With A. Lange & Söhne guarantee certificate stamped Orologeria Pisa, Milano dated 2 Novembre 1998.
Introduced in 1994, the Lange 1 is the first Lange watch of the new era and represents a culmination of what connoisseurs of fine watches associate with the legendary "A. Lange & Söhne" heritage.
The patented, oversized date demonstrates how tradition and ingenuity can come together in style. This useful feature, inspired by the digital clock in Dresden's Semper Opera, improves the legibility of the date by about three times in comparison with conventional displays.
The silvered dial features the characteristic off-centre hour, minute, second and power reserve indications.
The movement is Lange's hand-wound calibre L901.0, the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and decorated with Glashütte ribbing. The twin mainspring barrels provide a power reserve of three days when fully wound. It furthermore features a stop second mechanism activated when the crown is pulled out and a patented twin-disc mechanism for the display of the oversized date.
The present Lange 1 is most probably the most mythical and exclusive A. Lange & Söhne wristwatch produced since the company's relaunch in the early 1990s. Its myth is more alive than ever before since, officially, the celebrated Glashütte watch manufacture never cased any of their wristwatches in stainless steel but only in precious metals. Its exclusivity is a logical consequence of the latter paired with the fact that in nearly twenty years not even a handful of these steel watches have been seen or offered for sale in public.
In fact, according to our research, this is only the third example appearing at auction and at no stage A. Lange & Söhne confirmed the precise number of watches produced. On the contrary, A. Lange & Söhne only confirms that all Lange 1 models cased in stainless steel are listed under reference 101.026 and that they are fitted with the celebrated caliber L901.0.
A. Lange & Söhne furthermore confirms that during the firm's earliest year a "very small number of examples" were made following special client or retailer's request. The present example was sold through Orologeria Pisa, Milano in 1998. Amongst the other examples known, some were retailed in Germany.
Without a doubt, in a world where the most distinguished watch manufactures case their most beautiful movements exclusively in the most precious of all metals, the stainless steel Lange 1 is already today a historical collector's watch. This gem of contemporary watch making joins other rarities cased in steel in a small elite club composed of other trophies such as Patek Philippe's reference 5004, recently made in a highly limited edition in stainless steel.
We are indebted to Mrs. Kirsten Hultzsch and Gudrun Pahl of A. Lange & Söhne for their kind and generous assistance with the research of this watch and preparation of this catalogue entry.