A fine and attractive rose gold complicated wristwatch of the world-famous German brand A. Lange & Söhne, founded in 1845. Estimated production period: 2009–2011. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 41.9mm, 10.9mm thick. Silver-plated solid-silver dial, rose gold hands, and rose gold applied indexes, Roman numerals and big-date window. Sapphire caseback. Double-barrel hand-wound caliber L031.1 with a power reserve of up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of local time in hours and minutes, with small seconds hand and day/night indicator, second time zone hours and minutes at 5 o’clock and day/night indicator, big date and power reserve indicators, peripheral city ring for the second time zone. Rectangular pushbutton at 10 o’clock used for setting the date, pushbutton at 8 o’clock used to set the second time zone. Brown leather strap, A. Lange & Söhne 18k rose gold pin buckle. 

Lot essay 

The famous signature asymmetric arrangement of the dial is a unique feature of the Lange 1 collection, which has been perceived as one of the most valuable assets of the brand since its reincarnation in 1990–1994. Since the launch of the Lange 1 collection in 1994, it has been offered in many versions, including in Lange 1 Time Zone watches. Introduced onto the market in 2005, the Lange 1 Time Zone was a sophisticated version of the legendary Lange 1, gaining one more useful function – a time zone indication. Initially the watch was produced in three versions, Ref. 116.021 in 18k yellow gold with a champagne-toned dial, Ref. 116.032 in 18k rose gold with a silver-plated dial, and Ref. 116.025 in platinum with a rhodium-plated dial. Up to the collection update in 2020, more than 20 variations were offered, with different case, dial, city ring and strap or bracelet executions. In 2020, the Lange 1 Time Zone collection got a new reference – 136.XXX – with a modernized caliber L141.1 and different dial design.

In 2005, when the collection was launched, a situation developed on the market when rose gold dominated among all types of precious metals, surpassing in popularity the yellow gold which had prevailed until the mid-1990s. Indeed, yellow gold had almost disappeared from the collections of leading brands by the early 2000s, while white gold, incredibly popular in the second half of the 1990s and early 2000s, lost by the early 2000s its dominant position. In this sense, the Lange 1 Time Zone Ref. 116.032 with a ‘airy’ silvered dial should be regarded as the most sought-after reference in this collection. In fact, it is the archetype of this design, created by A. Lange & Söhne, which certainly attracts connoisseurs and collectors, as well as buyers who would like to purchase a respectable timepiece with a second time zone function, among the best there was at that time on the market, and whose relevance is not decreasing and is not in doubt. 

The meticulous finishing with Glashütte stripes, blued screws, polished bevels, a swan neck micrometer regulator, and engraved and gilded inscriptions, makes the movement incredibly eye-catching, while the traditionally hand-engraved bridges make each example feel like one of a kind.

In addition to the historical aspect, one should also note the undoubted attractiveness of the design, built on the combination of the warm tones of the rose gold of the case and the elements of the dial – the hands, the hour markers and the branded double window of the big date indicator, and the light ‘airy’ silvered dial with slightly recessed sub-dials for the indication of the hours, minutes and seconds, the backgrounds of which are decorated with fine circular grooves. These sub-dials feature the same tone as the rest of the dial, but the embossed finish provides a fine contrast with its flat satin-brushed finishing, adding to the appeal of the dial. 

Reference 116.032 is powered by the hand-wound 72-hour power reserve double-barrel caliber L031.1, which was developed for it based on the original Lange 1’s L901. One of the advantages of caliber L031.1 is its typical Lange high-end finish and unique design – which is unique even for A. Lange & Söhne watches. The signature three-quarter plate construction, with the mainplate and bridges made from nickel silver without plating, and four screwed gold chatons, considered one of the most visible and valued hallmarks of Lange’s watchmaking artistry, is complemented by the top-mounted gear train of the second time zone indicator with three wheels and an intermediate wheel bridge. This, like the balance bridge, is hand-engraved in the typical Lange manner. These functional details make the Lange 1 Time Zone distinctive by adding dynamics to the signature design. The meticulous finishing with Glashütte stripes, blued screws, polished bevels, a swan neck micrometer regulator, and engraved and gilded inscriptions, makes the movement incredibly eye-catching, while the traditionally hand-engraved bridges make each example feel like one of a kind. After all, the caliber of the present lot is marked by a very nice number. 

Reasons to bid 

The Lange 1 Time Zone Ref. 116.032 should be regarded as a fine purchase for the collector and connoisseur who desires an attractive complicated mechanical wristwatch with useful functions from a world-famous traditional watch brand, the undisputed market leader in German high watchmaking. The combination of typical Lange design features, including the spectacular asymmetric arrangement of the Lange 1 dial, the airy feeling of the rose gold case and subtle white silvered tone and finishing of the dial in a sophisticated arrangement, along with the big date indicator, typical for Lange watches of the modern era, make the present lot highly desirable. 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.