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  • Condition Report

  • Description

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  • Manufacturer: A. Lange & Söhne
    Year: 1994
    Reference No: 701.011
    Movement No: 421
    Case No: 110’366; numbered 116/150
    Model Name: Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 902.0, 29 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k pink gold A. Lange & Söhne buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by A. Lange & Söhne Certificate of Origin, fitted presentation box, original strap, and a deluxe, numbered copy of Peter Chong's A. Lange & Söhne: The Pour le Mérite Collection.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1845, founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his own workshop in Glashütte, Saxony. A. Lange & Söhne flourished for close to 100 years; however, its factories were sadly destroyed on the final day of World War II, and the brand itself would soon be confiscated by the Soviets. Following the demise of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Ferdinand’s great-grandson, Walter Lange, re-established the Glashütte-based brand in 1990. The first collection, comprised of four watches, was launched in 1994, revitalizing German watchmaking and leading to global recognition of the brand. The most complicated and technically aligned with the pre-WWII Lange & Söhne manufacture was the 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.

    Alongside the Lange 1, the Arkade, and the Saxonia, the Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon was released in 1994 as the inaugural collection of a revitalized A. Lange & Söhne and catalyzed German and Swiss mechanical watchmaking. The precision of the movements, level of detail to the finishing, and the Teutonic design principles were well-received by collectors. The movement itself has spawned many an effusive tribute; it is the work of renowned movement specialists Renaud and Papi, overseen by visionary Günther Blümlein, and even involved the know-how of two young Dutch brothers with the surname Grönefeld. The story goes that the call for development of such a movement went out only two weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only 24 examples of the Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon are known in pink gold. This especially rare example combines two unusual factory-original elements: a brushed caseband and the replacement of upright Arabic numerals for hour indexes with tiny diamond markers.

    Previously offered at Phillips’ WINNING ICONS sale in 2017, this PLM Tourbillon has been treasured by its owner for the past four years who decided to pass it on to another collector to enjoy as much or more than he has. An important collector, he obtained the Deluxe version of the remarkable, “A. Lange & Söhne: The ‘Pour le Mérite’ Collection” tome by Peter Chong – one of only 200 reserved exclusively for owners of the model. Remaining in wonderful, original condition, this is a superb and rare opportunity to own one of the most horologically and historically significant wristwatches of the modern era.

  • 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.

    View More Works

Σ135

Ref. 701.011
An important, astonishing, and extremely rare pink gold limited edition one-minute tourbillon wristwatch with fusée chain, up/down indicator, and black dial

1994
38.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

Estimate
$160,000 - 320,000 
CHF148,000-296,000
€142,000-284,000
HK$1,250,000-2,500,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021