Since it presented its first watch collection in 1994, A. Lange & Söhne ranks among the world’s most prestigious timepiece brands. In the course of the past 20 years, apart from the often highly complicated gold and platinum watches produced in small numbers, the manufactory repeatedly crafted commemorative series and a few singular pieces with extraordinary manifestations of craftsmanship at its finest.
Now, the Japanese watch forum Webchronos has launched a search for these rare watches. The project’s initiator and author is an influential Japanese blogger and one of the most eminent connoisseurs and collectors of the brand. His intention is to present an exclusive selection of Lange’s horological masterpieces in a book.
The initial research phase consists in identifying the locations of the rare timepieces. Owners are invited to register their unique or rare Lange watches online in a log-in area at webchronos.net set up explicitly for this purpose and online since 19 March 2014. There, they can enter data and background information and upload images of their watches.
Before the actual work begins, the data is forwarded to experts at A. Lange & Söhne for verification. A watch is deemed unique if only one exemplar of its kind exists, if it features custom engravings, has a special dial, is set with precious stones, or was individualised with a case material that deviates from the series to which it belongs. Timepieces are deemed rare if they are endowed with special features and were crafted in editions of two to ten pieces. Additionally, the selection criteria allow the inclusion of a few models produced in larger limited editions.
The envisaged publication promises to be an exciting reference work that will be as appealing to brand enthusiasts as the watches it describes. It is scheduled to appear in print in 2015. This is a welcome debut, because in 2015, the company is celebrating the 200th birthday of Ferdinand A. Lange, the founder of the Saxon precision watchmaking industry.