The A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 slims down to become a collector’s dreamFergus Nash
After the impeccable German brand A. Lange & Söhne was all but pulled apart by the wars of the 20th century, it took almost five decades to come back from the dead. Günter Blümlein, who had done great work with IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, reached out to the surviving great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange and helped him to revive his family business. Walter Lange founded the new company exactly 145 years later, taking another four years to release their first new collection. Besides the Arkade, Saxon and Tourbillon Pour le Mérite was the Lange 1. It was conceptualised to represent the pinnacle of German watchmaking, honouring the tradition of the brand while also looking forward to more contemporary design choices.
Later years recognised the need for a larger watch in the catalogue, and so the Grand Lange 1 was introduced as a larger alternative to the previous 38.5mm case. However, as much as it filled the gap, perfection does take time in watchmaking. Instead of using the same movement as the Lange 1, resulting in a somewhat unsatisfying dial layout in a bigger case, A. Lange & Söhne implemented the calibre L095.1 in 2012 to resolve this.
Announced at last year’s Watches & Wonders 2022, the latest generation of the Grand Lange 1 uses that same L095.1, but also manages to slim down the proportions to just 8.2mm tall. For a 41mm watch, that makes the wearing experience much more comfortable without sacrificing any of the wrist presence you want. The deconstructed dial is orchestrated perfectly, with the geometric principals of the golden ratio integrated into its layout as opposed to a random scattering of complications. It’s also easy to read, with its dedicated subdials and the grand operatic date window adjustable via a pusher on the left hand side. Be sure to watch the video above to hear Andrew and Kylie’s hands-on takes of the new A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 in pink gold.