Strap Guide written by @thewatchphoto. Thank you Mejd Khladi!
When A. Lange & Sohne rose from the ashes and reentered the horological world with a bang in 1994, it did so with 4 models, all in yellow gold. Of those, it was the Lange 1 that went on to become the company’s flagship. Since then, the Lange 1 line’s instantly recognizable (albeit somewhat polarizing) design language has become synonymous with the German brand and elevated to icon status, joining the ranks of the Calatravas, Tanks, Speedmasters and Submariners of the world.
I had been pining for a Lange 1 for a couple of years, but something or the other was always holding me back. At first, it was the hesitation of buying a piece that expensive. Then, it was doubts around how a Lange 1 would fit into my collection, more importantly, lifestyle. Later, it was: “ok… I will be adding a Lange 1… but which one”!??!? Where I landed, after a prolonged period of “analysis paralysis”, was on a now discontinued Lange 1 in yellow gold. A piece that I felt represented the brand and German watchmaking as a whole, while also introducing yellow gold to my collection for the first time.
Confession: I was terrified of yellow gold at first, unsure about when/where/how to wear it. Collectors (and brands) have in more recent years focussed on rose gold and, to a lesser extent, white gold, as the couleurs du jour. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to spot the sunny glint of yellow gold at your local watch group meetups. This strap guide is my attempt at confronting my own fears. Tag along as I explore a few possibilities and examine how exactly yellow gold can be integrated into modern daily wear, whether formal or otherwise!
The traditional leathers of choice for a dressy black strap are crocodile and alligator. I chose to go with Saffiano, however, because while still black the signature cross-hatch pattern gives it a high level of scratch and water resistance. The deep black colour (with matching stitching) provides a mature and formal look, but is a little more playful than the crocodile/alligator that might be more appropriate for the black tie events of yesteryear. Think “millennial wedding” but the invitation said that you can skip the tie. Paired here with a traditional white dress shirt and black suit.
Taking it a step down on the formality scale we now have this gorgeous blue crocodile leather that genuinely does evoke the colors of a lagoon. There tone on tone stitching keeps things colorful but tame. In darker lighting conditions, this turns inky black. On a bright sunny day though, this strap can liven up a whole outfit. Think sunset engagement party on a boat in the Mediterranean in early September. Paired here with a dotted blue shirt, navy chinos, and a light cream linen blazer.
Epsom leather conforms to the wrist from the very first time you put it on like few others do, with virtually zero break-in period required. At only 2.2mm thick, this slim strap is such a delight to wear that at times I forgot it was there! The texture is subtle, but there. Under some lighting conditions, it appears beige-brown. Other times, it appears closer to dark cream. When the Sun is being shy it starts to look stone gray. The contrasting white stitching keeps things casual!
Think running errands on the weekend. Paired here with a white merino wool sweater and gray chinos.
Alcantara leather might look like suede from afar, but it feels decidedly more plush and luxurious. On the wrist, it feels like your favorite down-stuffed pillow, if that makes any sense. This is premium, but will generally fly under the radar. Think event where you want the watch to remain a little bit incognito. It is there, blending in without being shouty. Paired here with a light teal shirt, sand coloured pants, and a thin forest green wool sweater.
This particular shade of chocolate brown might be a safe play, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Minerva Box leather has this alluring pebbled texture that adds dimensionality while not overpowering the watch. Between this texture and the rounded padding throughout the length of the strap, there is a certain amount of light play that avoids one-dimensionality. There is a certain melancholy to this strap, and I thoroughly enjoyed pairing it with all kinds of earthy tones. Think lattes and a long walk along the boardwalk. Paired here with a beige cashmere sweater, and faded army green pants.Rubberized leather, as I mentioned in one of my other strap guides, is like sorcery. It feels like both materials, and neither, all at once. Whatever this synthetic compound is, it gave me the confidence to go out into the world with a Lange strapped to the wrist (lucky me!) and somehow feel a little less worried about water, dust, and random doorknobs. The texture mimics that of actual leather straps and keeps things interesting. Think running to your favorite dessert spot 10 mins before closing. Paired here with a textured gray sweater and light stone colored pants.
- Reference: A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 101.021
- Case Size: 38.5mm
- Thickness: 10.5mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 47.3mm
- Lug Width:
If you enjoyed this Strap Guide, be sure to check out the rest of our Strap Guides for more inspirations!