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A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne: German Watchmaking at Its Finest
A. Lange & Söhne is the preeminent German luxury watch brand. Every timepiece from this Glashütte-based manufacturer is intricately hand finished and represents haute horlogerie. Lange is synonymous with the elegant and complicated German watches.
5 Reasons to Buy a Watch from A. Lange & Söhne
- Quality on par with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet
- Internationally renowned German luxury watch manufacturer
- Innovative and perfectly finished in-house calibers
- Lange 31 with a 744-hour power reserve
- The Grand Complication: A. Lange & Söhne's most complicated and expensive watch
Glashütte Haute Horlogerie of the Highest Quality
Watches from A. Lange & Söhne are known for their gold or platinum cases and hand-finished movements. This Glashütte-based manufacturer has over 170 years of history to look back on and enjoys global fame for their luxury watches. They do almost everything by hand and boast craftsmanship of the highest quality. Their finely finished movements are truly sights to behold.
Tempered screws, stripes and sunbursts, Glashütte three-quarter plates, swan-neck fine adjustments, and intricately engraved balance cocks characterize their in-house calibers. Every A. Lange & Söhne timepiece represents the best watchmaking has to offer and is on par with watches from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin.
The Lange 1 is easily the most famous A. Lange & Söhne collection. Its off-center main dial and outsize date make this luxury watch unmistakable. Top models feature a perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and 50-hour power reserve.
With a price tag of around 2.3 million USD, the Grand Complication from the 1815 collection is A. Lange & Söhne's most expensive watch and one of the most expensive luxury watches in the world. Due to the time-consuming nature of its construction and fine-tuning, the manufacturer only produces one such timepiece per year. Its complications include a grand sonnerie, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and rattrapante (split-seconds) chronogragh.
How much does an A. Lange & Söhne cost?
|Model||Price (approx.)||Case Material||Features|
|Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, ref. 147.025||347,000 USD||Platinum||Minute repeater, numeric time display|
|Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, ref. 720.032||235,000 USD||Pink gold||Outsize date, perpetual calendar, tourbillon|
|Lange 31, ref. 130.025||137,000 USD||Platinum||Outsize display, 31-day power reserve|
|Zeitwerk, ref. 140.032||58,500 USD||Pink gold||Numeric time display|
|Datograph Up/Down, ref. 405.031||57,000 USD||Pink gold||Rattrapante chronograph, outsize date, power reserve indicator|
|Lange 1, ref. 191.039||27,500 USD||White gold||Outsize display, off-center main dial|
|1815, ref. 235.026||18,500 USD||White gold||55-hour power reserve, small seconds dial|
|Saxonia Thin, ref. 211.033||17,000 USD||Pink gold||72-hour power reserve|
Prices for the Lange 1 and Grand Lange 1
The Lange 1 didn't waste any time becoming the symbol of A. Lange & Söhne. Today, this unmistakeable watch is among the icons of haute horlogerie. The standard Lange 1 is 38.5 mm in diameter. A pink gold timepiece costs around 23,000 USD in mint condition and 21,500 USD pre-owned. Prices for white gold models sit around 27,500 USD new and 21,500 USD pre-owned.
Enthusiasts and collectors should find the very first Lange 1 particularly interesting. It bears the reference number 101.001 and debuted in 1994. At that time, the watch still had a solid gold case back. Although this watch is relatively difficult to find today, well-maintained timepieces sell for as little as 19,000 USD.
A. Lange & Söhne is known for crafting their watches exclusively from precious metals. However, they did release a small number of stainless steel Lange 1 watches in the late 1990s. These pieces are so rare and coveted today that they often sell at auction for over 160,000 USD.
If a 38.5-mm case is too small for you, you should take a closer look at the Grand Lange 1. This watch is 40.9 mm in diameter and 8.8 mm thick. A. Lange & Söhne was able to perfectly translate the harmonious proportions of the displays onto this larger dial. Set aside around 31,000 USD for a pink gold model. Pre-owned pieces sell for about 25,500 USD. Expect to pay an additional 1,200 USD for the white gold version. Platinum Grand Lange 1 watches are the most expensive, at around 42,500 USD new and 34,500 USD pre-owned.
