The only ‘officially released’ A. Lange & Söhne watch with a steel case, the unique, 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ was sold at auction by Phillips in Geneva for a record-breaking CHF 852,500 (US$ 852,414).
An auction hall is always alive with an almost electrifying buzz of excitement, anticipation and nerves. Whether for art, jewellery or the world’s finest watches, auctions draw out the most avid collectors, and true connoisseurs, who will stop at almost nothing to get their hands on a coveted piece.
In the world of watch auctions, the Phillips Spring Sale is one of the most awaited by watch aficionados and those with deep, deep pockets! Held last Sunday in Geneva, this year’s auction was no exception. One timepiece in particular though, definitely stole the show…
The watch in question, was a one-of-a-kind timepiece featuring a stop-seconds functions, which was known to be one of Walter Lange’s favourite complications. Part of a limited collection that includes 145 white gold watches, 90 pink gold and 27 yellow gold watches, all with a solid silver dial, the steel-cased 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ is also the only watch to have a black enamel dial. You can see more about the 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ watches in our story here.
The watch itself is a beautiful example of A. Lange & Söhne’s mastery of both horological technique and aesthetics, and it was created with the exclusive purpose of being sold at auction. All proceeds from the sale of the steel 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ will be applied in support of the Children’s Action Foundation, a Swiss organization that works for the physical and emotional upliftment of children around the world. The cause is one that was close to Walter Lange’s heart and we are sure he would be thrilled at the outcome of the auction!
Wilhelm Schmid, the current CEO of A. Lange & Söhne expressed his delight at the auction, and emphasized that the exceptional price fetched by the 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ timepiece, the highest ever for a Lange watch at auction, is a true testament, not only to the esteem in which Lange watches are held by collectors, but also, significantly to the respect, goodwill and admiration garnered by Walter Lange himself.
Walter Lange, the former CEO of A. Lange & Söhne was a pioneer and a visionary in the world of fine watchmaking, and his death in January 2017 was a devastating loss for the industry. Rising from the destruction of World War II, Walter Lange successful rehabilitated and re-launched the company, started by his great-grandfather Ferdinand Adolf Lange in 1845. The brand that is now his legacy presented a fitting tribute, a unique watch, to mark the unique life of a unique man. To know more about Walter Lange and his story, check out our article which tells you more about the legend.