‘Blue Italia’ 115.046 A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1
The Lange 1 is amongst my most hotly watched pieces right now. This is not because it’s hyped, (relatively) it isn’t. Market values haven’t exploded in the same way that the Chronomètre Bleu’s have—although let’s be honest if anything deserves to it might be the 1. Modern Lange began with the 1, and, for its part in laying the foundation for things like the 1815 Chrono, Zeitwerk, Datograph, and Triple Split, it will always hold a special place in many enthusiasts’ hearts.
However, even more relevant (to me), is the fact that the Lange 1 is a watch at the edge of knowledge. That is to say, scholarship on its early iterations and detail differences is only just starting to form. Langepedia has created what most would call a reference work in the last few years. But then only last November an important article was published by Perth Ophaswongse after a dial variation was catalogued by chronology, able to distinguish some early production differences through the Made in Germany signature under the main dial. I love watches on the bleeding edge of what’s known: and this is one. Chances are, if you’re willing dedicate a month or so’s scholarship to this watch, you may actually cover new ground. There aren’t many collected watches where that’s still the case. Particularly in the solid case back era, there is light yet to be shed on the dark corners of the early modern Lange years.
Now that you understand my enthusiasm in the current time for the Lange 1, let’s cover the watch at hand. When Lange make a limited edition, it is characteristically something every other brand could learn from. This 100-example run was released between 2007 and 2009 exclusively to retailers in the Italian market. That a proper limited number if you ask me: only just triple digits. It is also properly executed, a bit of a thank you to a very specific set of people who helped support the brand. The handset and applied indices were finished in blued steel, set off against a stark white dial. As one might expect, you almost never come across these on the secondary market anymore. It’s one of the rarest LE’s Lange has ever executed.
This example has a lightly worn 42mm white gold case. The dial is still snowy and clear, however there is a very small blemish under the first ‘E’ of ‘Doppelfederhaus’. Would have to be pointed out, not anything that would put me off. Otherwise, it is exactly as a collector would hope. It comes as a naked watch from a well regarded London-based retailer.
Find the Blue Italia Grand Lange 1 here from Subdial listed as POA.