Lange 1 Time Zone and Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar
The Lange 1 Time Zone is one of this collection's highlights. This world time watch displays the local time in 24 time zones. The second time zone is easily set using a pusher, while the home time remains constant. In white gold, this complicated timepiece demands around 40,000 USD in mint condition and 36,500 USD pre-owned. The platinum edition is markedly more expensive. New timepieces change hands for around 47,500 USD. A pink gold Lange 1 Time Zone costs around 37,000 USD new and 29,000 USD pre-owned.
The collection's most expensive watch is the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar. Unlike most luxury watches with a calendar function, this Lange watch displays the months on a ring around the edge of the dial. Most calendar watches use a subdial instead. A sapphire glass case back offers a view of the tourbillon. Expect to pay more than 235,000 USD for a pink gold model. The white gold version demands an additional 34,000 USD and is more difficult to find.
How much does an A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk cost?
The Zeitwerk is truly a special watch. It was A. Lange & Söhne's first mechanical wristwatch to feature a numeric time display. The hours sit at 9 and the minutes at 3 o'clock. Both displays come with so-called "jumping numerals" that automatically "jump" forward every minute, ten minutes, and hour. This innovative time display comes at a price: Never-worn pink gold models cost about 58,500 USD, while pre-owned pieces sell for around 54,500 USD. You'll need a couple thousand dollars more for a model in white gold.
The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is this collection's top model. It was the first mechanical wristwatch to combine a decimal minute repeater with a numeric jumping numerals display. This platinum timepiece relays the time acoustically in hours, ten minutes, and minutes. Prices for a mint-condition example sit around 347,000 USD.
Prices for the Watches of the Saxonia Collection
The Saxonia collection contains numerous watch models, ranging from the two-hand Saxonia Thin to the Langematik Perpetual and Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. Other collection highlights include the Triple Split and the Lange 31. The Lange 31 boasts a power reserve of 744 hours, which equals 31 days. This record-setting watch's high prices reflect just how complicated it is to make. The platinum model costs around 137,000 USD new and 93,500 USD pre-owned. The pink gold model is considerably more affordable, with prices between 83,500 and 100,000 USD.
The A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split was the world's first mechanical rattrapante (split-seconds) chronograph capable of measuring intervals of up to 12 hours. This is achieved via three pairs of hands for the seconds, minutes, and hours. When you start the stopwatch, all three pairs of hands begin running simultaneously. Once you press the pusher for the split seconds function, the three tempered steel hands immediately stop while the three rhodium-plated hands keep moving. By pressing the same pusher again, the three stopped hands catch up to the moving hands. This white gold chronograph is limited to a run of 100 pieces and has a list price of 147,000 USD.
The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin costs much less. This minimalist two-hand watch is available as a 37, 39, or 40-mm timepiece. The 40-mm model is only 5.9 mm thick, making it the flattest Lange timepiece. The in-house caliber L093.1 powers this watch and boasts an impressive 72-hour power reserve. Set aside around 17,000 USD for a new pink gold model. Pre-owned, this timepiece sells for about 15,000 USD. The 40-mm Saxonia in white gold demands around 18,000 USD in mint condition. The 37-mm version costs about 4,600 USD less. In 18-karat white gold, the 39-mm edition is 6.2 mm thick and has a shimmering dark blue dial made of silver. Make sure you have over 18,000 USD on hand to purchase this timepiece new.
The Datograph is yet another famous and coveted Saxonia model. This flyback chronograph features an outsize date display and an up/down power reserve indicator. Thanks to the in-house caliber L951.6, this watch has a 60-hour power reserve. The pink gold Datograph Up/Down changes hands for almost 57,000 USD new and 48,500 USD pre-owned. You can buy the platinum version in mint condition for about 67,000 USD and pre-owned for around 63,000 USD. The Datograph with the caliber L951.1 and no power reserve indicator costs several thousand dollars less. Plan to spend around 48,000 USD for a new pink gold model. Pre-owned timepieces cost about 38,500 USD. Prices for platinum watches range from 44,500 to 53,000 USD.
How much do the watches in the 1815 collection cost?
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 collection is also composed of many different models. These watches feature classically elegant designs that resemble those of the company's early pocket watches. Arabic numerals, a railroad minute scale, and alpha hands define these timepieces. Three-hand models with a small seconds dial offer a power reserve of 55 hours. These 38.5-mm watches are available in pink or white gold. Both versions sell for around 18,500 USD new and 16,500 USD pre-owned.
