The stunning Lange 1 series is a fairly new “flagship” collection from the brand that was resurrected after the fall of the 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 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 collection 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 mirrors the dial layout of the original Lange 1 model.
The signature off-center hours/minutes 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 a similarly styled retrograde day-of-week display, which is located at 9 o’clock.
Like many dressy timekeepers from Lange, this one lacks any kind of lume on its hands and hour markers, but that is for the best: it is not a “diver” or an “aviator”, after all (although it must be noted that the German brand does have several models that feature indicators covered with a luminescent compound. They are aptly named “Luminous” and, while slightly less elegant, offer a lot better nighttime legibility).
There are significant changes in the hardware 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 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 unrivaled level of hand-decoration with beautifully engraved balance 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.
However, the case doesn’t look any more massive, preserving the clean and elegant look of its progenitor.
With such modest dimensions, the Daymatic will look great and feel great on any wrist.
We still do not have photos of the case-back, but Lange 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.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
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: Rose gold (ref. 320.032), yellow gold (ref. 320.021) and platinum (ref. 320.025)
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