With Uhrenmuseum Glashütte Certificate dated 20 January 2011 confirming the production of the present minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie watch with dial bearing the name Ahmed Kheir Bashi in Arabic and its sale to Rudolf Stobbe in Alexandria, Egypt, on 27 April 1911 for the amount of 2210 Mark. Furthermore delivered with copy of the manufacturer's workbook entry and black presentation box.
Minute repeating clock watches by A. Lange & Söhne are exceptionally rare, between 1883 and 1934 only three examples of these complicated timepieces were made. The "grande and petite sonnerie" watch offered here for sale is distinguished by the personalized sapphire crystal dial and back, rendering it unique.
According to the Archives of A. Lange & Söhne, it was sold to the watch retailer R. Stobbe in Alexandria in 1911, the dial bearing the name of its ultimate buyer, a certain Ahmed Kheir Bashi. Although no information is available on both, R. Stobbe evidently supplied complicated watches to aficionados of these exceptional German timepieces in the Ottoman Empire: Lange no. 46186, a quarter repeating "grande et petite sonnerie" watch was sold to the firm in 1904.
Consigned by a private collector, the present minute repeating "grande et petite sonnerie" clock watch pays tribute to Germany's horological testimony of the 20th century. The perfect combination of engineering, craftsmanship and unusual design, paired with impeccable provenance and very good, original overall condition, render this masterpiece a trophy for any collector and amateur of exceptional watches.
A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte bei Dresden
For over 150 years, watches made by A. Lange & Söhne were and still are among the most coveted timepieces in the world. The success story of the celebrated dynasty started with Ferdinand Adolph Lange, born in Dresden on 18 February 1815. After the divorce of his parents, he found a new home with a merchant family that gave the intelligent young man a good education. At the age of 15, while he was still attending the polytechnic school in Dresden, he began training as an apprentice with the celebrated master watchmaker J. C. Friedrich Gutkäs.
In 1835, Adolph Lange completed his apprenticeship with honours and continued as Gutkäs' employee for two more years before deepening his skills as a journeyman, working with Europe's most respected chronometer makers, notably Winnerl in Paris. After his return to Dresden in 1841, Lange became a co-owner of and the driving force behind Gutkäs' manufactory, constructing amongst others the celebrated five-minute clock in Dresden's Semper Opera.
Besides his dedication to horological perfection, Adolph Lange was a person of uncommon social sensitivity. The growing level of destitution in the Ore Mountains ultimately urged him to leave his privileged position in Dresden; in 1845, armed with numerous visions and his journey- and workbook, he set out for the poverty-stricken town of Glashütte in order to establish the Saxon precision watchmaking industry. In December 1845, with the financial help of the Saxon government, Lange started his own manufacture with his friend Adolf Schneider and fifteen apprentices, followed by 'A. Lange & Söhne' in association with his sons Richard and Friedrich Emil in 1868.
Lange possessed an extended range of knowledge in different directions; his eminent talents did not remain unnoticed, and he was very early elected mayor in his little town. His life was one of activity and he introduced many essential innovations in the manufacturing of watches and chronometry. The horological school at Glashütte, though opened only two years after his dead, was a natural sequence of his thirty years' endeavour to resuscitate watch making in Germany. His shop had been a training school from the first day.
Lange watches are renowned for their variety of rare technical constructions and quality and offer everything from an early pin lever watch handmade by Adolph Lange up to tourbillons and highly complicated astronomical repeating watches.