A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 - Ref. 101.027X
The Lange 1 is widely considered the model that most efficiently captures A. Lange & Söhne's principles as a Teutonic watchmaker. With its characterful double date aperture inspired by Dresden's Semper Opera House, unconventional dial design abiding by the mathematics of the golden ratio, and a fit and finish any legacy watchmaker would be proud of, it's a young but hugely significant creation. When the Lange 1 was introduced in 1994, it didn't go unnoticed. Alongside three additional inaugural releases for their re-launch by Walter Lange, the Lange 1 went a long way to define the brand's approach to horology. A traditionally complicated watch combined with novel takes on the Germanic style, and a product-first attitude ensured Walter Lange's efforts would make his great-grandfather, the founder of Lange in 1845, proud. All styles of Lange 1 models have maintained a certain level of affection and allure from collectors around the world, but its early references, alongside the low-numbered special edition releases that represent the pinnacle of a Lange 1 connoisseur's collection.
And then we have the 'secret references' such as the 101.027X. Shrouded in mystery, this particularly scarce configuration and existence have an extremely muted presence, never appearing in official literature from A. Lange and Söhne. The 101.027X is commonly referred to as a 'secret reference' by Lange connoisseurs, with its realisation only discussed by collector insiders. The origin and subsequent discretions surrounding its existence are up for debate, as popular A. Lange & Söhne encyclopedia langepedia.com suggests that its existence is due to Lange wanting to celebrate Dresden and Saxony being awarded a World Heritage site status for the Elbe Valley. Although this accolade was later retracted, Lange wanted to honour the colour blue of the Loschwitz Bridge over the valley with a watch. The 101.027 was already a reference with a blue dial; therefore, it was decided to fashion the hands in blue instead. Its dial configuration is remarkably rare for its era and can be found elsewhere with the unparalleled steel 101.026 and very early examples encased in yellow gold. Created in the early noughties, production numbers of this seldom-seen reference remain unknown, with minimum ever coming to subsequent markets, although estimated numbers do not exceed the low hundreds.
As one of the rarest Lange 1 references, with less than 200 pieces ever made, as well as being held in exceptionally high regard, the Lange 1 101.027X is a true unicorn from the Saxon-based watchmaker. Despite its relatively conventional configuration, this stealthy Lange 1 disguises its importance with the help of a white gold case. Expressing the classic 38.5 mm case, this unassuming case metal is more commonly found on Lange 1's from this era fitted with blue-coloured dials under the 101.027 reference (note the lack of 'X' at the end of the number). All the classic hallmarks of the Lange 1 are proposed on the exterior of this piece, from its signature notched lugs, its accompanying beveling and gentle downturn, and of course, the date advancer pusher at ten o'clock. The case is skillfully constructed with an overriding air of simplicity, as its rounded bezel directly plays into the hands of wearability and dynamic elegance.
Most conversation surrounding the Lange 1 typically centres around the dial and its individually executed layout. However, it's the colour execution that delivers the most excitement here. A silver dial with blue hands is a very traditional and, for the most part, standard configuration in the broader watch industry, but for the Lange 1, it's a real rarity.
The asymmetrical and de-centralised dial utilises fine concentric circles for its timekeeping dials that honour each function's harmonious nature and purposeful placement. Quarter Roman numerals, Alpha hands, diamond hour markers, and a robust framing for its double date aperture all underscore this piece's subtlety and pure appearance. It's an undiluted expression of the Lange 1 with a classic colour palette that stands out by remaining unassuming. The dial is further finished with the A.Lange & Söhne arcing signature along with 'Glashütte i/SA' ('in Saxony') underneath, the readings for the power reserve, 'MADE IN GERMANY', and Doppelfederhaus, which references the twin-barrel setup of the movement.
Powering this significant Lange 1 is the manual wind L901.0 A.Lange & Söhne movement. This handmade, hand-engraved movement boasts 72 hours of power reserve beating at 21,600 vph with no less than 53 jewels to maintain its performance. As iconic as the dial of the watch, this movement has all the hallmarks of a Lange creation, including the bridges and plate being made from German silver, a hand-engraved balance cock, refined interior angles and chamfering with a level of hand finishing that puts many of the Swiss to shame.
How It Wears
A. Lange & Söhne watches always feel remarkable once fitted to the wrist, and although this 101.027X is unassuming in its execution, that is indeed its greatest asset. The prominent lug design continues to be noteworthy once fitted to the wrist, ensuring its case width on paper translates to a conspicuous wearer. This is an extraordinary reference that distinguishes its importance behind an under-the-radar white metal and a versatile dial appearance, however, for those in the know, this is a rare opportunity to elevate a Lange collection immensely.
This A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Ref 101.027X is offered with its original pin buckle. The original box and an extract from archive is included as well. The watch is presented in fantastic condition with only some hairlines and has never been polished. The watch is paired with a Mr Watchley Grained Light Grey strap.
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 *
|Size (Case)||38.5 mm|
|Material (Case)||White gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Grained Light Grey|
|Papers||Extract from archive|