The LANGE 1 has been the iconographic ambassador of the venerable Lange manufactory in Saxony for more than 1 decade, helping the company restore its status as a synonym for fine German watches. Its global triumph makes it ideally eligible for a much sought-after complication: a second time zone. The owners of these graceful timepieces have all the time in the world on their hands – and home on the wrist, no matter where they travel.
As the internationally acclaimed A. Lange & Söhne flagship, the LANGE 1 has probably won more prizes than any other wristwatch of the new era. Its global triumph in the luxury watch segment encouraged the development engineers in the Saxon town of Glashütte to endow it with a separate time-zone indication.
It is ideal for everyone who travels frequently or often communicates with people in other parts of the world. After all, our planet is subdivided into 24 time zones. They were defined in 1884 at the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. In everyday life, these time differences are sometimes annoying. This view was shared by Lange watchmakers more than 100 years ago. That is why, soon after the time zones had been specified, they began to craft the first pocket watches with two separately adjustable time indications. Regrettably, the whereabouts of only very few of these watches are known. And in those days, comparatively few people needed such a complication to begin with.
One hundred years later though, in a epoch characterised by unlimited mobility, this perception has changed. Nonetheless, the time-zone phenomenon can still be a source of frustration. That is why the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE is based on a principle that is at once unpretentious and practical: If home time has priority and is displayed on the larger of the two off-centre dials, a second pair of hands shows the time in another zone on a small dial – the former subsidiary seconds dial of the original LANGE 1.
The zone time is easy to set, thanks to a push piece and a rotating city ring. But if the user is abroad and wants the local time to become “home time” for the duration of the stay, an ingenious adjustment mechanism makes it possible to reverse the priority of the two times.
In this case, the main dial and the date display are synchronised to the time at the user’s foreign domicile while the subsidiary dial can be set to indicate either the time at home or the time in any other part of the world – depending on the user’s preference. At any rate, the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE gives users unlimited display options to infallibly deal with all of the world’s time zones.
From a mechanical and horological point of view, the freedom of globe spanning mobility must submit to astronomical realities. The Earth rotates about its axis once every 24 hours, basking for a while in the life-giving light of the sun and then progressing into darkness again. Indeed, the days and nights begin and end at different times in the 24 different time zones. For this reason, separate and synchronised day/night indications for the home and zone times are a truly welcome convenience.
The LANGE 1 TIME ZONE shows the day and night phases with small arrows that sweep along bright/dark segments both for home time and for the time in the zone selected with the city ring. This seemly modest item of information about the time elsewhere can save embarrassment: For everyone who makes overseas calls, it is not immaterial whether it is night or day for the person at the other end of the line.
The following description of the normal case for which the user-friendly construction of the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE was designed takes one step at a time. A trip around the world, aboard an aircraft or just virtually, begins by pressing the button at 8 o’clock. In one-hour increments, this button advances not only the rotating city ring by one time zone – geographically speaking towards the East – but also the hour hand of the zonetime dial which thus automatically remains synchronised with the selected city.
A small applied arrow on the zone-time dial at 5 o’clock, the one closest to the city ring, is the point of reference for setting a second time. The world is circumnavigated after the button has been pressed 24 times. Forming a contrast with the golden Roman numerals applied on the home-time dial, those on the zone-time dial are imprinted Arabic numerals.
Then, there is the other situation for which the master watchmakers at Lange have devised a technically refined solution. The traveller called upon to spend a longer period of time abroad may want to swap the displays of home time and zone time, in other words to have the local time at the foreign destination displayed on the main dial and to synchronise the patented outsize date as well.
This time swap is made possible by the city ring as a reference and a setting mechanism that, while the time zone button is pressed to freeze the hour hand on the subsidiary dial, allows the former home time on the larger dial to be changed to the new local time simply by turning the crown. Apart from the fact that it may be necessary to correct the date by one day – a convenient rapid date corrector is provided for this purpose – this is all it takes to set the hands of the main dial to the redefined home time. All the while, both dials still inform the user whether it is night or day at the current location and at home.
Experience confirms that in cases of doubt, watches that tell two times are only truly useful if they offer a day/night distinction. With its dual displays and two setting modes, the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE leaves nothing to be desired in this respect.
Based on the manually wound Lange L031.1 calibre movement, this watch of course possesses all of the coveted features of the LANGE 1 – including more than three days’ power reserve thanks to the twin mainspring barrels, the patented outsize date, four screwed gold chatons, the screw balance with the whiplash precision index adjuster, and a hand-engraved balance cock.
The train that drives the zone-time display is configured above the three-quarter plate and can be admired through the sapphire-crystal caseback. The intermediate-wheel cock integrated in the train also bears the inimitable personal signature of a Lange master engraver.
Lange manufacture calibre L031.1, manually wound, manufactured to the most exacting Lange quality standards; assembled and decorated largely by hand;precision adjusted in five positions; twin mainspring barrels; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; hand-engraved balance cock and intermediate-wheel cock Number of parts: 417;Jewels: 54;Screwed gold chatons: 4;Escapement: Lever escapement Balance: Shock-proofed glucydur screw balance, Nivarox balance spring with a frequency of 21,600 semioscillations per hour, whiplash precision index adjuster with patented beat adjustment mechanism;Power reserve: More than 72 hours when fully wound.
Home time with day/night indicator (hours, minutes,small seconds with stop seconds), zone time (hours,The LANGE 1 TIME ZONE: All the time in the world, page 4 minutes) with day/night indicator and city ring, outsize date for home time, power-reserve indicator
Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; push piece for switching the outsize date; push piece for advancing the city ring, synchronised with the hour hand of the zone-time display and the day/night indicator for the zone time
Case, Dial & Strap
Case: 41.9 millimetres in diameter, 18-carat yellow or pinkgold or platinum
Glass and case back: Antireflection-coated sapphire-crystal glass(hardness 9)
Dial: Solid silver in champagne, argenté, rhodié; gold appliques
Hands: Yellow and pink gold, rhodiumed gold, blued steel
Straps: Hand-stitched crocodile straps and Lange prong buckle in solid gold or platinum.
Reference no.116.021 : Lange 1 Time zone, yellow gold, dial champagne, manually wound, off-centre display of main time and zone time in hours and minutes, zone time with city ring, day/night indication both for main and zone times, outsize date, time-zone button, small seconds with stop seconds.
Reference no.116.025: Lange 1 Time zone, platinum, dial rhodié, manually wound, off-centre display of main time and zone time in hours and minutes, zone time with city ring, day/night indication both for main and zone times, outsize date, time-zone button, small seconds with stop seconds