It’s something that’s been seen before in fashion, the idea of coordinated garments for him and her that reinforce the “couple” idea. Shanghai Tang, for example, in the image below, have done it with subtlety, so that they are not exactly matching, but complementary.
A.Lange & Söhne are doing it in watches. The Lange 1 20th Anniversary watch set, launched for Christmas 2014, comprises the Lange 1 for men, and the Little Lange 1 for women, with a bezel set with 64 diamonds (about 0.8 carats total). The sets are limited editions, five variants, each limited to 20 pairs. The variants are based on the case and dial colours: platinum case and black dial, platinum case and rhodium dial, white gold case and blue dial, pink gold case and silver dial (as in the photo below), pink gold case and black dial.
The Lange 1 was one of the four timepieces presented when A. Lange & Söhne returned to the market in 1994. It has become a classic for the brand, with its asymmetric dial providing time indications, small seconds on a subdial at bottom right, power reserve indicator on the right, and a large date. A stop-seconds function (hacking seconds) makes it easy to set the watch to the nearest second. The dial finish is exceptional, with superb guilloché work in the solid silver metal, applied numerals and hour markings, and the powerfully three-dimensional date window. The L901.0 movement, surprisingly complex at 365 components, has a 72-hour-plus power reserve. At the bottom of the dial, the word “Doppelfederhaus” provides the secret of this high power duration: it means double barrels. Details, including the superbly-finished balance cock with the number 20 engraved on it, can be seen through the sapphire caseback. The case of the men’s watch is 38.5 mm in diameter, the women’s Little Lange 1 is 36.1 mm. Below, the lovely guilloché dial:
Below, the balance wheel, with the floral engravings on the balance cock, and the number 20 marking this 20th anniversary edition:
Below, the version with white gold case and blue dial:
One of the reasons for the watch’s complexity is the outsize date, which is not only easier to read than the normal date window (in which a single disc has all the numbers on it, which are by necessity small), but is easier to set, using a pusher on the left-hand side of the case instead of having to mess about with the crown. In the A. Lange & Söhne outsize date mechanism, there is a disc for the numbers from 0 to 9, and a cross-shaped piece for the tens, 1, 2 and 3. The complexity of the mechanism is due to the fact that the tens cross advances, stays still for ten days, and then advances again, but when it reaches the 3, it has to stay still for just 2 days, for the 30th and 31st. The magic is performed by the programming wheels, 4 and 5 in the diagram below.
The prices of the watch pairs are as follows:
References 101.064 & 811.064, pink gold with silver dial, €79,200 (£67,400)
References 101.065 & 811.065, pink gold with black dial, €79,200 (67,400)
References 101.063 & 811.063, white gold, blue dial, €81,200 (£69,000)
References 101.061 & 811.061, platinum, rhodium dial, €99,200 (£84,400)
References 101.062 & 811.062, platinum, black dial, €99,200 (£84,400)
For further information and boutique information, see http://www.alange-soehne.com/