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    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 31

    A. Lange & Söhne. A very fine and extremely rare platinum limited edition one minute tourbillon wristwatch with chain fusée and power reserve


    Price Realised  


    A. Lange & Söhne. A very fine and extremely rare platinum limited edition one minute tourbillon wristwatch with chain fusée and power reserve
    Signed A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte I/SA, Tourbillon pour le Mérite, no. 50/50, movement no. 303, case no. 110'450, manufactured in 1996
    Cal. L902.0 three quarter plate nickel-finished lever movement, 29 jewels, screwed gold chatons, power equalization with chain and fusée, finely hand-engraved balance bridge, three armed polished steel tourbillon carriage with Glucydur balance, two diamond endstones visible through a glazed aperture in the solid silver dial, Arabic numerals, outer railway minute divisions, two subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 36 hours power reserve, large circular case, glazed display back secured by six screws, platinum A. Lange & Söhne buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    38.5 mm. diam.

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    With A.Lange & Söhne Guarantee Certificate dated 5 September 1996 and stamped by Wempe, Bremen, operating instructions and original fitted black leather presentation box.

    The present watch is number 50 of the strictly limited series of 50 examples of the Lange Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite" in platinum, in production from 1994 to 1998.

    Lange's Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite", another example of the company's complex and exclusive timepieces, incorporates a number of fascinating technical details never seen before in a wristwatch, among them the going train driven with a chain fusée. This complicated mechanism optimises the rate accuracy of the watch and is visible through an aperture in the movement plate. A highly sophisticated planetary gearing system keeps the power to the going train steady even while the watch is being wound.

    It appears that the "Pour le Mérite" Tourbillon is one of only two wristwatches known today fitted with a chain and fusée for the power equalization. The second model is its even more complicated twin, the "Tourbograph Pour le Mérite" wristwatch with tourbillon and split seconds chronograph, introduced into the market in 2006.

    The tourbillon mechanism also serves the purpose of improving rate accuracy by offsetting the disruptive effect of gravity. The rotating cage is suspended by two pivots between two diamond endstones. It turns around its own axis once a minute and can be precisely balanced with small counterweights.

    All parts of the watch are finished by hand and every surface is decorated. Consequently, the completion of each of these masterpieces required several months.