A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Ref. 151.005 - First Series
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Shipping and Seller Information
|Brand||A. Lange & Söhne|
|Year of production||1995|
|Condition||(Worn with little to no signs of wear)|
|Scope of delivery||
No original box, no original papers
|Location||United Kingdom, London|
|Water resistance||Not water resistant|
|Dial numerals||Arabic numerals|
|Panorama date, Date|
|Small seconds, Power Reserve Display, Only Original Parts|
Introduced in 1994, this reference 151.005 is one of the earliest Lange 1 watches ever produced, bringing together a range of rare and distinctive features. It combines a platinum case, integrated bracelet, and a solid platinum caseback. It is understood that the solid caseback was only available on pieces produced between 1994 and 1997, before A. Lange & Söhne fully transitioned to sapphire casebacks.
The Rebirth of A. Lange & Söhne
The name Lange has been tied to watchmaking and the Saxony area of Germany for centuries. In the 1800s, Ferdinand Aldoph Lange – which is where the “A” in A. Lange & Söhne comes from – began his watchmaking journey under the tutelage of master watchmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. Passed from father to son, the Lange name flourished, before encountering considerable obstacles during the 20th century. The brand got caught up in the turmoil caused by World War One, the financial crash of 1929, World War Two and was finally placed under the rule of the Soviet Union. The company was nationalised for the next 45 years, essentially spelling the end of the A. Lange & Söhne name.
Years later, in 1990, the brand was resuscitated by the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, Walter, and watch industry veteran, Günter Blümlein. Blümlein, a Nuremberg native who grew up in post-War Germany, had previously overseen the resurgence of IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. This started the four-year journey that Lange and Blümlein would go on with their small team to bring the company back from the ashes, with the release of their first four models on the 24th of October, 1994. The brand released four innovative models, all of them with their own distinctive visual language, the Arkade, Saxonia, Tourbillon Pour le Mérite and the Lange 1.
An Early Lange 1
One of the first watches released by A. Lange & Söhne following the resuscitation of the brand, the Lange 1 has become a modern icon. The decentralised arrangement of the displays on the dial is characteristic, with the centres of the displays designed to form the corners of an isosceles triangle. The masterful use of empty space, with none of the displays overlapping, creates an overall sense of balance and refinement.
The first Lange 1 pieces were produced with solid casebacks, as it wasn’t the norm to openly display movements at the time. It is understood that the solid caseback can be found on watches produced between 1994 and 1997, before A. Lange & Söhne fully transitioned to sapphire casebacks, following requests from clients who wanted to admire the finely finished movements. Representing the very first iteration of the Lange 1, these early pieces combine rarity, historical significance, and intrigue.
This reference 151.005 is further distinguished by its platinum case and integrated bracelet, making it even more unusual, within the world of early Lange 1 models. It is understood that these bracelets were made by Wellendorff, a now defunct bracelet manufacturer which is widely considered as having produced some of the best bracelets of the 20th century. Originating from Pforzheim, Germany, their history dates back to 1893, when they were founded by Ernst Alexander and Julie Wellendorff, focusing mainly on the creation of jewellery. The integrated bracelet adds a more contemporary aesthetic to the otherwise classic Lange 1 design.
Exhibiting an aesthetic that is undeniably Lange, an oversized “outer” aperture is displayed at the top right corner of the dial, inspired by the Five-Minute Clock at Semper Opera House in Dresden. At 3 o’clock, the power reserve is indicated in German, a reminder of the manufacture’s origins. The two lightly recessed subsidiary dials are a silvered colour compared to the rest of the white dial, with the indication for the hours, minutes, and seconds. These are decorated with a satin-brushed finishing, allowing for a soft sheen when light is angled towards the face. The dial features several details – most notably the modestly sized “Made in Germany” signature – which distinguish it as an early Lange 1 dial. Meanwhile, the hands are all rendered in a polished white gold, complementing the dial.
This Ref. 151.005 is powered by the calibre L901.0, based on a Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 822 gear train that Günter Blümlein brought over. The movement is comprised of 398 components, of which 54 are jewels and five screwed gold chatons – the latter of which is a mark of Lange’s traditionally German movement. The watch has a lever escapement and the balance beats at 21,600 A/h.
The aesthetics of the movement are just as impressive as the mechanics, with chamfering and interior angles superbly hand-finished. Moreover, it features an artistic flourish, a balance-cock engraved by one of Lange’s master engravers. In fact, it is said that each individual watchmaker's unique engraving style can be identified as a result. One of the many things that helped to cement this movement as a German, and not a Swiss one, was the use of untreated German silver. This metal not only gave the movements a unique shine, but over time they can start to develop a much richer hue that is distinct to the brand.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this A. Lange and Söhne Lange 1 151.005, First Series will be subject to 20% VAT.
This A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 151.005 is in good condition overall. There are superficial marks throughout, consistent with wear over time, most notably on the bezel, sides of the case, and caseback. The platinum bracelet also shows slight signs of ageing in some areas, most notably at the point where it connects with the case and on the sides. The bracelet features 16 links (including 2 end links), including 4 removable ones, and is further adjustable through the buckle. The watch comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man, alongside a lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
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