Accompanied by an A. Lange & Söhne Guarantee dated June 2nd, 1999, an A. Lange & Söhne presentation box, product literature, an A. Lange & Söhne polishing cloth and outer packaging. Further accompanied by a service invoice issued by a certified A. Lange & Söhne USA repair service and dated November 30th, 2009.
The Lange 1 is perhaps the celebrated firm’s most iconic model and served as the cornerstone for the revival of the company in 1994. While examples have been made in yellow gold, pink gold, and platinum, versions in stainless steel are certainly the rarest, most desired, and epic models.
Although a small number, far less than 10, have come to public auction in steel cases with silver dials, this is the first to come to auction with a steel case and black dial. In fact, only three examples were believed to have been made in steel with black dials. The other two examples are believed to be hidden in very private collections and may never come to market, making this a potentially unique opportunity of a lifetime for one fortunate and astute collector.
The present watch is more than simply a rare find – it is certainly worth of the term “holy grail” for collectors of fine watches, and it should certainly be in the running for “watch of the year” to come up for auction in 2016.
While we certainly do not have a crystal ball as to future watch values, one can only speculate that as A. Lange & Söhne continues to rapidly gain new followers for its uncompromising approach to quality, technical innovation, and strong aesthetic appeal, one can only say that this watch, in what is likely a case material never again produced by the company, will, without exaggeration, certainly belong in the pantheon of the manufacturer’s most iconic, desirable, rarest, and important timepieces, and, furthermore, belong in the general pantheon of all-time iconic and special watches.
The most distinguishing feature of the Lange 1 is certainly the dial. The steel version was produced in small numbers in silver, and, as we see here for the first time, also in black. We should also elaborate on the fantastic design elements. The appeal is seen in the patented large date window, a subsidiary dial for hours and minutes, a smaller subsidiary dial for constant seconds and last but not least a power reserve indicator located to the far right. Although all of the dial's features are positioned asymmetrically to one another, there is a perfect sense of balance created when looking at the dial as a whole. And of course we see the famous arc signature indicating where the A. Lange & Söhne watches are produced: Glashütte i/SA, where “i/SA” is the abbreviation for "in Saxony".