SIHH 2010: A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic German

The stunning Lange 1 series of watches is a fairly new “flagship” collection from the watchmaker that was resurrected after the fall of Communist regime in Eastern Germany. It may not be as technologically daring as their recent Zeitwerk model. Yet it successfully showcases the German brand’s legendary heritage and offers such trademark complications as off-centered displays, as well their signature big date complication. According to a recently disseminated press release, the collection will soon be expanded with an even more beautiful A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic model. Compared to other members of the family, the new timepiece offers a less complex dial layout reducing the extensive list of functions to just a bare minimum: hours, minutes, small seconds, retrograde “days of week” display and, of course, the big date aperture, which is now ergonomically placed at 10 o’clock.

Available in pink or yellow gold or even in platinum, the Daymatic literally mirrors the dial layout of the original Lange 1 model.

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic automatic watch (left to right: platinum, yellow gold, rose gold)

Its signature off-center hour / minute and small seconds sub-dials are moved from 9 and 5 o’clock to 3 and 7 o’clock respectively.

The minimalist power reserve indicator is replaced with similarly styled retrograde day-of-week display, which is located at 9 o’clock.

Like many dressy timekeepers from Lange, this watch lacks any kind of lume on its hands and hour markers, but that is possibly to the best: it is not a diver or a pilot’s watch, after all (although it must be noted that the German brand does have a number of models that feature indicators covered with luminescent compound. They are quite aptly named “Luminous” and, while slightly less elegant, offer a lot better nighttime legibility).

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic automatic watch (front)

There are significant changes in the mechanics department as well. According to the German brand PR department, the original Calibre L901.0 in-house hand-wound movement is replaced with a completely new L021.1 automatic caliber, which is also manufactured on A. Lange & Sohne’s own premises.

At 31.6 mm in diameter and 6.1 mm in height the new L021.1 is 1.2 mm larger and 0.2 mm higher than its predecessor, but German engineers apparently had no problem casing it since the new Lange 1 Daymatic‘s case has also grown in size by 1 mm and 0.4 mm to 39.5 and 10.4 millimeters in diameter and height respectively.

As you can see on the pictures below, the manufacture-grade mechanism offers an almost unrivalled level of hand-decoration with beautifully engraved balanced cock, a skeletonized oscillating weight with yellow gold insert, which is decorated using their signature “tremblage” engraving technique and, of course, the vertical stripes similar to those that we often see adorning timekeepers made in Switzerland.

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic in yellow gold (sapphire case back cover)

However, the watch doesn’t look any more massive, preserving the clean and elegant look of its progenitor.

With such modest dimensions, the watch will look great and feel very comfortable on any wrist.

We still do not have photos of the watch’s caseback, but the German watch manufacturer says that the Daymatic’s self-winding movement is, as usual, exquisitely decorated, including a hand-engraved balance cock.

The Lange 1 Daymatic is certainly going to be one of the best offerings in the upcoming year: not only for the German brand, but for the whole niche of ultra-luxury timepieces.

See also: A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk: the giant leap of time

Kaliber L021.1 self-winding movement (hand-engraved balance cock, fragment)

WWR Verdict

Originality 5/5
Build Quality: 5/5
Usability: 4/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic automatic watch

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic automatic watch (dial, detail: retrograde day of week indicator)

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic automatic watch (dial, detail: big date indicator)

Photos: A. Lange & Sohne

A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic specification

Price range: $40,000 (MSRP, rose and yellow gold) / $54,000 (MSRP, platinum)
Movement: Caliber L021.1, automatic, 21,600 vph, 67 jewels, 426 parts, 7 screwed gold chatons, decorated by hand, Made in Germany
Complications: Retrograde Day of Week, big date, off-centered hours and minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 50 hours
Case material: Rose gold (ref. 320.032), yellow gold (ref. 320.021) and platinum (ref. 320.025)
Shape: Round
Case size: 39.50 mm
Case height: 10.40 mm
Dial: Solid silver, sand-blasted
Hands: Yellow or rose gold or rhodium gold depending on the model
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Crocodile leather strap with branded prong buckle in solid gold or platinum (matching material of the case)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case-back: Sapphire

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