A very rare, subtle and obviously over-complicated rose gold perpetual calendar and chronograph wristwatch of the famous German brand A. Lange & Söhne, founded in 1845. Reference launched in 2010 and produced until 2019. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 41mm, 13.5mm thick, sapphire caseback, signed crown. Matt white solid-silver dial, silvered sub-dials with fine concentric grooves, rose gold and luminous hour, minute and calendar hands, blued steel chrono counters’ hands, applied indexes and big-date window frame in rose gold. Caliber L952.1, hand-wound, hairspring with Breguet overcoil, power reserve up to 36 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 8 o’clock, perpetual calendar with big date indicator at 12 o’clock, day of the week at 8 o’clock, month and leap year at 4 o’clock, day/night at 9 o’clock, moon phase at 6 o’clock, flyback chronograph with central seconds and precision jumping minute counter at 4 o’clock. Black leather strap, A. Lange & Söhne 18k white gold pin buckle.
The Datograph Perpetual introduced two classic complications, a perpetual calendar and a chronograph. While this combination is typical for complicated pocket watches, it is rare for wristwatches, especially if the movement uses the traditional design of these two complications. In addition, as a sign of modern watchmaking artistry, the watch is equipped with a highly precise astronomic moonphase display, programmed to accurately display continuously for 122.6 years, and then to be adjusted by just one day.
The present reference belongs to the second generation of Datograph Perpetual. The original, first-generation Datograph Perpetual Ref. 410.025 in platinum was introduced by A. Lange & Söhne in 2006 as a perpetual calendar version of the Datograph chronograph, and the brand’s first wristwatch with a combination of a chronograph and perpetual calendar. The brand produced Datograph Perpetual watches in platinum with a white silver-plated dial until 2011. In 2009, another first-generation Datograph Perpetual Ref. 410.030 in white gold with a grey dial was introduced. Both were discontinued in 2010-2011. In 2010, the brand announced the face-lifted second-generation version with a redesigned dial that no longer had the distinctive three Roman numerals at 2, 6 and 10 o’clock (features on the two early references), instead featuring applied baguette markers. Other technical specifications remained the same. The first model to feature the new dial design was the present Ref. 410.032 in rose gold with a silver-plated dial. In 2019, it was discontinued.
These rare models are of considerable collector’s interest, not only because of their rarity, but also because of the apparently high added value A. Lange & Söhne has invested in this model, including a high-end chronograph movement with traditional architecture and notable finishing of all parts, as well as the traditional perpetual calendar mechanism, reimagined by Lange with the addition of a large date indicator.
The caliber L952.1 of the present reference is built based on Datograph’s L951.1 caliber. Both are regarded as being among the most beautiful chronograph movements of the modern era, with outstanding quality in the finishing of the parts and once praised by the independent watchmaker Philippe Dufour, the acknowledged guru of traditional fine finishing. Particularly noteworthy are the design and high-end finishing of the chronograph mechanism of the present reference, featuring bridges in untreated German silver, multiple levers and flat steel springs that control the chronograph functions via the traditional column wheel. One should note the four jewels in screwed gold chatons, a typical high-end feature for Lange wrist- and pocket watches.
The design advantages of caliber L952.1 undoubtedly include a large balance with adjustment eccentrics, a hairspring with Breguet overcoil, beautifully curved levers and flat springs (especially the chronograph intermediate wheel lever), and the presence of steel parts with black polishing – these include the caps on the escape wheel and fourth wheel shafts, a column wheel and various other parts. In addition, the gold chatons received mirror polishing. Overall, the meticulous finishing with straight grinding, Glashütte stripes, perlage, blued screws, polished bevels, a swan neck micrometer regulator, and engraved and gilded inscriptions, in addition to those already noted above, makes the movement incredibly eye-catching, while the traditionally hand-engraved balance cock makes this watch feel like one of a kind.
The offer of Datograph Perpetual in the secondary market is very limited, primarily due to the low availability of the model due to its high retail price, this is true for both the first and second generations. Most of the offer is the original first-generation Ref. 410.025 platinum model with silvered dial, while other references, including the present Ref. 410.032, appear on the market very rarely. These rare models are of considerable collector’s interest, not only because of their rarity, but also because of the apparently high added value A. Lange & Söhne has invested in this model, including a high-end chronograph movement with traditional architecture and notable finishing of all parts, which is considered to be one of the finest finishes in the world, as well as the traditional perpetual calendar mechanism, reimagined by Lange with the addition of a large date indicator.
Reasons to bid
Ref. 410.032 is one of the rarest versions of the Datograph Perpetual, while at the same time being considered subtle and classic due to the combination of its silvered dial and rose gold case. Therefore, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Ref. 410.032 would be a fine purchase for the collector who desires a very rare, subtle and obviously over-complicated rose gold perpetual calendar and chronograph wristwatch from a world-famous traditional watch brand, the undisputed market leader in German high watchmaking. The unique combination of the classic chronograph complication with flyback function, jumping minute counter and perpetual calendar with big date indication strengthened the reputation of A. Lange & Söhne as a leading master of modern complications wristwatches. The fine finishing of the movement’s parts and its exquisite and clearly very complex design will impress the heart of any connoisseur, and A. Lange & Söhne’s reputation in these aspects should be recognised as impeccable.