Slim 14ct gold double back hunter case with decorated bezels and bow, all covers marked. Typical Lange (split) three-quarter plate keyless movement with visible winding wheels, jewelled to the 3rd. Straight-line detached lever escapement the polished steel escape wheel and pallets of Coles’s resilient form. Compensation balance, Elinvar balance-spring with overcoil. Beautiful two-colour signed enamel dial with blue 24 hr indication, original blued-steel hands. 51.5 mm diameter, and only 10 mm deep. Together with its original receipt and guarantee, issued by the Berlin retailer Hans Lorenz, in the original Lang-Uhr leather covered presentation box – the watch was sold on October 10th, 1931.
Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the famous pioneer in the resurrection of German watchmaking in the middle of the 19th century. The Lange & Sohne firm quickly established itself as one of the premier European watchmakers, rivalling anything produced in London or Geneva.
The ‘OLIW’ (Original Lange Internationales Werk) brand of watches was introduced by Lange after the problems caused to the German economy by the 1st World War. The high pre-war standards were however difficult for the firm to abandon and the new design of movement (Design No 748 972) took many years to get underway, plus sales were greatly hit by the Stock Market crash of 1929. Examples are uncommon, and those with this rare form of escapement far more so. The escapement is shown in the book A Lange & Sohne… by Reinhard Meis, pages 208-9 in which a watch of the exact same serial number, 500550, is featured – it is not the same watch.
NB: Cole’s ‘resilient’ escapement, in which the pallets are banked on the cranked tip of the escape teeth, is described in It’s About Time by Paul Chamberlain, page 91. He discusses the American Howard Watch Company’s limited use of the escapement, its later use by Lange being unknown to him.
The usual small hair crack from the centre into the sunk seconds bit and a front cover fly-spring that is rather sluggish, the box also lacking the spare crystal and mainspring it would have contained when first sold. Otherwise a perfect example of its rare type, showing little handling or use. Presently being fully serviced and accompanied by my usual guarantee.