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S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
W
hen Ferdinand A. Lange, a Dresden watchmaker,
established his watch manufactory in 1845, he laid
the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking.
His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted among
collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated
after World War II, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly fell
into oblivion. In 1990, Ferdinand A. Lange’s great-grandson
Walter Lange had the courage to re-launch the brand. Today,
Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or
platinum per year. They are endowed exclusively with
proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled
by hand. In a period of little more than 20 years, A. Lange &
Söhne developed over 40 manufacture calibres and secured a
top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands.
Amongst the many fine models created by the brand is the
Richard Lange Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite" Handwerkskunst.
Limited to just 15 pieces, the cases are made of an inventive
honey-coloured gold alloy that is twice as hard as yellow gold.
Crafted from the same material, the dial is decorated with a so-
called ‘tremblage’, a rare traditional engraving technique. With
all its beautiful movement decorations, this timepiece takes
horological artistry to a new level that merits the accolade
Handwerkskunst’, meaning craftsmanship.
The fourth “Pour le Mérite” timepiece presented by A. Lange &
Söhne is a manifestation of artisanal virtuosity at the highest level
and combines two complications – a fusée-and-chain trans-
mission and a tourbillon – both designed explicitly to achieve
the highest degree of precision. Its patented stop seconds
mechanism allows the watch to be set with one-second accuracy.
A round aperture in the regulator dial exposes the system, which
revolves and oscillates at the same time. To prolong the duration
of the delightful mechanical ballet for the observer, the adjacent
hour dial features a cutaway portion. But precisely at 6 o’clock,
the missing segment pivots into place and completes the hour
ring until it instantly vanishes again exactly at 12 o’clock.
Although the model was only launched in 2011, the eighth of
the 15 produced was recently sold at auction in Sotheby’s in
Hong Kong for more than double the original price of EUR
178.500.
The final auction bid was EUR 289.350, revealing how
highly esteemed and greatly valued A. Lange & Söhne watches
have once more become.
A. Lange&Söhne