You Are There: A. Lange & Söhne At Classic Days, Debuts Lange 1 Daymatic 25th Anniversary
A. Lange & Söhne is now a fixture on the classic car scene by sponsoring high-profile events that feature some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles. Events of this magnitude involve Italy’s magnificent Villa d’Este, London’s Hampton Court Palace Concours of Elegance, and the Düsseldorf Classic Days.
The Saxon brand’s timepieces are a perfect fit for the environment, in which mechanical elegance takes the upper hand. And, honestly, cars and watches go together as disparate things seldom do (see GaryG’s expert opinion on this in Collecting Watches And Cars: What’s The Same And What’s Different? ).
Perhaps it’s the shared combination of art, science, and aesthetics; perhaps it’s the collecting or investment angle; or perhaps it’s all down to the fascination with mechanics, regardless of size, that attracts people to both microcosms.
Personally, I think it tends have the most to do with the souls of these objects – which don’t seem like objects at all to enthusiasts and collectors, but rather personality extensions.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Classic Days as a guest of A. Lange & Söhne. This event is set up on the estate of Schloss Dyck in Jüchen, a suburb of Düsseldorf. Dyck is an early medieval moated castle, whose history began in 1094. Its delightful grounds spread across four small islands connected by little bridges.
The playful architecture of what is now the provenance of a specially established foundation makes it the perfect backdrop for a visually stimulating event such as this one – in particular thanks to the English-style landscaping of the gardens.
The proceeds from the annual classic car event are used to maintain the castle and its grounds. And A. Lange & Söhne has been the main sponsor for several years now.
Coincidence perhaps, brand CEO Wilhelm Schmid is also at least as passionate (if not more) about classic cars as he is about watches. Therefore, it was difficult to spend much time with him in Düsseldorf as he was a popular passenger, driver, and conversation partner for many visitors during the three-day event.
It was easy to see how much he loves this environment. “When I drive a classic car or wear a mechanical watch, I feel connected to the world,” he said. And that about sums it up.
The Classic Days event was also the perfect backdrop for A. Lange & Söhne to introduce the eighth special-edition watch in honor of the Lange 1’s twenty-fifth anniversary.
In January 2019, A. Lange & Söhne kicked off a series of celebratory special editions in honor of the quarter-century anniversary of its flagship watch – one of the modern watch industry’s true icons – with the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 25th Anniversary Edition.
The limited edition models emerging in a quasi-monthly rhythm commemorate the anniversary and share an incredible silver-and-blue color scheme. They are all not straight-up Lange 1 models as the product managers have reached across the entire family of Lange 1 variations as the bases for these celebration models (see the first five of these in A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 25th Anniversary: The 5 Celebratory Limited Edition Watches Introduced To Date In 2019).
An anniversary version of the Lange 1 Daymatic arrived in Düsseldorf, a limited edition of the Lange 1 Daymatic of 2010, which was essentially an automatic version of the Lange 1. But with a twist (hello, this is A. Lange & Söhne!).
The Daymatic, which was a completely new automatic development when it launched, displays the day of the week, which the hand-wound version does not, instead using the space for a rather useful power reserve indicator.
The new development is plainly visible in the fact that this watch’s displays actually “mirror” those of the one-millimeter smaller manually wound movement of the classic Lange 1; yes, its dial is set up in mirror-opposite fashion.
Only 0.4 mm higher than its hand-wound counterpart, the Daymatic’s Caliber L021.1 is characterized by a heavy, central, full-sized rotor crafted in an alloy of copper, beryllium, gold, and platinum that is perfectly decorated within an inch of its life.
The Daymatic gets the anniversary treatment here with a white gold case, solid silver dial, and blue-hued accents. The blue accents on the dial and engraved movement nearly match the blue of the tempered steel hands perfectly.
One large difference between this and the original Daymatic (to someone who looks at each detail, anyway) is the retrograde weekday display, which takes up the space reserved for the power reserve indication on the hand-wound Lange 1: while 2010’s version had the one-letter weekday abbreviations in German, the single letters here stand for the days in English. And that despite having kept the “Wochentag-Automatik” (“weekday-automatic”) verbiage on the dial between 5 and 6 o’clock.
Like the balance cocks of the other special editions, this one features a unique engraving incorporating the shape of the large date display showing the number 25. This number serves dual purposes: to celebrate 25 years since the Lange 1 launch and to reminisce October 24, the date it was launched in 1994. The large posters decorating the room at the Dresden Castle and the press photos showed the watch with the number 25 in the date display, cleverly anticipating photos of the watch being printed in the newspaper the next day.
The engraving is filled with the same deep shade of blue from the dial, continuing the “blue” theme. This engraving change is an interesting way to add a special touch to the movement marking it as part of the anniversary edition. Like A. Lange & Söhne itself, it is understated and classy.
And like an excellent vintage automobile.
For more please visit www.alange-soehne.com/en/timepieces/lange-1-daymatic/lange-1-daymatic-25th-anniversary.
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Daymatic 25th Anniversary Reference 320.066
Case: 39.5 x 10.4 mm, white gold
Dial: solid silver, blued steel hands
Movement: automatic Caliber L021.1, untreated German silver plates and bridges, hand-engraved balance cock, 426 movement components (7 of which are chatons), 50-hour power reserve, in-house balance spring, 3 Hz/21,600 vph, swan-neck fine adjustment
Functions: hours, minutes, hacking seconds; large date, retrograde weekday
Limitation: 25 pieces