One-of-a-kind commemorative A. Lange & Söhne sets new record at auction

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A one-off timepiece from A. Lange & Söhne had collectors on the edge of their seats as it went under the hammer for the highest price ever paid at auction for a watch made by the company.

The only 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch ever made in a steel case wowed collectors at the Phillips auction in Geneva, on May 13, and was sold for a record-breaking $852,414.

The unique piece was dedicated to company founder Walter Lange, who passed away in 2017. Its special features include a jumping sweep-seconds mechanism, black enamel dial segment and stain-less-steel case.

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All proceeds from the sale of the watch will go to the Children Action Foundation. The Swiss-based aid organization helps promote the physical and emotional well-being of disadvantaged children and young people in eight countries around the globe.

A. Lange & Söhne CEO, Wilhelm Schmid, said: “The result went well be-yond our expectations. I’m particularly pleased that we can make a major contribution to Children Action’s important work, just as Walter Lange intended.

“The fact that the watch auctioned for such a high amount is not only a reflection of the increased value of A. Lange & Söhne watches, but also the worldwide community of collectors’ huge admiration for Walter Lange.”

Auctioneer, Aurel Bacs, added: “The 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ is the first ‘officially and publicly released’ steel watch by A. Lange & Söhne. It is a collector’s dream and was intended from the outset to raise money for a charity helping children in need. This unique story will forever be associated with the origins of the watch and it was a privilege for all of us at Phillips to have participated in this beautiful project.”

Alongside the one-off steel version, limited editions of the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange, are also available in white gold (145 watches), pink gold (90 watches) and yellow gold (27 watches), which will go on sale in autumn.

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Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder