportions of the originals.