A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Anniversary
In-depth look – December 2020
On the evening of 7/12/1990 in Dippoldiswalde, exactly 145 years after Walter Lange’s great-grandfather Ferdinand Adolph Lange registered his trademark as A. Lange & Cie, third-generation of the Lange family gave life to the cornerstone manufacturé of the German watchmaking. In 10 years, Walter Lange, Günter Blümlein, Hartmut Knothe on the management side and Reinhard Meis, Helmut Geyer, Renaud & Papi and many others on the technical front, A. Lange & Söhne deservedly climbed the ladders of success with warp speed. Such success had to be celebrated.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce this watch to you. This watch is quite possibly the most important and attractive special edition ever left the premises of A. Lange & Söhne. It is a watch created to celebrate the brand’s 10 years in the year 2000 and marked the date for eternity with its charm. This is a 500 piece limited Langematik Anniversary in platinum reference 302.025.
This watch is special not only A. Lange & Söhne called it so, but because it is an original creation. The template was from 100 years ago, and with this inspiration from the brand’s very own history, Langematik Anniversary is A. Lange & Söhne’s past modernized to perfection.
Crafted in a platinum case with the just right proportions, 37 mms in diameter and a slender 8.60 mms in thickness, Langematik Anniversary exudes class right from the start. As thin as it is, its case is built with extreme attention to detail, retaining all the signature hallmarks of an A. Lange & Söhne case.
The case is built on three-levels – the case back, case band and bezel. The alternate finish between layers delivers a delightful contrast as well as separation for each part. Bezel just barely levels the sapphire glass, further enhances the thin appearance of Langematik Anniversary. Another splendid detail is of course the lugs and the way they’re attached to the case.
The design was conceived by Günter Blümlein (as most things did) and it has been an unseparable identity of A. Lange & Söhne since 1994. He wanted to departure every facet of the brand from the Swiss. From the fonts to the buckle and of course the cases… He wanted to deliver an engineered feeling rather than a romantic one. Hence, did not want the lugs to flow from the case, but separate them. If you zoom-in, you’re going to see the notch in the base. The very small surface there is mirror-polished and greatly distances the lugs against the brushed case band. Lugs are soldered into the case afterwards, which delivers this constructed appearance.
As mentioned, Langematik Anniversary dial takes its inspiration from the pocket watch era of A. Lange & Söhne. And to be frank, there are perhaps tens of watches that use the same design template from various brands and makers. Yet, this one wins with subtle details.
The drawing is named as the GoldenerSchnitt which roughly translates as the Golden Section. The pleasing view of Langematik Anniversary, including many other details, primarily comes from the use of the Golden Ratio of 1:0.618. The central part of the dial has a ratio of 0.618 / 1 to the rest, which strikes an exceptional balance overall.
To catch such balance, the font as well as the indices, rail-way minute chapter and markers are rendered thicker compared to the pocket watches of the past. Such a use covers up the white-space much better and delivers just like Lange 1, an engineered and but also a pleasing look for Langematik Anniversary.
The subtle triangle shaped markers in each five-minutes further brings the focus towards the main part of the dial. However, the stars of the show are of course the enamel dial, blued-steel hands and the stunning red “XII”. The color harmony between the red XII, blued hands and white enamel is just beautiful. Such splash of color is a rare sight at A. Lange & Söhne – something I wish to see more and here it is just excellent. For example, a baby blue “12” for the 1815 Thin 175th Anniversary would be exceptional.
Before going into the technical and visual details of the movement, I believe it is a must to understand its background and its importance. Here, quoting from my Langematik article:
“In its close to 100 years of existance starting from 1845 until the expropriation of the manufacturé, A. Lange & Söhne produced only for about 40 pocket watches with self-winding mechanisms. Hence, when the brand was re-founded by Walter Lange in 1990, as the self-winding calibers were not an integral part of the brand’s heritage, an automatic caliber was not a priority.
However, Blümlein strongly emphasizes that modern A. Lange & Söhne is not the epigone of watchmaking legends. One can only speak of helpful innovation or mechanical sensation. Indeed, this was proven by big-date, or the combination of different mechanisms such as fuseé & chain with tourbillon to improve accuracy and precision. Following the two, I believe one of the best examples of the notion above was put together by one of the two movement constructors of A. Lange & Söhne; who would be instrumental to many mechanisms which the brand relies even today arrives with his own design: Helmut Geyer’s Sax-0-Mat.”
Its design is exactly how one would imagine an automatic caliber from A. Lange & Söhne. A gorgeous view, born out of a contrast – an automatic movement coupled with 150 years old traditional hallmarks. Geyer managed to splendidly brew historic aesthetics such as three-quarter plate with modern technicality, and the result of such synthesis is something inimitable and nothing but exceptional. From the color harmony to movement architecture and handmade details such as the engraved balance cock and the inward angle on the escape wheel cap, caliber L921 sets the bar very high.
The rotor is made of solid gold, deeply engraved and bears a platinum mass for the winding efficiency which runs over ruby bearings to reduce the friction. Hence, it winds-up the 46 hours of power reserve in about 1500 turns. Rotor charges the mechanism in both sides.
The name Sax-0-Mat comes from the zero-reset function of the caliber L921.7. A mechanism developed for precise time-setting; upon pulling the crown, the function simply stops the balance and resets the seconds hand back to zero. The reason I have the crown-out in every Langematik Anniversary photo I take.
Langematik Anniversary with brilliant blue hands and red XII. As sold at Langepedia x WatchBox Marketplace
Buying a Langematik Anniversary
Langematik Anniversary was introduced with the MSRP of $23k in the year 2000. The watch started to appear in the secondary market right after the production was finished around 2004.
To my knowledge, the first two appeared at Antiquorum and they sold for $18k and $14k. However, as the years passed by, the magnificent reference 302.025 started to appreciate in value and set on the stone for around $30k starting from 2008 or so.
In 2020, there were three Langematik Anniversary watches at the auction block; two at Phillips Watches and one at Sotheby’s Watches. The ones at Phillips sold for $83k and $53k respectively, whereas the one at Sotheby’s went for an absolute bargain of $38k. The $80k result at Phillips is certainly an outlier; hence should not be included in the graph. As of August 2021, Langematik Anniversary reference 302.025 can be found for around $65k in the market depending on condition, buckle and its set.
A final warning, as mentioned above, it would be for your best interest if you could see the watch before buying it due to some possible flaws on the enamel dial.
I hope this was a valuable guide for whomever is looking for a Langematik Anniversary or just want to learn the details and history of these pieces. If you’d like to chat, sell or buy a Langematik Anniversary, please kindly reach out to me via [email protected]
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