Day 2 of my “Watch A Day” series has arrived and I just couldn’t stop my hand from falling on my favorite watch of all. I purchased this A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin 37 mm without the usual months of consideration and comparison. It was just perfect the moment I saw it, and it remains simply the best watch I own.
I have a quite a few watches (enough to wear one a day for a month!) but this one gets more wear than all the others. I just can’t help myself. It’s as simple as possible, perfectly proportioned, and eminently wearable for any occasion. It’s also the most valuable watch I own, which is quite a contrast to yesterday’s “plastic fantastic” Swatch!
Let’s start with a little background. A. Lange & Söhne was historically and is today one of the finest names in watchmaking, right up there with Patek Philippe, but this was not always the case. After World War II, Glashütte Germany fell under Soviet control and A. Lange & Söhne was absorbed into VEB and GUB. But the company was re-launched by the original family in 1990 and restarted production, with help from the LMH conglomerate. Since then, Lange has successfully reclaimed their heritage thanks to a commitment to craftsmanship and technical innovation unmatched in the industry.
Lange relaunched in 1994 with the innovative Lange 1, Arcade, “Pour le Mérite” tourbillon, and classic Saxonia models. Named for Lange’s home state of Saxony (also referenced in their logo with “I/SA”), the original Saxonia featured their innovative two-wheel big date complication and small seconds at 6:00, really crowding the dial in this 34 mm watch. It wasn’t until 2016 that A. Lange & Söhne would release a tidy and simple model, the Saxonia Thin.
That first Saxonia Thin had almost everything I was looking for in a watch: A thin 5.9 mm profile, classic clean styling with no date and simple baton markers, and the refined yet classic L093.1 hand winding movement, viewable through a sapphire back. But it was just too large for my taste, sitting high on the wrist with an acre of creamy silver dial inside the markers. It was also priced out of my range at $24,500.
Still, I couldn’t stay away from the A. Lange & Söhne shop windows.
Then something magical appeared: My grail dress watch, the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin 37 mm. Miraculously, despite the hand finishing and solid white gold case, Lange dropped the price to “just” $14,800, by far the cheapest model in their range. Some things are just meant to be.
The Saxonia Thin wears perfectly. At just 5.9 mm thick and with gracefully curved lugs, it disappears under the cuff. The simple dial is never out of place and the proportions of bezel, dial, markers, hands, and logo are perfect. The crown is ideally sized and simple to operate, with exceptionally smooth winding and setting. There is literally nothing I would improve about this watch.
The white gold case and silver dial disappear too, making it the perfect “Q-Ship” for people like me who buy watches to enjoy, not to show off. Watch lovers always nod and smile, but I’d rather not have the whole world notice what I’m wearing.
Everything changes when you flip the watch over. The sapphire caseback reveals A. Lange & Söhne’s exceptionally-detailed Cal. L093.1, rendered in German Silver and classic three-quarter plate layout. Look closer and notice the hand-engraved balance cock with its “whiplash” precision adjuster. Examine the finishing and notice that every aspect is perfect, from the beveling to the black polishing to the classic gold chatons and blued screws around each jewel. Every piece of the movement is finished like this, including all the surfaces no one but the watchmaker will ever see. That’s what makes it the finest watch in the world.
If you’re nodding in agreement at this point, I urge you to take a look at the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in person. Although some are available secondhand, they hold their value exceptionally well, with most changing hands well above $11,000.