A unique A.Lange & Söhne 1815 stainless steel “Homage to Walter Lange” went under the hammer for $852,525 (including buyer’s premium), at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Seven on May 13. Offered with no reserve and ‘estimate on request’, this one-off 1815 (ref. 297.078) set a record for the most expensive Lange wristwatch sold at an auction.
This watch is dedicated to the late Walter Lange, who passed away in early 2017 at 92. The great-grandson Ferdinand A. Lange, Water famously revived the company falling the Reunification of Germany.
What makes this timepiece special? A.Lange and Söhne has a very limited collection of stainless steel watches as most of their watches are made with only precious metals. This line has four iterations in white, pink and yellow gold and one unique steel version. The movement that powers this timepiece has a special calibre designation dubbed L1924 which refers to Walter Lange’s birth year. Featuring the traditional three-quarter plate architecture, it has an hand-engraved balance cock, chamfered bridges and Glashütte stripes.
The featured complication is a stoppable, dead-beat second’s hand and is a modern version of a 150-year-old horological invention created by Ferdinand Adolph Lange, A. Lange & Söhne founder and the man who brought watchmaking back to Germany. This mechanism, is referred to in the patent as a “one-second movement with a jumping hand.”
The watch has a case measuring 40.5 mm in diameter and 10.7 mm in thickness and a striking black enamel dial, made in-house (the third model with an in-house enamel dial after the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst and the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst) along with a traditional railway minute scale, with subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock. The proceedings of this timepiece go to Children Action Foundation, a Geneva-based charity that aids disadvantaged children and youth in a variety of ways all over the world.