I am happy to report the arrival of my long-awaited Lange 1 PC. I expressed my interest in buying this watch 5 minutes after W&W 2021 opened (no joke), and it is finally here! This watch is the perfect perpetual calendar, and I feel privileged to own it. This is also my first post here!
I have wanted a Lange 1 for a long time now. As soon as W&W 2021 went live and I saw this watch on my screen, I knew that this was the Lange 1 for me. While nothing can replace seeing a watch in person, Lange’s experience hub and virtual sessions did an excellent job demonstrating the watch and explaining that it is not your average PC. The design is both timeless and harmonious, and the watch is the epitome of Lange’s technical expertise. The indications are beautifully integrated into the dial while maintaining the classic Lange 1 design. Regarding the cost, it is quite rare to find instantaneous perpetual calendars at this price point. Lange’s other instantaneous PCs are much more expensive, as are those from PP, VC, and many other brands (one exception being the stunning Journe QP). Watching everything jump at midnight (including the moon phase!) is a genuine treat. I must admit that since I am rarely awake at midnight, I set the watch 12 hours behind, just so I can watch everything jump at noon (hey, it’s midnight somewhere, lol!). Once the honeymoon is over, I’m sure I’ll set it correctly.
The design language of the Lange 1 and Zeitwerk families approach perfection for me, as both embody a principle not often seen in watches -- no indication on the dial is ever covered by another part of the watch. As a result, there is no time when the watch looks out of balance. It took me years to realize how valuable of a trait this is in a watch. While I do love chronographs, there are instances where the hands cover the sub-dials in such a way that the watch transiently loses some of its harmony. Same with PCs that have sub-dials or windowed cut outs. In both the Lange 1 and the Zeitwerk families, no indication is ever blocked. Even all the text of the watch is obstruction free. Yes, there are some who feel the blank numeral that precedes dates with a single digit in the big date display lacks cohesion, so there’s that. Personally, I quite like it. When I write the day of the month, I don’t usually place a zero before the single digit dates unless I’m filling out a form/website, so the watch displays the date like I would write it.
Size wise, the watch is a bit on the larger side. At 41.9mm in diameter and 12.1mm thick, it is noticeable on the wrist. The size doesn’t bother me, as it fits me well, but I’ve seen comments lamenting the size and asking why it isn’t smaller. My theory is that Lange 1 models with a peripheral indicator (PC, TZ, PC tourbillon) are intentionally larger in diameter to avoid having to shrink the time and big date indications to accommodate the added peripheral ring. The larger size might also avoid the need to remove functionality or compromise proportions. Had the watch included the Little Lange 1 dial layout/size with the month ring added, it might have been closer to 40mm, but it would have almost certainly been thicker and therefore disproportioned. All Lange 1 watches with the peripheral ring are 41.9mm, regardless of the level of complexity. Reducing the diameter might have led to design compromises Lange was not willing to accept. Plus, with 621 parts, the movement of the Lange 1 PC has more parts than the Triple Split. They need some room to fit in all that technical wizardry! Oh, and one regret – the dial side of the movement is just breathtaking, and I may never see it with my own eyes. During W&W, Lange had a session where one of the watchmakers demonstrated the movement, and both sides of the movement were just beautiful. Hopefully Lange will bring back the Langematik Perpetual at some point. Because it isn't instantaneous and uses a more traditional subdial layout, it is more svelte and wearable for those wanting a smaller watch.
If anyone is interested in learning a bit more about the movement of the Lange 1 PC in depth, Lange has a great video on their YouTube channel highlighting its complexity and brilliance. This video is older, and relates to the Lange 1 Tourbillon PC, but most of it applies to the regular PC as well.
I apologize for the length of my review here. Surprisingly, this was my attempt at brevity! I love this watch more than I can express, and I am thrilled beyond belief. Like David_S, I had a very, very hard time choosing between this and the gray dial as I had to decide sight unseen. My Zeitwerk Date has a gray dial, so I wanted something a bit different for this Lange. Now that the watch is here, I have to say that I am absolutely smitten with the gorgeous pink gold dial. It is quite dynamic and changes significantly in different lighting conditions. The contrast of the beautiful blue day/night indicator with the salmony pink color is similarly captivating. I hope to see the gray dial in person sometime, as I bet is equally as stunning.
If anyone out there is searching for a PC at this price point, I highly recommend this watch. I believe this is one that will remain in my collection forever. My experience with both Bellusso (my boutique) and with Lange as a brand have been nothing short of amazing. They have both made me feel like family, and I value my interactions with them as much as I value the watch itself.