While the rules about how a man should dress for formal occasions are more relaxed than in the past, they are still governed by the principles of timelessness: elegance, discretion, refinement and restraint. Self-expression and individuality are all very well, but wearing a chunky, sporty watch with a dinner suit (or even a formal business suit) will forever remain a stylistic faux pas. And that’s as much a question of aesthetics as social convention.
It follows that a dress watch should be slim, relatively small (by today’s standards), made of precious metal, and with a white, cream or black dial that – preferably – displays nothing more than the hours, minutes and seconds by way of simple indexes. If you’re at all familiar with Lange’s line-up you will have noticed that I just described its Saxonia time-only collection.
When elegance is as pure as that, it’s a bit risky to add another element – especially one that is as visually strong as Lange’s signature outsize date. But Lange has nailed it, giving the watch a deep, inky black dial (made of galvanised solid silver) and matching black date disc with white printed numerals. The applied hour markers are solid gold, slim and highly polished.
While the watch looks great with the pink gold case, the white gold version is a package of minimalistic monochrome awesomeness. And the proportions are perfect: a diameter of 38.5mm and thickness of 9.6mm. It’s designed as a dress watch, sure, but with its absolute rightness there’s a risk that you’ll want to wear it most days (except, of course, those times when only a hefty chunk of sports watch will do).
With a power reserve of 72 hours, the self-winding calibre L086.8 is based on the movement cal. L086.1 that was developed specifically for the Saxonia Automatic collection in 2011. As well as a platinum winding rotor, it has all the goodies we know to expect from a Lange movement: plates made of untreated German silver, sublime hand-finishing and decoration of every single one of the 286 parts, and a manually engraved balance cock with the characteristic whiplash spring for precision beat adjustments.