Time flies when you have a great watch on your wrist – we’re now just a few hours away from Earth Hour 2016. For us in the Middle East, and more specifically the UAE, you can participate in the initiative between precisely 8.30pm to 9.30pm. In honor of this important climate change initiative, we thought we’d introduce you to what we think is the perfect watch to keep track of time during this hour, the A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 Moonphase ‘Lumen’.
Lange introduced several different timepieces at SIHH this year, and as always, the Saxon brand surprised the press and watch enthusiasts around the world. The Grand Lange 1 Moonphase ‘Lumen’ (ref. 139.035F) isn’t this year’s star attraction but it is a notable timepiece for a couple of reasons.
First, this piece combines the semi-transparent sapphire-crystal dial that we last saw in 2013’s Grand Lange 1 ‘Lumen’, with the in-dial moonphase that premiered in 2014, on the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase. Second, this is only the third open dial watch that Lange has released since it was reborn, and if you’re a collector, it’s worth nothing that only 200 of these particular watches will be produced.
As this is a Grand Lange 1, this watch features a slightly larger 41mm case compared to the regular Lange 1’s 38.5mm case. If you’re used to the Lange 1, the Grand Lange 1 Moonphase ‘Lumen’ does look and feel slightly bigger on the wrist, though it’s still slim and elegant enough to be a complicated dressy watch that will pair exceptionally well with your formal attire.
The dial of this 2016 novelty is produced using blackened silver, and Lange has cut in apertures to display information where relevant. There’s a fair bit of black-tinted, semi-transparent sapphire-crystal glass too, and this is treated with a special coating that blocks most of the visible light, save for the UV spectrum that charges the luminous pigments on the outsize-date mechanism. Lange says the tens cross (the 1, 2, 3 arrangement for the first digit of the date window) is coated with white luminous compound and printed with black numerals, while the units disc – also with black numerals – is made of transparent glass and rotates in front of the luminous background of the date aperture.
Lange has also reengineered the moonphase disc on this piece, so whereas previous moonphase Lange models used solid-gold lunar discs, this new timepiece has a disc crafted from glass. To create the striking effect you see above, A. Lange & Söhne subjects the surface to a patented coating process, after which a laser is used to carve no less than 1,164 stars and the moon into the disc. The effect, as you can see from the picture is stunning, and really makes this piece special to admire in dark environments or simply when you turn off your home/office’s lights in support of Earth Hour.
As you’d expect from a watch bearing the Lange name, there’s a top notch movement responsible for animating the hands and various discs. A. Lange & Söhne continues to employ its double assembly approach to calibres, and in this case, you’ll find the manually wound L095.4 running the show. Since the Grand Lange 1 Moonphase ‘Lumen’ features an open dial, you can see a reasonable amount of the top of the movement through the dial itself but, as you can imagine, the real show can be observed via the exhibition caseback.
The calibre’s three-quarter plate dominates the show, and is once again made from untreated German silver. In this case, the plate is finished with Glashütte ribbing, and dotted with seven screwed gold chatons. The hallmark hand-engraved balance cock makes a return, and this calibre also features an in-house balance spring, which is something Lange has been doing in-house since late 2014. In terms of the movement’s moonphase accuracy, you won’t be left wanting – once it is correctly set, the moonphase will only have to be corrected by one day every 122.6 years.
If you celebrated Earth Hour with your own timepiece (regardless of what it is) or you can can think of a better watch to have on your wrist for Earth Hour, let us know in the comments.
To learn more about A. Lange & Söhne, click here.