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Some thoughts and photos of a Lange 1

May 24 2003 at 12:05 PM

Paul Boutros  (Premier Login thepurist178)

Response to Reviews

Please allow me to share my feelings on this wonderful watch with you all…

When I first saw pictures of the Lange 1 several years ago, it was love at first sight. The design was fresh, bold, and exciting and spearheaded the trend of the use of large date apertures in watches. To my eyes, the design was striking, harmonious, and well balanced. I knew for certain it would be mine someday.

Fast forward several years, a platinum Lange 1 with silver dial has finally found its way to me. It is now my pleasure to share with you all my personal feelings and photos on this pleasure-inducing timepiece. Let me begin with my favorite aspect of the 1.

The Dial
The rhodium plated, silver dial, with its concentric circular-grained time and seconds sub-dials, positively radiates when struck by light. This extremely fine pattern, shown in the following scan, captures and disperses incident light, emanating a subtle and mesmerizing sea of colors. While staring at the dial, I can’t help but get lost within this sea! Floating on the surface of this sea of colors, are the razor-sharp applied hour markers, made from rhodium-plated white gold. Note the superb finish on both the hour markers and the alpha, or sword hands. The wonderfully legible large date feature is elegantly framed in brilliantly polished white gold. The three of the tens digit, however, is not perfectly straight on my example, adding a human touch which I gladly forgive.

A very personal measure of quality of mine is the printing accuracy of the minute sub-division markers. On some watches, the minute hand will not correctly line up with these markers on various portions of the dial. The Lange does not disappoint on this regard-precise at every minute/hour marker. Also, the minute and hour hands precisely reach the minute and roman hour markers-another example of Lange’s fanatic attention to detail.

The Case
The hands-down, most impressive aspect of the case is its heft. The Lange 1 is just fantastic to hold. Obviously there is a very generous amount of platinum used in the case. This heft is a major contributor to the experience of owning a Lange watch. The wide, mirror polished bezel is no doubt a scratch magnet, but looks great. The side of the case has a brushed-finished central band sandwiched between two polished bands. As can be seen below, the interface between these different surfaces is sharp and pronounced. The date pusher at the 10 o’clock position on the side is finished magnificently. Note the wonderful anglage between the brushed top surface and the polished sides.

The lugs are completely mirror-polished, yet there is a lovely curved line partitioning the top from the side.

The white gold, embossed crown is the perfect size for winding comfort. If you ever have your platinum Lange 1 polished by someone not intimately familiar with Lange watches, warn them that the crown is not platinum. I have seen the logo polished away on other platinum Langes, so please be careful! Note the beautiful case back finishing near the crown.

The Movement

The movement of the Lange is a sight to behold. It’s positively hypnotizing to watch light dance off the Glashutte striping on the german silver plates. The gold chatons with their blued screws are so pleasing to the eye. The ¾ plate unfortunately leaves much of the movement hidden. In the following two pictures, note the black-polished plate for the upper escape wheel cap jewel, the anglage on every visible edge, and the consistency of the anglage on the ¾ plate. Before I embarrass myself with my lack of knowledge of watch movements, let me end my thoughts on the movement here!

Other Thoughts

Winding the Lange 1 is another major contributor to the overall ownership experience. Although butter-smooth, the resistance is just right. Once the watch starts running, the sound of the tick is creamy smooth and reminds me of the sound of cheesecloth tearing-an analogy often associated with the sound of BMW engines. A crisp and unique sound among my watches.

At 38.5 mm, the Lange 1 is the perfect size for me. The alligator strap has an excellent large-grain pattern. I do wish they used a rubber backing to prolong the life of the strap. The buckle is by far the best in the business-heavy platinum with the Lange brand boldly milled across it.

I’ve lived with the Lange 1 for about 9 months now, and in all honesty, for modern watches, I could very easily live with only the Lange and one other sports watch.

A big part of the watch collecting experience for me is presenting my collection to my closest friends. I show them vintage and modern sports and dress watches and 9 times out of 10, their favorite is the Lange 1. I think my friends have great taste!

Thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Paul Boutros

(reposted from the Lange and WatchRap forum)

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