A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 "Darth" - Ref. 111.035
Affectionally referred to as the Little Darth or Baby Darth, this A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 is a multi-faceted unicorn that exudes mystery. With less than 100 pieces manufactured, this reference 111.035 is cased in platinum measuring 36.1 mm wide and sitting at only 10 mm in height. Weighing 97 grams, its mass is compact and substantial, akin to its signature notched lugs that command this mid-sized timepiece's exterior. Balance is a re-occurring theme with the Lange 1, and its experienced throughout its skillfully constructed and finished case. Its central caseband is painstakingly brushed, while the bezel and lugs are complete with a high polish finish.
Although some of the overall gravitas is expressed externally, the chicness and further desirability are especially potent when considering the black dial of this Little Lange 1. Crafted from solid silver and presented in black rhodium, the unmistakable geometric orientation of this piece is packed with defining characteristics, yet its date display is arguably the most legendary. Stylistically taking inspiration from the Five-Minute Clock at Semper Opera House in Dresden, on the Lange 1, it's confidently positioned and framed where conventionally, the one o'clock hour marker would sit. Adjacent to the aperture and sitting on the outside of the case is the flush quick date corrector at ten o'clock. Date windows are often less than favourable to many as their position and integration can feel like a bit of an afterthought, potentially included to boost the appeal of the watch rather than to boost the strength of the design. On the Lange 1, though, it's an entirely different story.
Furthermore, on the right-hand side of the dial is its neat vertical power reserve indicator labelled 'AUF' to 'AB', before the subsidiary seconds dial is revealed with a purposefully stripped-back design to allow its elongated seconds hand with a long pointed counterbalance to take command. Just kissing the 10:30 placement of the seconds sub-dial is the bulk of the time telling functionality, with the current hours and minutes readings displayed through multi-faceted alpha hands. Nothing here is overly elaborate as the twelve, three, six, and nine-hour markers are applied Roman numerals alongside petite diamond-shaped markers. All hands, hour markers, and double date displays are presented in white gold. Wrapping back to the top of the dial is the A. Lange & Söhne signature which is printed in white to match the rest of the typeface found throughout the dial.
Powering the Little Lange 1 Ref. 111.035 is the Lange Caliber L.901.0. Characterised by its ¾ plate produced in German silver, it features nine gold chatons, blued screws, 53 jewels, 72 hours of autonomy via its twin mainspring barrels, and a highly decorated, hand-engraved balance cock with a swan neck regulator. Few watch movements possess identifiable qualities quite like a calibre produced by A. Lange & Söhne. With this L.901.0 visible through the display caseback, its beauty doesn't go unnoticed.
How It Wears
Watches by A. Lange & Söhne have an aura when in hand and on the wrist. It's almost on the cusp of being unexplainable, but pieces that have left the Glashütte workshop inherently feel significant and noteworthy. That feeling is only amplified with this incredibly rare Little Lange 1, as its black dial and smaller proportions are sophisticated and beautifully compact. The result is a timepiece that's tangible for daily wear or as a piece reserved for special occasions.
This A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Ref. 111.035 is presented in excellent condition. It includes the original platinum buckle, original inner and outer box, instruction manual, and warranty card. The watch is fitted to a Mr Watchley Grained Mid grey strap.
The story of A. Lange & Söhne is a decorated and well-regarded tale, with one-quarter of the inaugural models standing as the watchmaker's totemic innovation. From the word go, the Lange 1 garnered favourable attention from connoisseurs of horology and industry figures alike. This was not only due to its unorthodox dial that abides by the mathematics of the golden ratio, or its Dresden Semper Opera House-inspired double date aperture, but crucially its meticulous construction and build quality. Despite the Lange name being present in horology since 1845, the Lange 1 was born during A. Lange & Söhne's very first foray into watchmaking in the modern era. Walter Lange, alongside the driving force behind the resurgence of Jaeger-LeCoultre & IWC, Günter Blümlein, revived the name in the mid-1990s with colossal success. With its 38.5 mm size wonderfully sitting on a broad spectrum of wrist proportions, the Lange 1 became the watchmaker's prized possession, with a slightly smaller model, the Little Lange 1 (or 'Kleine'), following suit.
Carrying a 36.1 mm case size, it is believed that the Little Lange 1 came to fruition due to various requests from Japanese watch collectors seeking a more conservatively sized expression of the whimsical Lange 1. Introduced in 1998, the Little Lange 1 was originally a seldom-seen collection, only offered through Lange boutiques until 2006. It later returned to the range, however along with it came an aesthetic heavily directed towards the female market. There are no confirmed figures on the exact number of the original Little Lange 1 models produced in the first production run. Yet, it's believed to be extremely low quantities, unsurprisingly causing surviving examples to be highly desirable.
Lange broke their own mould when they introduced black dials and contrasting dial furniture to their range. These became known as 'Darth' models, and the formula was rolled out throughout the entire Lange lineup. This was until 2006, when the Darth colour scheme was discontinued, only to return in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of A. Lange & Söhne. Yet again, this turn of events has resulted in true connoisseurship surrounding early Darth dial pieces.
Combining both rarities above is exceptionally scarce, with Little Lange 1 examples fitted with Darth dials being even rarer than the standard 38.5 mm Lange 1 'Darth'. After research and several conversations with A. Lange & Söhne specialist experts and collectors, it is believed that no more than a few hundred Little Lange 1 'Darth' examples were produced, although this figure remains unconfirmed.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
|Mr Watchley Grained Mid grey