A. Lange & Söhne - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: A. Lange & Söhne
    Year: 2012
    Reference No: 761.050
    Movement No: 88'559
    Case No: 199'959 and 009/15
    Model Name: Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite Handwerkskunst
    Material: 18K Honey Gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. L072.1, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K honey gold A. Lange & Söhne pin buckle
    Dimensions: 43mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by A. Lange & Söhne Garantie dated May 02, 2012, product literature, wallet, presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Regarded by collectors and enthusiasts as watchmaking royalty from the Saxon region, A. Lange & Söhne has created horological masterpieces inspired from their rich heritage. In 1994, A. Lange & Söhne launched its first collection, comprised of four watches - of these models launched, the most complicated was undoubtedly the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite. Lange took the tourbillon one step further by incorporating a fusée and chain mechanism for the first time ever in a wristwatch. Used to equalize the mainspring’s power, a fusée and chain was used on all 12 historic Lange tourbillon pocket watches produced by Walter’s ancestors. This complication optimizes the rate accuracy of the watch. The most famous of these twelve tourbillons, the reference 41000 “Jahrhundertourbillon” was exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900. The Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon is a direct descendent of the 41000, both technically and aesthetically, with the same finely constructed tourbillon carriage.

    As a follow up to this iconic model, the brand re-imagined the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite in 2011 with a Handwerkskunst dial and a honey gold case, made exclusively in a 15 piece limited edition for Lange boutiques.

    The firm’s Handwerkskunst series displays not only the manufacturer’s attention to detail but also highlights their preservation of handcraft. The word “Handwerkskunst” means craftsmanship in German and as such, this model represents artisanal skill. The dial, made of solid honey gold, is decorated with tremblage, a grained finish. This is applied by hand with a burin - a tool that digs into the metal from different directions.  The mechanism alone comprises of 636 individual components, where each link on the chain is hand assembled. Equipped with a blocking system, it blocks the winding just before the mainspring is full wound, preventing any tensions it may cause from overwinding. Featuring a tourbillon escapement, it features the model’s signature dial layout with its seconds a top of the small seconds and inspired by a pocket watch form the 1800s made by Johann Heinrich Seyffert called no,93., which indicates its time via a main dial for minutes, its hours in the register below on the right and small seconds on the left

    The model was immediately a commercial success upon its launch, with all models immediately sold out at boutiques. The present example is preserved in excellent condition and comes with its original guarantee and presentation box.

  • Artist Biography

    A. Lange & Söhne

    German • 1845

    Originally founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in Glashütte, Dresden, Germany, the firm established an entire watchmaking culture and industry in Glashütte. The brand quickly became Germany's finest watchmaker, first creating dependable, easy-to-repair watches before going on to produce some of the world's finest complicated pocket watches, including Grande Sonnerie watches, tourbillon watches and Grande Complications.

    On the final day of World War II, their factories were destroyed by Russian bombers, and in 1948 the brand was confiscated by the Soviet Union. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, Ferdinand's great grandson Walter Lange re-established the brand with the objective to once again produce top-quality luxury watches. Now part of the Richemont Group, its original vintage and modern creations are highly coveted by collectors. Key models from the modern era include the Lange 1, Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon and the Zeitwerk.

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Ref. 761.050
A very fine, impressive and rare limited edition honey gold tourbillon wristwatch with fusée-and-chain transmission, hand engraved dial and presentation box, numbered 09 of a limited edition of 15 pieces

43mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF342,900

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The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023