HANDS-ON: The moonlit symphony that is the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase

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Let’s begin by stating the patently obvious: A. Lange & Söhne has had a very good year. At the top end, collectors have raved about the Grand Lange One Moonphase Lumen, as well as the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds. And for those whose pocketbooks have earthly limitations – the new Saxonia Thin presents a very tempting offering.

For me though, the sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle. The Saxonia Moonphase offers you the undeniable style of the Saxonia family, but adds some classic Lange complications to the mix – the big date and that oh-so-stunning moonphase. And the star of the show, is in fact the 852 stars on the said moonphase. It’s simply stunning; traditional without being a cartoonish smiling moon, yet thoroughly modern in its laser-cut technique. And it’s accurate to 122.6 years too. Of course the counterpoint to the moon is the date. Lange’s iconic big date apertures at the top of the dial perfectly balance out the bottom, creating an evenly spaced, elegant dial that we challenge you not to fall in love with.

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The proportional elegance continues on the case, which comes in either pink or white gold. It’s 40mm wide and 9.8mm high, which is quite slender for an automatic movement with a moonphase sitting on top.

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40mm is quite a safe size for this watch (personally I think it’s the perfect size) – smaller and you alienate the big watch guys, larger and you risk upsetting the dress watch purists who, let’s be honest, are a pretty key demographic for the Saxonia line. There’s a pusher at 10 that advances the date and a recessed button at four which adjusts the moonphase.

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The L086.5 movement is just what you’d expect from Lange. Flawless. The rotor is partially skeletonised so as not to obscure the German silver bridges, and the signature balance cock is as gorgeous as ever. Power reserve is impressive at three days, especially given that the big date is a bit of an energy hog. The automatic lacks some of the traditional charms of the hand winders, but it more than makes up for it in convenience.

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On the wrist this Saxonia Moonphase is a dream. The golden case, shimmering blue night sky of the moonphase and pure silvered dial just work. There’s no doubt that this watch is designed for the finer things in life – white tie at the opera and all that. But it wouldn’t look out of place in more casual settings either.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase Australian pricing

The Saxonia Moonphase, in pink or white gold, $38,300.

Images by Jason Reekie.

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