A. Lange & Söhne Lange 31 White Gold 45.9mm (130.039), 2017 Version: Review

The Lange 31 model by A. Lange & Söhne was introduced in 2007, and has remarkably been the first and only mechanical wrist watch with a power reserve of an incredible 31 days. Not only this, but the Lange 31 also has a patented constant-force escapement that constantly delivers a uniform torque from day one to the last day of autonomy.

The 2017 edition of the Lange 31 is a new variation and not only does it look outstanding but it honors the innovation, build, and incredible longevity of the 2007 original. There are three models of this new Lange 31, but we are focusing on the reference 130.039 — white gold and grey dial. This is the only one of the three that is limited edition (to 100 timepieces).

Brand: A. Lange & Söhne
Type: Lange 31 White Gold 45.9mm (2017 Version)
Model: 130.039
Purchase Link: Not Available — This Model Was Introduced at SIHH 2017

 

Size/Specs/Design

The A. Lange & Söhne brand was founded in 1845, and after being dissolved in 1948, it reformed and relaunched in 1990. This German watchmaking company has produced some fine pieces of craftsmanship that we have been drooling over.

In a very modern Germany design, the new 2017 Lange 31 is grey, sophisticated, made from luxury materials, and has a very modern design to it that is difficult to capture in words. As you look past the imposing white gold case and onto the matte grey dial, don’t be confused by the reference to Glashütte — this is the location of the A. Lange & Söhne headquarters — in Glashütte, Germany. This brand is not affiliated with the brand that goes by the same name as the city.

While you cannot purchase the new Lange 31 yet, it was just showcased at SIHH 2017, which is what prompted us to write this review. The uniqueness of this timepiece is worth a good look into this brand and the mechanics of this beautiful timepiece.

This piece is limited to only 100 timepieces, which makes it a very desirable luxury watch.

Technical Specifications and Features:

  • Case Size: 45.9mm
  • Case Shape: Round
  • Movement: Mechanical, Manual Winding
  • Calibre: L034.1
  • Power Reserve: 31 Days
  • Jewels: 62
  • Number of Movement Parts: 406
  • Escapement: Lever
  • Case Material: White Gold
  • Case Thickness: 15.9mm
  • Crystal:  Sapphire Crystal
  • Case Back: Exhibition Case Back, Sapphire Crystal
  • Dial Type: Analog
  • Dial Color: Solid Silver (Matte Grey)
  • Dial Features: Rhodiumed Gold Dial Hands
  • Features/Functions: Hour and Minute Hand, 31 Day Power Reserve, Subsidiary Seconds with Stop Seconds, Outsize-Date Display, Power Reserve Indicator, Leather, White Gold, Rhodiumed Gold Dial Hands, Solid Silver Dial in Grey
  • Band Type: Strap
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Band Color: Brown
  • Clasp: Detachable Deployant Buckle

Power Source

The Lange 31 features a mechanical movement that must be manually wound. The patented constant-force escapement in this unique timepiece is what makes it possible for this German luxury timepiece to harness an incredible 31 day power reserve.

A constant-force escapement is important because it retentions a “remontoir” spring by 60 degrees every ten seconds to make sure that torque is not lost and accuracy is not lost — this makes the amount of torque delivered across the entire power reserve period of 31 days, uniform. Quite an achievement.

In fact, the mechanism is so stable, the high rate of stability and accuracy is guaranteed for an entire month, whether you are wearing it or whether it is running on power reserve.

The L034.1 calibre engine features an incredible 3.7 meters of mainspring — the energy for such a long power reserve is stored in the large, twin mainspring barrel, which consists of two stacked barrels with an interior diameter of 25mm. Inside of the barrels, they can accommodate a 1850-meter long spring, which is ten times as long as a normal mechanical piece. With full tension, the barrels store over 3 joules of energy.

The Lange 31 comes with a stainless steel winding key. This generates much more torque than a traditional crown could provide. This means that fewer revolutions are needed to fully wind the timepiece.

The Good

First things first — one thing I love to see in any new timepiece is an unusual case size that is different from the standard. This is a reflection that the manufacturer has customized the timepiece and built it from the ground up, without trying to fit the mechanics inside of a standard size case. The 45.9mm white gold case is very suitable for having a nice, board watch face.

This means that the solid silver dial (grey in color) looks incredibly modern, sophisticated, and uses the dial space well. The broad dial uses small indexes for the hours, Rhodiumed Gold dial hands, and makes plenty of room for the large power reserve indicator and small seconds subdial. There seems to be plenty of room, which gives a sense of openness and industrial functionality to the piece. At the 6 o’clock position is a small seconds dial with a spot-seconds feature.

Lange & Söhne manages to use an innovative calibre engine and still offer a watch that is only 15.9mm thick. In addition to the white gold case and solid silver (grey colored) dial, the glass is made from only the best Sapphire crystal. The case back is exhibition styled and very open, as well. From bezel to bezel, the transparent Sapphire crystal protects the dial from scratches and bumps.

15.9mm thick
Detachable deployant buckle

Including a premium leather strap and a deployant buckle, this timepiece certainly does not skimp on luxury materials. With a distinctively German-oriented design and functionality, this Lange 31 is one of the more interesting watches we have ever reviewed.

The Bad

We are uncertain as to the water resistance of the Lange 31.

Functionality

Lange & Söhne certainly has no problems in the area of functionality. Not only have they created a stunning modern timepiece with accurate hour, minute, and separate small subdial seconds, but the mechanical movement also powers a split calendar window at 10 o’clock and a large power reserve indicator for the 31 day (744 hour) power reserve.

The patented constant-force escapement is a real reflection of serious German engineering and is what makes such a functional timepiece and long power reserve possible in a reasonably sized wristwatch.

The Highlights

Clearly, the highlight of this A. Lange & Söhne is the power reserve — since this is the main attraction of this luxury model (and the reason for its name, Lange 31), the power reserve of 31 days is outstanding. With the constant-force escapement and an incredible manual-winding movement featuring 62 jewels, the calibre engine is precise, long-lasting and a beauty to see with your own eyes.

The inscription under the split calendar date window is auf Deutsch — “Monats-Werk” refers to the high power reserve of the Lange 31. On the right hand side of the solid silver grey-color dial is the power reserve indicator. It is the most prominent features on this timepiece and spans an entire month. With a Rhodiumed Gold hand, you can see how much power is left in two day intervals.

Pricing

The new A. Lange & Söhne 2017 Lange 31 model in this review was showcased at SIHH 2017 and has a retail price of 142,300 EUR. This model in particular is limited to only 100 pieces. There are two other Lange 31 models that are not limited edition, however, that you can purchase easier.

Lange & Söhne: https://www.alange-soehne.com/en

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