SIHH 2016: A. Lange Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Replica Watch

My goodness me, when Lange really wants to make a replica watch it knows just how to do it. This replica watch, along with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon (which you can see by clicking here) is probably my favourite replica watch from this year’s entries, it’s a classically proportioned piece that is just pleasing to the eye. In fact, pretty much every variation of the Lange 1 has been just that, an instant hit, right from the start.lange1-2

A lot of A.Lange & Söhne’s history before 1945 is a mystery to me, it’s not secret that the company had been operating for a long time before its forced closure by the Soviets at the end of World War Two. Before that, however, Lange made beautiful replica watches of both elegance and sophistication, really taking the best of French and Swiss replica watches and adding a generous amount of German-ness to their pieces. They were very highly regarded, too, the Führer at the time, Adolf Hitler, gifted his personal physician with one which he treasured for a long time.

Of course, it couldn’t last. A.Lange & Söhne is based in the little German town of Glashütte in Saxony, Germany. It’s not too far away from Dresden, one of the cities hit particularly hard by Allied forces during the war. When Adolf Hitler committed suicide and Nazi Germany officially surrendered it didn’t take long for a wave of allied forces to sweep in and claim the territory with Germany and particularly Berlin being right down the middle. Unfortunately, Glashütte fell into the clutches of what would become the Soviet Empire and would remain so until the fall of the Berlin Wall, because of this, the quirky little clock company A.Lange & Söhne closed its doors.

All was not lost, though, Walter Lange, the great-grandson of the company’s founder, Ferdinand Adolph Lange revived the company officially in 1994 and gave the world one of horology’s most loved and desired dress replica watches, the Lange 1.

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Celebrating this iconic range is the Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon. Lots of people see no reason to get excited about the tourbillon anymore, taking a clinical “it’s effects are debated therefore it’s not interesting” stance to it. Any tourbillon is a masterpiece, Abraham-Louis Breguet’s industry-changing invention still baffles most collectors even to this day. Like Patek Philippe, Lange chooses to hide some of the tourbillon it makes and in this instance, we like that. The Lange 1 range has a ‘golden triangle’ on the dial, like the golden ratio for a rectangle, it’s believed the golden triangle is more pleasing to the eye. The triangle is made up of four points on three lines, the centre of the hours, seconds, day indicator and the middle part of the Outsize Date. All Lange 1 replica watches feature this, another interesting feature that not everyone will know is that the day indicator is only on the automatic versions of the Lange 1. On manual wind replica watches, it becomes a power reserve and the dial is the other way around with the indicators being on the right and the hours on the left.

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The white gold case and soothing grey dial are able to easily hide the perpetual calendar function. There are, of course, the obvious day and Outsize Date functions, but there is also a month ring around the outside, a day/night indicator on the hours and minutes subdial and a leap year indicator at 6 O’clock. The moon phase on this replica watch only needs adjusting once every 122.6 years, making this replica watch a true family heirloom.

Each of the 624 individual hand made parts are placed with extreme care inside the 41.9mm wide 18K white gold case, each one can be yours for €316,000.

For more info, please visit alange-soehne.com

bio

HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern replica watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the odd Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram

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