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A. Lange & Söhne - A unique piece at auction for a worthy cause

A. Lange & Söhne A unique piece at auction for a worthy cause

The unique “Homage to Walter Lange” piece that is going up for auction at Phillips is significant for a number of reasons.

It is a watch that is laced with history and emotion, as well as a uniqueness that will make it coveted among a community of collectors of a brand that is already highly collectible. The unique piece 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” that will be sold by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo during the spring watch sales on the weekend of 12-13 May in Geneva has a poignancy to it. Walter Lange had long wanted to reproduce in a contemporary watch the patent of his grandfather Emil Lange (one of the first patents to be awarded in Germany) for a “one-second movement with jumping hand”. Sadly, the project only came to fruition after Walter Lange’s death just before the SIHH 2017 and was completed in a record time of just 10 months.

A unique piece at auction for a worthy cause

1815 « Homage to Walter Lange » © A. Lange & Söhne

The unique piece completes a collection of limited edition watches produced in quantities with an historical significance for the brand. There are 145 of the white-gold version (corresponding to the number of years between the original foundation of the company in 1845 and 7th December 1990 – the date on which Walter Lange registered Lange Uhren GmbH), 90 in rose gold (taken from the 1990) and 27 in yellow gold (the 27 years to the day between the foundation of Lange Uhren GmbH and the launch date of this new collection). The models are priced at €47,000, which sets a benchmark for the auction estimate. This unique piece is, however, in stainless steel, which has not been seen in the A. Lange & Söhne collection for over 15 years. This, combined with the sublime three-part dial in black enamel and the fact that the proceeds from the sale are going to the Children Action Foundation that was dear to Walter Lange’s heart, mean that the sky is the limit as far as the final sale price is concerned.

A unique piece at auction for a worthy cause

Case back view © A. Lange & Söhne

If the unique nature of the piece, its unique stainless-steel case, its charitable benefit and general provenance aren’t enough, true watch geeks will no doubt appreciate the singular complication inside the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange piece. It has a central deadbeat seconds hand, which beats to the second precisely. But unlike most other such watches, it also has a subsidiary continuous seconds dial at 6 o’clock. Furthermore, the centre seconds can be stopped and started using a separate pusher at 2 o’clock, which can be used like a chronograph without the elapsed time counters for minutes and hours. This unusual mechanism is based on the “flirt and star” principle, which is explained in detail in Ashton Tracy’s technical article and was the object of the above-mentioned patent.

It is indeed a fitting tribute to the man who not only brought back the Lange family watchmaking tradition but also made it into one of today’s most prestigious and most collectible high-end watch brands.

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Following the vision of Ferdinand Adolph Lange to build the world’s best watches, A. Lange & Söhne strives for ultimate precision and explores new avenues in order to advance the art of fine watchmaking.

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