A rare and highly appealing boutique-edition complicated wristwatch of the world-famous German brand A. Lange & Söhne, founded in 1845. Purchase date: 2008. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 41.9mm, thickness 9.9mm, black and grey solid-silver dial, rose gold hands, rose gold applied indexes and Roman numerals, sapphire caseback. Double-barrel hand-wound caliber L901.2 with a power reserve of up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand, large date and power reserve indicators. Rectangular pushbutton at 10 o’clock used for setting the date. Black crocodile leather strap, A. Lange & Söhne 18k rose gold double deployment clasp. Special boutique edition.
The Grand Lange 1 “Black & Grey” Boutique Edition Ref. 115.031F is a notable and extremely attractive alternative to the standard Lange 1 watches of the legendary A. Lange & Söhne design, unveiled in 1994 with the presentation of the revived world-famous German brand. The branded asymmetric arrangement of the dial is a unique feature of the Lange 1 collection, which is perceived as one of the most valuable assets of the brand since its reincarnation in 1990–1994.
The design of the Grand Lange 1 has an even more distinct character thanks to the oversized main sub-dial with hour and minute hands and the sub-dial of the small seconds hand, which in the present lot intersect significantly. They are highlighted by their charcoal grey colour contrasting with the black main dial. The contrast is heightened and accentuated by the railroad-style peripheral scales printed in white on both sub-dials. In the present lot, the asymmetrical character of the Lange 1 design reaches its ultimate height – in our opinion this is the originality and main appeal of Ref. 115.031F.
Annual production was restricted as it was intended for sale exclusively in Lange boutiques
The present example is embedded with a mechanical manual-wound A. Lange & Söhne caliber L901.2 movement, a modification of Lange 1’s caliber L901.0 for use in Grand Lange 1 watches, launched in 2003. The typical high-end Lange caliber execution includes a traditional Glashütte-style 3/4 plate made of untreated German silver decorated with Glashütte stripes, blued screws, nine screwed gold chatons, a swan neck micrometer regulator, engraved and gilded inscriptions, and a hand-engraved balance bridge. The initial 2003 caliber L901.2 movement of the Grand Lange 1 was discontinued in 2012, replaced with a new thinner movement, caliber L095.1.
The production span of Ref. 115.031F was 2003–2008, and alongside this reference were produced Ref. 115.021 (yellow gold), 115.025 (platinum), 115.029 (platinum with black dial), and 115.321 (yellow gold, gold bracelet). From 2008 to 2012, there was a new series of the Grand Lange 1 with a revised dial design: Ref. 115.022 (yellow gold), 115.032 (rose gold), and 115.026 (platinum).
The production of Ref. 115.031F was not limited, although annual production was restricted as it was intended for sale exclusively in Lange boutiques – at that time A. Lange & Söhne did not have a long list of their own boutiques. The watch was normally sold with an 18k rose gold pin buckle. The 18k rose gold double deployment clasp, as at the present lot, also being an option, which significantly increased the perceived value of the watch.
Reasons to bid
The Grand Lange 1 “Black & Grey” Boutique Edition Ref. 115.031F is an excellent purchase for the collector who desires an outstanding, rare and complicated mechanical wristwatch from a world-famous traditional watch brand, the undisputed market leader in German high watchmaking. The combination of rare design features, including a spectacular asymmetrical arrangement, we believe is the culmination of the famed Lange 1 image. The dramatic dial colour scheme and big date indicator, typical for Lange watches of the modern era, turn the present lot into a true must-have. The exquisite finishing of the movement’s parts and its typical Lange appearance will impress the heart of any connoisseur, and A. Lange & Söhne’s reputation in these aspects should be recognized as impeccable. Its rather large size and 72-hour power reserve allow also it to be considered as an extraordinary and notable daily wearer.
The keen collector should note that also offered for purchase in this sale is another rare 18k rose gold and grey dial A. Lange & Söhne watch – Lange 1 “Slate Grey” Ref. 101.033. Together with the present lot, it represents the evolution of Lange 1 collection over the years.