In all eras and in every discipline, mankind can take credit for extraordinary accomplishments. This holds true for the fine arts, for music and for watchmaking as well. Among them are works of horological art that have survived their epoch and are displayed today in significant public and private collections. Quite a few of them bear the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature. Because only very few of these timepieces were made, sometimes only one, they are indeed priceless collectors’ items of everlasting value. Since the presentation of the first new-era collection in 1994, A. Lange & Söhne has again crafted works of horological art in strictly limited editions.
The TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”
The TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite” was Lange’s first new-era tourbillon watch. It showcases a technical feature never before implemented in a wristwatch this way: the going train drive via fusée-and-chain transmission.
Lange dedicated this unique testimony of watchmaking prowess to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the founder of the dynasty, by naming it after the most prestigious German order of merit for outstanding accomplishments in natural sciences.
The TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”, produced between 1994 and 1998, was limited to 150 in yellow gold and 50 in platinum.
In the 19th century, the designation “1A” was used by A. Lange & Söhne to identify watches crafted from the very finest materials and finished to the highest degree of perfection. In 1998, Lange presented the LANGE 1A as a reminiscence of this heritage.
It has a solid-gold lever and escape wheel, a solid-gold pallet cock, escape-wheel cock, and balance cock, as well as a solid-gold guilloched dial. Additionally, this masterpiece features all of the refinements that make the LANGE 1 such a precious watch.
In 1998 and 1999, the LANGE 1A was crafted in a limited edition of 100 pieces in yellow gold.
On the occasion of Emil Lange’s 150th birthday in 1999 and to pay tribute to his horological accomplishments, his watchmaking descendants crafted this masterpiece as a symbolic monument in his honour. The moon-phase display is so precise that it only needs to be corrected by one day every 1058 years.
The 1815 MOON PHASE was built in 1999 and 2000. The edition was limited to 250 pink-gold and 150 platinum models.
LANGE 1 TOURBILLON
With this mechanical opus, Lange continued the manufacture’s tradition of welcoming a new century with a stunning horological milestone. Introduced in 2000, it is the world’s first wristwatch with a gravity-compensating tourbillon, outsize date display, twin mainspring barrel for three days power reserve, and power-reserve indicator.
The LANGE 1 TOURBILLON was produced between 2000 and 2003. The edition was limited to 250 pink-gold and 150 platinum watches.
The ten-year anniversary of the new establishment of the manufacture was reason enough for Lange to recollect past values. In 2000, the manufacture presented a LANGEMATIK with an artistically designed enamel dial. Seemingly minor details such as the separately imprinted and separately stoved red numeral XII underscore Lange’s dedication to historic authenticity.
The ANNIVERSARY LANGEMATIK in platinum was a limited edition of 500 watches crafted from 2000 until 2004.
EDITION “Homage to F. A. Lange”
The year 2010 marked the 165th anniversary of Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s move to Glashütte, where he established a watch manufacture with initially 15 apprentices. With a special collection of extraordinary complications, A. Lange & Söhne honours his spiritual heritage as the founder of German precision watchmaking.
The trilogy, consisting of the TOURBOGRAPH “Pour le Mérite”, the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON “Homage to F. A. Lange” and the 1815 MOON PHASE “Homage to F. A. Lange”, melds the family’s horological tradition with contemporary inventiveness and sublime craftsmanship. The collection also premières a gold alloy of unprecedented hardness with a new hue: 18-carat HONEYGOLD.
All three models are limited editions and were manufactured from 2010 until 2011.
In 2010, only one year after the launch of the first ZEITWERK watch, the ZEITWERK “Luminous” gave testimony to Lange’s innovative power.
To assure readings of the watch in the dark, the jumping numerals were arranged against a black background and coated with a light luminous compound. The dial made of semi-transparent sapphire-crystal glass blocks certain spectres of the visible light but allows a significant portion of the UV radiation to pass through: it is this spectrum that charges the luminous pigments, thus ensuring that they glow in the dark. The transmission of light in the visible spectre was reduced to such an extent that the disc mechanism can only be dimly discerned during the day – in order to ensure that the legibility of the time indication is not impaired.
This exceptional timepiece was limited to 100 pieces in platinum and laid the foundation for the meanwhile highly sought-after “Lumen” range of the manufacture.
RICHARD LANGE “Referenzuhr”
Introduced in 2010, the RICHARD LANGE “Referenzuhr” is graced with a rare but useful complication: the ZERO-RESTART function. When the button at 2 o’clock is actuated, the seconds hand jumps to zero and remains there until the button is released again. The watch is not stopped but continues to run without any loss of accuracy.
With its “large” subsidiary seconds, the design of the Richard Lange “Referenzuhr” was inspired by the pocket watches that were deployed at the Dresden Timekeeping Service of the Mathematics and Physics Salon in the 18th century.
The limited edition of 50 watches in platinum, and 75 in pink gold, underscores the exclusiveness of this coveted collector’s item.
In 2012, the ZEITWERK HANDWERKSKUNST enriched the HANDWERKSKUNST Collection that encompasses timepieces with an exceptional finish. The black-rhodiumed dial in white gold is graced with a tremblage engraving, resulting in a vivid, particularly fine-grained structure. The relief-engraving of the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature adorns the mainspring barrel, the three-quarter plate showcases a grained surface with hand-engraved lettering.
When applying this special technique, the engraver carves out the motif from the material with the utmost diligence. The result: the motif looks as if it were embossed. The balance cock and escape-wheel cock are also decorated with a free-hand relief-engraving. The upper side of the constant-force escapement bridge is black-polished, the most sophisticated and time-consuming type of finissage.
The watch, limited to 30 pieces in platinum, boasts another hallmark: based on a historic model, the so-called Glashütte lever escapement, both the lever and the escapement wheel are crafted from hardened 18-carat gold.
HOW CAN WE BE OF SERVICE?
Whether you are in search of a specific model, have questions out of interest or need a service request for your timepiece – we are delighted to help you. We are at your service by phone, email or in one of our boutiques.