In early 2017, during the SIHH, Walter Lange, the man responsible for resuscitating the legendary A. Lange & Söhne watch brand, sadly passed away. To pay tribute to this humble and charming man, the company decided to create a homage watch, just the way he wanted (a watch that Walter Lange had always dreamed of, but which had never materialised…until now). Available to the public in three shades of gold, one additional piece has been created in stainless steel.
Alerting all collectors: the unique steel A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ watch will be auctioned by Phillips Watches in May 2018.
Walter Lange loved watches and the company his grandfather founded in 1845, in the small town of Glashütte. Trained as a watchmaker, he knew watches inside out and worked for several years at the company, sitting behind every possible bench, working on pieces that bore his family’s name. Yet, in 1948, the company was expropriated by the East German government and merged with other local manufactures under the name GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe), a watch factory producing affordable, run-of-the-mill watches. In November 1948, to escape forced labour in the uranium mines, Walter Lange moved to Western Germany, where he continued his career in the watchmaking industry.
Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall at the end of 1989 and the consequent reunification of Germany, Walter was finally able to return to his homeland and, just five years later, the company ‘A. Lange & Söhne’ was revived in Glashütte. As a tribute to the immense heritage of this manufacture, Lange unveiled four new watches powered by high-end mechanical movements and, once again, the brand became synonymous with beautiful watches.
Fully immersed in the activities of the manufacture, Walter was involved in the creation process and personally gave his opinion on all the new collections. Yet, there was one watch Walter Lange always dreamed of, a watch that would feature an independent jumping seconds complication, one of his favourite complications, and one that had appeared in Lange’s pocket watches in the late 19th century. The project did not materialise during his lifetime but, just in time for the SIHH 2018 and the first anniversary of his death, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced an independent jumping seconds complication that would have made Walter Lange proud. The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ will be available in three different gold editions (yellow, white and rose) and a fourth version, this time as a unique watch, in steel.
Steel is the most common metal in watchmaking, but it is most definitely an exception at Lange, as the brand hardly ever uses this material to create timepieces. This unique piece in stainless steel, combined with a unique black enamel dial, is a rare occasion to get your hands on something highly collectable.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ is equipped with two seconds hands. The small seconds counter features a classic sweeping hand, making six jumps per second thanks to the 21,600vph beat rate. The central seconds hand is different, as it performs precise jumps from second to second, meaning that it is always perfectly aligned with the markers on the periphery of the dial. In addition to this seconde morte (dead seconds) feature, the central seconds hand can run continuously (well, with one-second increments) or be immobilised if needed. A pusher at 2 o’clock starts and stops it. This is a useful function for heart rate measurements, for instance.
The unique steel version of this A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ will be auctioned by Phillips Watches on May 12, 2018, during the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN. All the proceeds from the sale will be donated to Children Action, a Swiss charitable foundation that protects children’s rights.