‘Soirée’ 113.029 A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1
It’s a bit bizarre how a single material change can elevate an entire watch: a steel Patek, Sodalite Daytona dial, tantalum JLC (long time readers, I appreciate you), or even brass movements vs gold for our Journe friends. Did you know Rolex made a few steel Day-Dates prototypes? Bet that raised a few of your pulses. In a hobby that is entirely detail, a single component’s composition can inspire . . .or leave totally uninspired if called Code 11.59. If a match could be made in heaven, mother of pearl and the Lange 1, little or otherwise, are just right. The material is difficult to work with, has a very subtle beauty, and is really only noticed by those with an acute eye. The Lange 1, well it’s more of the same. But it’s more of a 1+1=5 scenario when they’re together, because the overtly Teutonic A. Lange & Söhne don’t often venture into the more playful material choices.
I’ve had a bit of a fascination with the Little Lange 1 recently. Little is a bit of a misnomer, as there’s really nothing little about this watch in effort or proportion at 36.5mm, more midsized. And the model has a seen a ton of very interesting dials that its larger sibling hasn’t: colorful guilloché, gold flux, and this. It’s almost as if Lange are using the Little 1 as a testing ground for the larger sibling. To be blunt, all their experimentation is still slept on because Lange marketed the Little 1 hard as a woman’s offering a few years ago and that sentiment is slow to change. It was initially created at request of Eastern, mainly Japanese, clients with more slender wrists, but that’s neither here nor there. A (white) golden opportunity for those of us paying attention. In Lange as Porsche, the base spec model is almost always the most fun.
And now to the real gritty nerd stuff. The dial is technically still silver, but with a layer of MoP bonded and machined on top (fun fact, this means its L901.4 calibre has longer pinions to support its thicker dial, as opposed to the L901.0 calibre). MoP is notoriously difficult to machine finely, the fact that its subdials are still sunken with radial graining is really quite an achievement. Then each MoP from Lange is given an iridescent galvanic coating to give an extra layer of visual depth. Germans, huh? This 113.029 ‘Soirée’ was produced for just three years in the early 2000s with a confirmed total run of fewer than 75 examples.
This example is strong. The case has only the lightest of surface wear visible, everything else is perfect. It comes with its original strap, buckle, and service box from a well-regarded Belgian retailer.
Find this Soirée 113.029 here from Mr. Watchley for 56850 EUR.