Having created the 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ to mark the life and times of the late spiritual father of A. Lange & Söhne, the German watchmaker has just revealed the one-off steel version will be sold for charity at auction in May.
A direct descendant of brand founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange, Walter Lange passed away in January 2017 at the grand old age of 93, having lived to see his family’s watchmaking enterprise nationalised in the former East Germany and then resurrected in grand capitalist style, becoming arguably the preeminent watchmaker in Germany.
The commemorative 1815 dead seconds is modelled on 19th century Lange pocket watches with the same complication, a favourite of Walter Lange and one that was invented by F.A. Lange himself. The watch has twin seconds hands: a conventional sweeping seconds hand in the centre, along with a jumping dead seconds in the sub-dial at six o’clock.
Three versions of the 1815 will be commercially available as a limited edition, in each of the colours of gold and fitted with the same silver dial. In contrast the Walter Lange watch boasts a black fired enamel dial (made in-house now). And the singular watch will join the handful of Lange watches ever produced in the metal, joining the stainless steel Double Split that remains the most expensive Lange watch ever sold at auction when it sold for just over US$500,000 in 2013.
Having all of the world’s most expensive watches at auction in the last three years – including the US$17.5m Paul Newman Daytona – Phillips auctioneers has been tapped by Lange to sell the unique 1815. It will be offered in the spring sale that takes place in Geneva on May 13, 2018, the day after the Daytona Ultimatum thematic auction.
The estimate for the 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ is upon request. Given the US$500,000 achieved by the Double Split and the US$150,000 or so steel Lange 1s typically sell for, the one-off 1815 might sell for US$300,000 to US$400,000.
All proceeds from the auction will go to Children Action, a Geneva-based charity that helps disadvantaged children in Switzerland and elsewhere in the world, a cause close to Walter Lange’s heart.
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