A. Lange & Söhne ‘1815 Homage to Walter Lange’
These uncommon limitation numbers presented to you above are derived from important milestones of the Lange family’s history …
From 7 December 1845, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange originally established the company, exactly 145 years elapsed until 7 December 1990, the date on which Walter Lange together with Günter Blümlein registered Lange Uhren GmbH. Precisely 27 years will have passed between this date and 7 December 2017, the day on which the new model that pays tribute to Walter Lange is being unveiled.
145 watches in white gold, 90 in pink gold and 27 in yellow gold. And there is one in steel!
The 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ has a stoppable jumping seconds hand that dates back to a 150-year-old invention conceived by Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
Mechanical timepieces can be recognised by their seconds hand. Depending on the balance frequency, the seconds hand of a mechanical watch advances from second to second in five (2,5 Hz / 18.000 A/h) to ten steps (5 Hz / 36.000 A/h).
In absolut short-time measurements where seconds count in the literal sense, constant progression sometimes makes it difficult to pinpoint the beginning and the end of an event. Conversely, there is a horological complication that allows the exact measurement of the smallest unit of time. It is called ‘jumping seconds‘.
The 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ combines a regular small seconds hand with a jumping second. The small seconds hand in the subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock maps the frequency of 21,600 A/h (3 Hz) of the calibre by performing six small steps as it advances from marker to marker.
The blued sweep seconds hand performs precise jumps from second to second. It can be allowed to run continuously or immobilised if needed. A pusher at ‘2 o’clock’ starts and stops it. This is e.g. useful for heart rate measurements …
The jumping sweep seconds hand with the start/stop function was significant for Walter Lange.
It dates back to an 1867 invention of his great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange. It was first implemented in a watch crafted by his grandfather, Emil Lange. One of Germany’s first patents was granted to A. Lange & Söhne in 1877 for the enhanced design of a mechanism mounted on the three-quarter plate, and was referred to as a ‘one-second movement with a jumping hand‘.
The seconds jump is controlled according to the flirt-and-star principle, as was originally the case in the historic mechanism.
After each full second, one of the six tips of the star liberates the tensioned lever arm, which watchmakers refer to as the “flirt”. It then swiftly rotates by 360 degrees before it is stopped by the next tip. This motion sequence causes the seconds hand to advance by one marker. The ratchet wheel located above the three-quarter plate has a dual function: It stores the power needed for the seconds jump, and at the same time causes the sweep seconds hand to stop.
All of the gold watches above will be sold for 47.000 Euro including 19 % VAT each.
The unique steel version shown underneath will be will be auctioned off for a charitable purpose in 2018. I could get no further details so far concerning questions like ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘starting at’ and ‘estimated price sold’