Next week, the German watchmaking house from Glashütte plans to proudly present its unique A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este wrist watch. Limited to just one piece, this timekeeper is a meticulously redecorated version of the original A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone (Ref. 116.039) model that was presented almost exactly a year ago. Reimagined for the annual event that assembles thousands of businessmen, vintage car enthusiasts and dignitaries from all over the world, the watch demonstrates how effortlessly a brand like Lange can create a special edition timekeeper if needs be.
Judging by Lange’s press release, the new Lange 1 Time Zone Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este differs from the original only with its case back cover. Still crafted from solid 18-carat white gold alloy and featuring the same shape and dimensions, the part is now hand-engraved with the famous -well, at least famous with aficionados- Coat of Arms of Villa d’Este, an ancient residence in the Italian town of Cernobbio that was transformed to become a place of gathering for, um, people of distinction. Previously a place of dwelling of European aristocrats, it is now a luxury hotel that for the last 84 years also happens to hold an annual Concours d’Elegance event for lovingly restored vintage and daringly built futuristic concept cars.
As usual, the heraldic image is accompanied with their signature tremblage engraving technique that, as chaotic-looking as it is, requires a highly skilled artisan to be created.
The technical specs of this unique model seem to be identical to those of the original.
The watch will be delivered in a mildly oversized body slightly less than 42 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters thick. Its busy solid silver face still features two time zone displays (each with its own day/night indicator), a power reserve indicator, as well as the familiar large date aperture at 1 o’clock.
The city ring is also on its rightful place, but the original German city of Berlin is now replaced with a small Italian town of Como in Lombardy, which is located about four miles from Cernobbio.
Although piece uniques are usually auctioned off to collect money for some noble cause, the German brand’s press release says that the gorgeous one-off will be simply handed to a lucky owner of a car that manages to get the “Best of Show” prize at the award ceremony scheduled for 26 May, 2013.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: N/A
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este watch specification
Movement: Manual (hand-wound), Caliber L031.1, in-house, Made in Germany
Number of jewels: 54
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 72 hours (three days)
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, large date, second time zone (GMT), day/night and power reserve indication
Case material: 18-carat white gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.90 mm
Case height: 11.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Solid silver
Numerals: Roman / Arabic
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Rhodiumed gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black, hand-stitched crocodile leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire