Back in January 2014, A. Lange & Söhne officially unveiled the new Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase at the SIHH in Geneva. Back then, we brought you some live images of this new watch and the 'hot-of-the-press' details on it. Today, we bring you our hands-on review of the A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase ref. 139.032 in 18K pink gold with our usual images under natural light. This new exceptional timepiece where perfection is as perfect as it gets, gives the exactly calculated to 122.6 years moon phase display a shiny appearance on the dial and a majestic look never achieved by another manufacture. A patented method of coating the moon's disk gives this astronomical complication a highly detailed appearance with all its grandeur and horological beauty.
Since its relaunch, the Saxon manufacture has presented twelve models with a moon phase complication. However, never before the moon phase display has been so prominent as it is in the new Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase ref. 139.032. The popular astronomical display received a large stage on the dial. In addition, the moon phase indicator represents the time from new moon to new moon with an accuracy of 99.9978 percent. 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds , the average synod lunar months. For simplicity, the cycle is therefore rounded in most classical moon phase displays to 29.5 days. This leads per cycle to a deviation of 44 minutes and 3 seconds, which adds up after two and a half years to one day. The much more accurately calculated seven-gear on the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase reduces the deviation per lunar cycle to less than a minute. Once set up properly, you would have to correct the display by one day after 122.6 years. Additionally, there are more than 300 laser-cut stars on its moon phase disc.
The Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase is fitted with a 41 mm in diameter 18K rose gold case with highly polished and satin brushed areas. The elegant look of this timepiece is accentuated and elevated by the solid silver dial with an off-centered hour/minute subdial, a subsidiary seconds at 5, an Up/Down power reserve indicator at 3, an over-sized date indicator at 1 o'clock and one of the most beautiful moon phase indicators built into the hour/minute subdial with a dimension of 14.3 millimeters. The case not as thick as you would imagine, is only 9.5 mm in thickness.
The moon on the moon phase indicator is so shiny and reflective that it can be additionally used as a mirror for that last minute teeth check-up right before that important meeting with the chairman of the board. This solid gold moon disc testifies the perfection claim of the Lange product developers and differentiates the brand from other upper echelon competitors.
With a corrector between 7 and 8 o'clock on the case band, the moon phase display can be adjusted, while the traditional push piece at 10 o'clock allows for a rapid date change as necessary.
Fitted with a very nicely finished matte brown hand-sewn alligator strap, the watch is fitted with the traditional Lange pin buckle matching the precious metal of the case. The strap which is very stiff —when brand new—, will require somewhat of a long break-in period until it becomes extremely supple but sturdy enough to take on your every day abuse and enjoyment.
With the combination of the decentralized dial design, the over-sized large date aperture and its technically advanced caliber, the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase bears all the marks of the most famous family of watches from A. Lange & Söhne. The manual wound calibre L095.3 with an impressive power reserve of 72 hours is only 4.7 mm thick thanks to the use of only one barrel. With a balance spring developed and manufactured in-house, a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and intricately hand decorated parts, the Lange calibre L095.3 features all the classic elements of the timepieces from this manufacture and a real treat for the eyes via the display case back. The calibre is composed of 446 parts, 45 jewels —seven in screwed gold chatons— and a balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
On the wrist, the watch wears slightly larger than its actual size but quite comfortably regardless of the very stiff strap when brand new. The wrist presence is out of this world and once you strap this watch on, you'll understand why this German manufacture from Saxony is quickly becoming more popular amongst savvy watch collectors and those seeking for only the best of the best when it comes to timepieces.
Sticker Price $48,200 USD. For more info on A. Lange & Söhne click here.