Lange-und-Soehne-82019-Selbstschlag_US
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A. Lange & Soehne number 82019, Minute repeating pocket watch with hour and quarter self-strike



Huber's "Lange Liste" has a short entry "No. 79" on page 224 – it only lists four watches with "strike (Grande et Petite Sonnerie and minute repeater)".
A. Lange & Soehne number 82019, Minute repeating pocket watch with hour and quarter self-strike
In the upcoming auction held by Auctioneers Dr. Crott/Stefan Muser in Mannheim on November 7, 2020, one of these extremely rare timepieces will be presented. According to the list we only know No. 16005, a gold hunter watch sold in 1883. It was purchased for 3,500 mark to one-year volunteer Julius Lechle in Dresden. We have not heard of this watch since. The second one was No. 62510, which appeared at a few auctions and is – with its crystal dial and the glazed movement cover – a truly spectacular watch. It was sold in 1911 for 2,210 mark to Rudolf Stobbe in Alexandria, who was most likely a concessionaire in Egypt with connections in the Arabic world – the dial of the watch is inscribed "AHMED KHEIR BASHI". We know the timepiece from the 71stauction at Peter Ineichen's in Zurich on May 11, 1987, where it was presented as lot no. 53 and illustrated with two beautiful colour photographs. No estimate was given, the lot was marked with three asterisks; regrettably, we do not know the final sales price either. A few months later in July 1987 the watch appeared at Phillips' in New York (knocked down at 42,000 US dollar, i.e. 130,000 mark). On May 16, 2011 the watch was presented as lot 221 at Christie's in Geneva; it was sold for 240,000 Swiss francs plus surcharges and went home with a German collector.
A. Lange & Soehne number 82019, Minute repeating pocket watch with hour and quarter self-strike
The third watch No. 62976 is unusual in that the gold dial has raised indexes so that the time can be read by a blind person – a feature we know from Breguet timepieces. The watch was sold in 1911 to the well-known retailer and collector Robert Pleissner in Dresden for a sum of 2,438 mark.
A. Lange & Soehne number 82019, Minute repeating pocket watch with hour and quarter self-strike
The last of the timepieces listed is this one, a hunter watch in a Louis XV case with an original sales price of 4,000 mark in 1925 (which strikes us as strange). According to the Lange books the buyer was the concessionaire Otto Pohland in Chemnitz, who eventually (we do not know the date) sold the watch back to Lange & Söhne. The Lange books unfortunately record neither the reason for the resale nor its price. The watch was then sold again with a hunter case engraved with Hermann Göring's coat of arms, for a price of 2,475 mark. The inside cover is engraved "In herzlicher Freundschaft zum Weihnachtsfest 1934 A. Hitler" (in sincere friendship, Christmas 1934 A. Hitler). The watch was bought by the watch store A. Lünser in Berlin; according to W. Becker's list in „Klassik Uhren, Glashütte damals XXII" the company sold one of approximately 90 A. Lange watches to the Reichskanzlei. The price means that the original owner from Chemnitz must have lost money, since he bought the watch at 4,000 mark.
A. Lange & Soehne number 82019, Minute repeating pocket watch with hour and quarter self-strike
It would also be interesting to know where the movements came from, a silver movement supposedly supplied by L.E. Piguet – but LeCoultre seems also possible. Delivered as a „Blanc" (ebauche) and then finished in Glashütte or a complete version with Glashütte escapement and finished plates? "A. Lange & Söhne, eine Uhrendynastie aus Dresden" by R. Meis dating from 2011 shows excellent illustrations on pages 294/295. A beautiful under-dial mechanism is also present. Auctioneers in Geneva sold this watch on May 14, 2006 with an estimate of 500,000 – 600,000 Swiss francs and a final result of 760,900 Swiss francs including the surcharge. We shall have to wait and see what price the watch will now achieve during the upcoming November auction.

Cpb (Christian Pfeiffer-Belli)