Due to its extremely limited numbers, collectors find the 1815 "Homage to Walter Lange" particularly interesting. A. Lange & Söhne created this timepiece in honor of Walter Lange, who passed away in 2017. After the Berlin Wall fell, Lange refounded the company his great-grandfather had originally created in 1845. A jumping second hand, which can be stopped by pressing the pusher, makes the 1815 "Homage to Walter Lange" technically unique. This collection's highlight is a stainless steel model that sold at auction for over 811,000 USD in 2018. Proceeds from the auction went to the Genevan Children Action foundation, which helps children in need.
The gold editions of the 1815 "Homage to Walter Lange" are much more affordable. Each has an official list price of 47,000 euros, or about 53,500 USD. The yellow gold model is the rarest with only 27 examples. There are 90 examples of the pink gold version and 145 of the white gold watch.
The collection highlights include three complicated watches: the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar, the Tourbograph Perpetual "Pour le Mérite," and the Grand Complication. At around 2.3 million USD, the Grand Complication is A. Lange & Söhne's most expensive timepiece. It features a grande sonnerie, perpetual calendar, and rattrapante chronograph. The Tourbograph Perpetual "Pour le Mérite" is markedly less expensive. Its complications include a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and rattrapante function. Limited to 50 pieces, this watch has an official list price of 480,000 euros or around 508,000 USD. You can purchase the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar in pink gold for about 162,500 USD new and 134,000 USD pre-owned. Platinum models require an investment of anywhere from 148,000 to 188,000 USD.
The History of A. Lange & Söhne
Ferdinand Adolph Lange was born in 1815 in Dresden, Germany. At the age of 15, he started a watchmaking apprenticeship with master watchmaker Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. Gutkaes served as the watchmaker for Dresden's royal court from 1842 to 1845. After his apprenticeship, Lange spent several years traveling through Europe and learning from the best watchmakers, eventually ending up in Paris. He returned to Dresden in 1841, where he completed the Semperoper's famous Five-Minute Clock together with Gutkaes. The clock had a numeric display and was legible from all seats.
The Russian Tsar Alexander II was among Ferdinand Adolph Lange's exclusive clientele. The tsar was so enthusiastic about Lange's pocket watches that he gifted Lange a diamond scarf pin. Lange was flattered and had a photograph taken of himself with the gift to send to the tsar.
Lange founded his pocket watch company in 1845 in Glashütte, Germany, a town about 12 miles south of Dresden. The small town prospered in the early 19th century thanks to the discovery of silver ore deposits. After all the ore was mined, there wasn't much work left for the people in the region. Therefore, the government called on businesses to come and settle in the area. Lange proposed establishing a German watchmaking industry similar to Switzerland's in Germany's Ore Mountains. He sought to hire 15 former miners and basket makers and train them as watchmakers. After completing training, they had the option of working independently as suppliers. This method was used in the Swiss Vallée de Joux and had worked well. The government selected Glashütte as the perfect location for Lange's proposal and gave him a loan to start his business.
Lange's plan was successful: After a few years, his apprentices had founded supply companies and watchmakers were flocking to Glashütte. A watchmaking school was even founded in the town. Glashütte flourished and developed into the center of high-quality German watchmaking. Regular, everyday watches came from the Black Forest or Switzerland at the time. Thanks to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the founder of watchmaking in Glashütte, the town continues to enjoy a reputation for high-quality watchmaking to this day.
A. Lange & Söhne Since 1945
After the Second World War and the merging of Glashütte's watch manufacturers into the Volkseigenen Betrieb Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB), A. Lange & Söhne ceased to be an independent company. German reunification in 1990 gave A. Lange & Söhne the chance to reestablish themselves. Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange and a master watchmaker, founded Lange Uhren GmbH in December 1990. Four years later, the company presented their first collection consisting of four wristwatches: the legendary Lange 1, the Saxonia, the Arkade, and the Tourbillion "Pour le Mérite."
Within a few years, A. Lange & Söhne would become the premier example of German watchmaking at its finest. Their watches and in-house calibers are on par with those from the Swiss manufacturers Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin.