After successful extensions to the ZEITWERK and ODYSSEUS families at the first digital edition of Watches & Wonders, A.Lange & Söhne has tapped into the travellers market for its next project, unveiling three distinctive new iterations of its highly coveted World Timer. INTRODUCING: The new Lange 1 Time Zone with a new Manufacture Calibre.
Since it’s inception in 2005 the Lange 1 Time Zone has been one of the most practical world timers out there…If you asked me the question, Kari what does your ideal world timer look like? Considering I was travelling pretty much 6-8 times a month, pre COVID-19, I’d with no hesitation tell you the Lange 1 Time Zone. What I love the most about this watch is the fact that although it is a world timer with a relatively busy dial, it is so well balanced. Notice how each and every individual function on this watch is extremely defined and legible.
Just like its predecessors the new Lange 1 Time Zone is characterised by an asymmetric dial with two time displays (the time at home and in another time zone), an outsize date and a power-reserve indicator. The watch also retains the switchable city ring that allows convenient setting of the second time zone. The larger time circle here indicates your home time whilst the smaller of the two time circles can be set to a second time zone by simply adjusting the city ring. When the time is adjusted with the crown, both displayed times are corrected simultaneously.
But how do you adjust the time? It’s really quite simple. When the corrector button at 8 o’clock is pressed, the city ring jumps from west to east by one time zone. At the same time, the hour hand in the small sub dial advances by one hour and now indicates the zone time of the city beneath the golden arrow that indicates that particular time zone. The hands on the large numerals circle can be set to display the time at home or the time in another freely selectable time zone. To further simplify the distinction, the zone time is indicated with printed Arabic numerals while the home time is displayed with gold Roman numeral appliques.
Another interesting feat of the Lange 1 Time Zone is the unique synchronization mechanism that makes it possible to transfer zone time from the smaller to the larger dial… which basically means that when you wish to swap the zone time and main time, simply pull out the crown to the second position and the times of both the zones can be adjusted synchronously. But in the process, if the button for setting the second time zone is pressed and held, the hour hand for the zone time will stay in its position. Now, the defined new main time can be set independently of the zone time. Once you have made this swap do not forget to correct the date (which will be connected with the main time) with a simple pusher at 10 o’clock.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s dive right into some of the changes incorporated into this new timepiece. After all, it is the minute attention to detail here that has made all the difference.
The “Previous” Lange 1 Time Zone displayed the day/night indicators for the home and zone timezones outside the sub dials with two rotating arrows. Now in the new Lange 1 Time Zone, the harmoniously designed and intuitively readable ring-shaped day/night indicators have been shifted to the centre of the two time circles. There, together with the hour hand, they inform you whether the time indication applies to the first or second half of the day. So basically when the hands are on the dial-colour segment it indicates the period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and when it is on the blue background from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Featuring blue printed semicircles, the discs rotate once about their axes in 24 hours while the hour hand performs two revolutions in the same period. I’ve said it before – it may seem like a minute change but it makes a significant difference to the face of the watch.
Another “useful” addition of the new Lange 1 Time Zone is the daylight saving feature that is displayed at 5 o’clock in a small aperture of the golden arrow that indicates the location of the zone time. If the aperture is red, it indicates that the city that the arrow is pointing to has a daylight saving time regime. In this case, one hour has to be added to the zone time from spring to autumn in the northern hemisphere and from late summer to spring in the southern hemisphere. For those countries that have summer and winter times, this feat is quite relevant and convenient. If standard time applies to the city all year round, the display appears on a bright background. This feature is technically implemented with coding on the underside of the city ring.
Fifteen years after its launch, the Lange 1 Time Zone is now endowed with a new manufacture caliber L141.1. In comparison to its predecessor, the 72-hour power reserve is achieved with only one spring barrel. Other details include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring crafted in-house and calibrated for a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. Lange-style quality hallmarks such as the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, screwed gold chatons, blued screws, an elaborate whiplash precision index adjuster as well as hand-engraved balance and intermediate-wheel cocks are visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. The artisanal decoration of the movement, which is assembled twice, reflects A. Lange & Söhne’s high standards in every detail.
Retaining its previous case dimensions of 41.9 mm, the new Lange 1 Time Zone comes in three case/dial combinations: white gold/black, pink gold/argenté, and – in a limited edition of 100 – yellow gold/champagne. Of the three, the limited edition yellow gold version with that gorgeous champagne dial has all my attention… And if the brand ever considered a honey gold version… Hmmm… No pressure A. Lange & Söhne, just putting it out there 😉