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A. Lange & Söhne with eyes on the moon

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January 2016

Among all of the new releases by the brand at SIHH – each of which is impressive on its own terms – one model stands out in particular: the limited edition Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase “Lumen”.

A. Lange & Söhne has arrived in Geneva fully prepared. As one of the invitees at this year’s SIHH, the German watchmaker has delivered no less than seven new releases at the prestigious watchmaking fair.

They include new models in the Lange 1 series, with one model in white gold and another tourbillon perpetual calendar variant. We also have two new Saxonia models, one thin option which stays true to the brand’s purist DNA, and another Saxonia model with a moon-phase display and outsize date.

A new Datograph perpetual tourbillon has also made the trip over from Saxony, which pairs three complications with five supplementary functions, yet it somehow still manages to maintain order on the dial. Then there is the Richard Lange jumping seconds model, which reinterprets the highly precise scientific observation watches of the past.

A. Lange & Söhne with eyes on the moon

Each is impressive in its own right, and consistent with what we have come to expect and appreciate about A. Lange & Söhne timepieces. But perhaps the more impressive new release is the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase “Lumen”. And that’s not just because it is a limited edition of only 200 pieces.

The reason? Among all the new released by the brand, the Lumen shows the most personality. The watch combines a brilliant moon-phase display with a mystically luminous outsize date on a highly impressive dial.

A. Lange & Söhne with eyes on the moon

This watch is the offspring of two previous models by the German watchmaker. The first is the Grand Lange 1 Lumen, which was released only three years ago. It featured a semi-transparent sapphire-crystal dial that exposed the ingenious disc configuration of the Lange outsize date. It was followed a year later by the Grand Lange 1 moon phase model, which sported a highly accurate moon-phase display, with precision of 99.998%. Taking the best of both worlds, here we have the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase “Lumen”.

The dial of the new model is made of blackened silver and black-tinted, semi-transparent sapphire-crystal glass. Thanks to a special coating applied to the glass, most visible light is blocked out, expect the UV spectra that “charge” the luminous pigments on the outsize-date mechanism and cause them to glow in the dark. The units disc, also featuring black numerals, is made of transparent glass and rotates in front of the luminous background of the date aperture.

A. Lange & Söhne with eyes on the moon

Another innovation in this watch is a lunar disc made of glass, which differs from Lange’s previous moon-phase models with solid-gold lunar discs. A laser is used to cut out 1164 stars and the moon on the disc, and thanks to the luminous compound behind it, the stars shimmer as if they were in the night sky. The 41mm platinum case provides a perfect complement to the darkened dial.

As always from A. Lange & Söhne timepieces, the manually wound calibre L095.4 – which also happens to deliver a robust 72 hours of power reserve - is elaborately finished and assembled twice. The three-quarter plate, for example, is made of untreated German silver and is decorated with Glashütte ribbing.

The new Lumen demonstrates the usual A. Lange & Söhne attention to detail and the use of precious materials. The notable addition is a contemporary and fresh dial design that shows more character than what we are used to seeing form the brand. Mark that as a good win to kick of 2016 for the German watchmaker.