• Important Watches including Pr auction at Christies

    Sale 1401

    Important Watches including Property from an Important European Collection

    12 May 2014, Geneva

  • Lot 392

    A. Lange & Söhne. An extremely fine and unique white gold one minute tourbillon wristwatch with chain fusée, power reserve and special black silver dial with white rhodium-plated dagger numerals

    SIGNED A. LANGE & SÖHNE, GLASHÜTTE I/SA, TOURBILLON POUR LE MÉRITE, NO. 101/150, CASE NO. 110'351, MOVEMENT NO. 438, MANUFACTURED IN 1998

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    A. Lange & Söhne. An extremely fine and unique white gold one minute tourbillon wristwatch with chain fusée, power reserve and special black silver dial with white rhodium-plated dagger numerals
    Signed A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte I/SA, Tourbillon pour le Mérite, no. 101/150, case no. 110'351, movement no. 438, manufactured in 1998
    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 black solid silver dial, white rhodium-plated dagger 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, 18K white gold A. Lange & Söhne deployant clasp, case, dial and movement signed
    38.5 mm. diam.


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    With A. Lange & Söhne Certificate dated 3 June 1998, signed by the firms director Hartmut Knothe, confirming that the present watch is fitted with a specially made black solid silver dial and white rhodium-plated dagger numerals. The Certificate also states that only one example, the watch offered here for sale, was made with this configuration. Furthermore delivered with A. Lange & Söhne Proof of Origin dated 7 March 2014, presentation box and outer packaging.

    Christie's are pleased to announce that A. Lange & Söhne have graciously offered Peter Chong's A. Lange & Söhne: The "Pour le Mérite" Collection, No. 101/150 from the Tranche A Deluxe Edition, mentioning this "Pour le Mérite" on p. 87, to be presented together with the watch to its proud new owner.

    This unique example of the celebrated "Pour le Mérite" tourbillon in white gold featuring a black dial and dagger numerals is one of A. Lange & Söhne's rare special executions. It was exceptionally granted to the present owner, one of the firms loyal clients, who acquired this trophy in 1998. It is number 101 of a strictly limited edition of 150 examples of the Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite" model in gold, in production from 1994 until 1998. The series comprised only 18 examples in white gold with blue dials, the present unique example with black dial, 15 examples in pink gold with black dial and 116 examples in yellow gold.

    Preserved in excellent overall condition and an epitome of true skill, design and sheer elegance, the present "Pour le Mérite" tourbillon is a highlight for the collector of exclusive timepieces.

    The Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite", another example of A. Lange & Söhne's complex and exclusive timepieces, incorporates a number of fascinating technical details never seen before in a wristwatch, most notably the going train driven with a chain fusée. This complicated mechanism optimizes 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. 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 requires several months.

    It is commonly believed that the Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite" is one of only two wristwatches known to date fitted with a chain and fusée for the power equalization. The second model is its even more complicated successor, the Tourbograph "Pour le Mérite" combining a tourbillon and a split seconds chronograph mechanism, introduced into the market in 2006.

    A. Lange & Söhne: The "Pour le Mérite" Collection by Peter Chong
    Ever since its first appearance in 1994, the LANGE TOURBILLON "Pour le Mérite" has established itself as one of the most fascinating wristwatches in the world. The complication with its legendary fusée-and-chain transmission has spurred the comeback of the A. Lange & S öhne brand more than any model apart from the LANGE 1. Limited to just 200 exemplars, this timepiece is one of the manufactory's most sought-after models among collectors and fetchesrecord prices at auction. The fascinating story of this extraordinary watch and the three other "Pour le Mérite" models is now set out in the high-class coffee table book: "A. Lange & Söhne: The 'Pour le Mérite' Collection", written by watch expert Peter Chong, a long time insider of the brand and founding moderator of the A. Lange & Söhne forum at the international internet platform "Timezone.com". The book was presented on the occasion of the opening of an A. Lange & Söhne exhibition in Singapore on 12 July 2011. 200 copies of a limited and numbered luxury edition were reserved for the current owners of a "Pour le Mérite" tourbillon, as a special token of appreciation for their confidence in the future of the brand.

    Pre-Lot Text

    An homage to Ferdinand Lange
    The Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite", a unique testimony of A. Lange & Söhne's outstanding horological heritage, pays tribute to Ferdinand A. Lange, the founder of the dynasty. The model's name alludes to the most prestigious order of merit inspired by Alexander von Humboldt and sponsored by King Frederick William IV in 1842, for outstanding, predominantly scientific accomplishments.
    The Property of the Original Owner