November 23, 2014
This is the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the debut of the Lange 1 (to the day!), an iconic timepiece whose design has gone essentially unchanged in 20 years and which is revered by collectors the world around. And just to set the historical record straight, it was on October 24, 1994, that the first collection created by the new Lange manufactory was presented to the public; this date was approximately 4 years after Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein embarked upon the modern day renaissance of the German brand (i.e. 1990) which is now one a tour de force in the fine watchmaking world. In fact the 20th anniversary celebration this week was in the same location as where Lange launched its first four pieces 20 years ago — the castle of Dresden.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is an immaculate & classicaly-styled timepiece with everything we have come to expect from Lange. Naturally, only 20 of these beauties will be crafted. This 20th anniversary A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst will be a boutique-exclusive offered piece, at a price of $221,700 each.
The tourbillon cock with the challenging mirror polishing technique (or “specular”, as Lange refers to it), is one of the key style elements of this watch. You can also see that the black solid-silver subsidiary dial for the seconds is slightly recessed into the main dial. The contour of the aperture for the tourbillon has meticulously polished chamfers.
The lavish decorations of the Lange calibre L961.3 manufacture movement — including the tourbillon cock with the challenging specular polishing technique as seen from the dial side — earning it Lange’s rarely used “Handwerkskunst” designation for pieces with the highest level of craftsmanship.
The solarised three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver has generous cutouts that reveal the identically decorated twin mainspring barrels. The tourbillon bridge, crown-wheel and intermediate-wheel cocks are elaborately engraved with a technique that sculpts the motifs out of the material. Seven screwed gold chatons as well as two diamond endstone bearings for the tourbillon constitute the finishing touches. The diamonds are traditional hallmarks that Ferdinand Adolph Lange once introduced to highlight the premium quality of his pocket watches.