The A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase introduces lots of little details that you can only experience in person, a true luxury in these times.
When we think of German watchmaking, we tend to think of it in terms like “utilitarian” and “austere”. The Saxon ideals of design contrast with Genevan watchmaking, which has its roots in French Romanticism. Yet German watchmaking has an elegance of its own that many admire. And as Lange’s director of product development Anthony de Haas, and director of manufacturing Tino Bobe, often like to point out, it is all about subtlety and gentle deft touches.
So while the biggest gasps for A. Lange & Söhne this year are certainly reserved for the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar and Triple Split, we think the most significant design transformation appears in fact in the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase.
Since the first Little Lange 1 appeared in 1998, at the request of an Asian retailer in search of smaller sized watches for slimmer wrists, the collection has steadily grown. And with the surge of interest in sub-40mm watches today, the Little Lange 1 is practically mainstream.
Until four years ago, the Little Lange 1 stood pretty much alone. Since Lange did not want to market the watch as a ladies’ watch but rather a gender-neutral one, that along with Lange’s austere style limited the types of decorative arts used on the line.
This year marks a big change philosophically as well as aesthetically for the Little Lange 1 line. What that means for the brand in general remains to be seen. The Little Lange 1 Moon Phase was first released in 2017 with a silver guilloched dial and a variation of the calibre 121.2, adding a moon phase display over the small seconds counter. This meant it could keep the compact 36.8mm sizing of the line, with a generous power reserve and highly precise moon phase calendar (accurate to 122.6 years).
The 2021 Little Lange 1 Moon Phase keeps all that, and adds a touch of sparkle on the dial with a goldstone display laid over a silver dial. Goldstone is a man-made glittering glass that is also known as aventurine glass for its visual similarity, as well as sandstone. It is carefully finished to a beautiful polish, in a deep midnight blue speckled with gold stars and an accompanying white gold lunar display with the seconds display. It reminds one of a Van Gogh painting, Starry Night Over the Rhone.
Two versions have been introduced, one with a diamond-set bezel with 56 brilliant-cut Top Wesseltons and another with a plain white gold case. This marks the first time Lange has introduced a “paired” model, even though the brand is quick to point out that they are non-binary. But this is also surely a trial run for A. Lange & Söhne: the success of this model means future Lange watches will be free to embrace unexpected designs. And that is the breakthrough that thrills us.
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