Ferdinand Adolph Lange was the founder of A. Lange & Söhne. His horological journey began in 1830 when he entered the Dresden Polytechnic school at the age of 15 and subsequently pursued a profession in the watchmaking industry.
From 1837, he went to France, Switzerland, and Great Britain to perfect his knowledge and skills with well-known watchmakers and big brands such as Breguet. He then returned back to Germany and, in 1845, he founded what we all know today as one of the best (if not the best) watch brands from somewhere other than Switzerland.
Fun fact about Mr. Lange: Between 1849 and 1867, he was the mayor of his birthplace, Glashütte in Saxony. During his term in office he transformed the little town into the German hub of fine watchmaking.
In 2020, A. Lange & Söhne celebrated its 175th birthday and, as such, the brand launched a trilogy of limited watches. My favorite piece of this trilogy is the A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold, the most complex and mechanically demanding piece in A. Lange & Söhne’s product line.
The piece is limited to only 50 pieces and comes with a price tag of half a million EUR but watch nerds get their money’s worth.
Although there is no official definition of grand complication (the unofficial requirements are chiming, chronograph and calendar functions all in the same watch – the Tourbograph is missing the striking complication) this timepiece is a watchmaker’s nightmare but a watch lover’s dream.
The name “Honeygold” comes from the unique alloy of which the case is made and it is only used in A. Lange & Söhne’s top-notch pieces. This material is harder than other gold alloys, and even much harder than platinum. Honeygold is unique in colour and exclusive to ALS watches. It isn‘t just beautiful, but it also makes the watches strikingly resistant to damage – no more scratches for us watch lovers. The case is not made for tiny wrists as the watch measures 43mm diameter & 16.6mm height.
Visually, I love the greyish dial with its rhodium-plated finish with numbers and lettering in honeygold. The Tourbillon is placed at the 6 o’clock position (as is the case for most Toubillon watches). The three subdials host the perpetual calendar at 3 o’clock, the chronograph function at 6 o’clock and the moonphase at 12 o’clock. (Learn more about the different complications in our Watch Basics Series click here). The latter is just one example of how A. Lange & Söhne’s demonstrates extraordinary precision on this masterpiece as it features fascinating hand-engraved stars.
The Collectors Circle admires every detail on this masterpiece and I am sure watch aficionados around the world will do the same.
A. Lange & Söhne
Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold, reference: 706.050
Official retail price is at EUR 500, 000, while market price is approximately the same.
diameter: 43 mm; height: 16.6 mm
When to wear:
The Datograph Tourbillon Honeygold is one of the pinnacles of fine watchmaking and is definitively a collector’s piece. It’s not only eye-catching, but is also a great daily companion thanks to its damage resistant material.
What we love about the watch:
The fact that the watch is made from a patented material that is exclusive to ALS watches is just delightful. It is not only a unique, it is also difficult to scratch.
Photography by the respective brand: A. Lange & Söhne from www.alange-soehne.com & IG: @alangesoehne