Looking Back at the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Daymatic
With a totally new self-winding movement developed from the ground up, the Lange 1 Daymatic adds a further chapter to the success story of A. Lange & Söhne’s most famous timepiece family. Its discreet distinguishing feature is a mirrored dial layout. A retrograde day-of-week indication forms the perfect counterpoint to the outsize date display.
Since it premiered, the Lange 1 has been the unmistakable face of A. Lange & Söhne. With its off-center dial arrangement and the patented outsize date display, it became the manufactory’s instantly recognizable design icon, ranking among the most commended wristwatches of all times. Simultaneously, it is one of the most successful timepieces of the acclaimed watchmaking company. Its popularity prompted the development of a complete Lange 1 family composed of six highly distinctive models that share one common asset: a manually wound movement with a twin mainspring barrel for a power reserve of three days visualized by a progressive power-reserve indicator. However, there was never a self-winding Lange 1. But now, the wait is over. For all the devotees of this exceptional watch, including those who derived personal enjoyment from feeding it with the necessary energy, in 2010 the manufactory now presents the self-winding Lange 1 Daymatic with a retrograde day-of-week display. For the watch family with the prestigious name, it stands for the beginning of a new era.
At first sight, it seems familiar, but a closer look shows that it is innovative in every respect. Endowed with a newly developed self-winding movement, it affords a totally novel perspective of the Lange 1. In comparison with the manually wound Lange 1, the dial of the Lange 1 Daymatic is reflection-symmetric. Only connoisseurs will note this discreet hallmark of the self-winding Lange 1.
On its face, the main dial with the hour and minute hands is now on the right side. For most watch enthusiasts who wear their timepieces on their left wrists, this layout has the advantage that when they pull back their sleeve, the first thing they will see is the most important information: the time. Conversely, the patented outsize date was moved from its customary position at the top right to the top left. Beneath it, the useful retrograde day-of-week display creates balance, replacing the power-reserve indicator which a self-winding watch does not require. The date and day-of-week displays can be conveniently and separately advanced with two push pieces.
As was the case with the classic Lange 1, the displays of the Lange 1 Daymatic are harmoniously arranged on the solid-silver dial. For instance, the center of the outsize date and the arbors of the day-of-week and seconds hands are on the same vertical axis. This is the baseline of an isosceles triangle whose tip lies exactly in the middle of the main dial.
The case of the Lange 1 Daymatic in platinum has a stately diameter of 39.5mm, 1mm larger than the Lange 1. It houses the self-winding caliber L021.1 which was developed from the ground up. Efficient winding is assured by a heavy central rotor delicately embossed with the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature. It occupies the entire 31.6mm diameter of the movement. The platinum centrifugal mass on the outer rim of the rotor transforms even the most subtle gestures of the wrist into kinetic winding energy. When fully wound, the mainspring has a power reserve of 50 hours.
The movement features many other quality traits that are typical for Lange, including the hand-engraved balance cock, an indexless oscillation system based on a large balance wheel with eccentric poising weights as well as a balance spring developed and manufactured in-house. It beats at a rate of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. The crowning accents of Lange-style craftsmanship are seven screwed gold chatons secured with thermally blued screws. Precious details like these constitute the genetic fingerprint that clearly identifies the Lange 1 Daymatic as a member of the exquisite Lange 1 family.