A. Lange & Söhne - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: A. Lange & Söhne
    Year: 1994
    Reference No: 101.026
    Movement No: 1086
    Case No: 114'406
    Model Name: Lange 1 "Stainless Steel"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. L901.0, 53 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel A. Lange & Söhne pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by A. Lange & Söhne Proof of Origin Certificate confirming production of the present watch in 1994.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Walter Lange re-established, in 1990, the brand once founded by his great-grandfather in Glashütte. The first collection, which was comprised of four watches (the Lange 1, Arkade, Saxonia and Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite") was initially presented in 1994 and immediately rose to the forefront of haute horology. One of these four watches was the timeless and now iconic Lange 1. First introduced 31 years ago, its unorthodox off-centre dial layout, its revolutionary design and its great technical quality made it an instant icon.

    The launch of the Lange 1 model marked a new era when it was released during the company's 1994 rebirth. Displaying eccentric time and seconds with an asymmetrically positioned large date window and power reserve at 3 o’clock, the model has become a landmark for the brand and widely recognized throughout the horological sphere. Impressive during its initial launch, the Lange 1 is regarded as one of the most popular models manufactured by the firm.

    Cased in stainless steel, this timepiece is immediately recognizable due to its silvered dial and blued steel hands. The present watch can be considered the "holy grail" of all Lange 1s - proof that the value of A. Lange & Söhne's timepieces does not reside in the precious metal used, but instead in the excellence and quality of the manufacture's work. Fitting, as the original retail price of the steel Lange 1s was the same as that of yellow gold examples. It is one of the very rare instances that the brand cased any model in non-precious metal. In fact, A. Lange & Söhne never officially launched a stainless steel watch until the arrival of the Odysseus in late October 2019. As such, the Lange One in stainless steel was never offered in a catalogue and the manufacture has never confirmed the exact number of stainless steel examples produced. Experts estimate that approximately 30 were made in total, of which some have appeared sporadically on the international auction market. The origins of this watch are shrouded in mystery: Research shows that some were made in 1994 upon the official re-launch of the A. Lange & Söhne brand, and also produce during the period from 1996-1999 with most examples were either delivered to the Italian or American market. Most notably, the market has identified another example bearing case number 114'404 which has come to the market which was sold through Orologeria Pisa in Milano.

    The movement is powered by A. Lange & Söhne's hand-wound calibre L901.0. Impeccably made, the twin mainspring barrels provide a power reserve of three days and has a stop second mechanism which is activated when the crown is pulled out, along with a patented twin-disc mechanism for the display of the oversized date. To date, no more than a few handful of these steel examples have come to the market, underscoring not only their rarity but desirability. Those who own one are reticent to let them go, an attestation of their importance in the eyes of watch collectors today.

  • 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. 101.026
An extremely rare and important stainless steel wristwatch with oversized date and power reserve

38.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF241,300

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023