Rolex and Cartier are popular, high-end watch brands, and it’s easy to understand why they are so expensive. On the other hand, A. Lange & Söhne is an understated German watch brand with some of the highest watch prices in the world. Why are the latter’s watches so expensive?
A. Lange & Söhne watches are so expensive because they have a timeless and classic style. They are also hand-finished collector’s items and have intricate details and features. A. Lange & Söhne only releases a limited number of watches per year and their watches were endorsed by Philippe Dufour.
Read on to discover what makes A. Lange & Söhne watches so expensive and special.
They Have a Timeless and Classic Style
A. Lange & Söhne was founded in 1864, and they’ve always produced watches with an elegant and classic style that follows current trends. This understated yet timeless design ensures the wearer can use the watch for life, making it an excellent investment and worth the high price tag.
A. Lange & Söhne watches are the perfect multi-purpose watches because they suit any outfit and are incredibly durable and reliable.
They Release a Limited Number of Watches Each Year
A. Lange & Söhne only release 5,000 watches each year. If you want a brand new model, you’ll need to put your name on the waiting list. Many A. Lange & Söhne fans buy used watches as they struggle to get their hands on a new model. This high demand is one of the reasons A. Lange & Söhne watches are so expensive.
A. Lange & Söhne watches have such high demand that the company doesn’t have an aggressive marketing plan, and doesn’t see the need for brand ambassadors. Despite this, they have had several famous customers, including:
- Bill Clinton
- Brad Pitt
- Michael Jordan
- Czar Alexander II
They Are Amongst The Top Tier Of Luxury Watch Brands
In today’s market, we can find many different luxury watchmakers. But amongst all luxury watchmakers, there’s another hierarchy.
You’ve got entry-level luxury watch brands, like Tissot or Tudor. Then you’ve got your ‘normal’ watch brands like Breitling or IWC. And lastly, there’s the upper echelon of luxury watch brands. These include brands like Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, and A. Lange & Söhne.
A. Lange & Söhne sits amongst the most respected name brands, and products from these brands simply come at a high price.
They Are Collector’s Items
In the previous section, I mentioned that A. Lange & Söhne watches have a timeless and classic style and that only a few watches are released yearly. In addition, they’re handcrafted and boast exceptional quality. These characteristics make A. Lange & Söhne watches popular collector’s items.
Buying a new A. Lange & Söhne watch is an excellent investment and well worth the high cost because most models increase in value over the years. It’s common to see A. Lange & Söhne watches sold at famous auction houses such as Christie’s.
A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 model is arguably the most coveted collector’s piece. This was the first watch model released after the company’s dormancy during the Cold War. In 2016, it sold for $233,000 at Christie’s.
Other popular A. Lange & Söhne collector’s pieces include models from the following ranges:
- Lange 1
- Richard Lange
They Are Hand-Finished
When you buy an A. Lange & Söhne watch, you have the assurance that the watch has been handcrafted from start to finish in the company’s Saxony factory. A. Lange & Söhne employs only the best German watchmakers who undergo extensive, in-house training before they’re allowed to craft watches.
Handmaking watches is a far more complex and time-consuming process than mass producing them, which is another reason A. Lange & Söhne watches are so expensive.
In addition to the intricate handcrafting process, each watch has a two-fold assembly process. That means the watchmaker painstakingly assembles all the pieces, removes them, and reassembles them to ensure the parts are positioned to work as perfectly as possible.
Once the two-fold assembly process is over, the watchmaker hand polishes each piece using various oils and lubricants. The final step is an intense quality control process to ensure that the watch complies with A. Lange & Söhne’s strict standards.
They Have Intricate Details and Features
A. Lange & Söhne watches demonstrate the best of German watchmaking, which is comparable to Swiss quality.
All A. Lange & Söhne watches have intricate details and unique features, including:
- Genuine leather strap
- A. Lange & Söhne name in the dial’s top section
- Sapphire crystal watch glass
- Unique three-quarter plate. Since the company’s inception, all A. Lange & Söhne watches have featured the iconic three-quarter plate. This houses the bearings and provides additional stability for the watch’s mechanics.
- Hand-engraved balance cock. This intricate, hand-crafted part features the watchmaker’s fingerprint, making each watch unique. The balance cock’s plate also has a beautiful floral pattern hand-etched by the watchmaker.
- Gold chatons. Every A. Lange & Söhne has solid gold chatons, essential parts that ensure precise watch movements. After installing the gold chatons, the watchmaker hand polishes them and treats them with oil to ensure they work precisely.
- German silver bridges and plates
- Oversized date. The oversized date is one of the most recognizable features of an A. Lange & Söhne watch and has a prominent place on the watch face.
- Glashütte ribbing. A. Lange & Söhne watches have Glashütte ribbing, a hand created striped finish on the watch plate.
- Generous two-year guarantee. When you buy a new A. Lange & Söhne watch, you receive a two-year warranty on the parts. However, if you buy your watch from a boutique, you benefit from an extra year. If parts become faulty, A. Lange & Söhne will repair them for free and give you a new, two-year warranty.
They Were Endorsed by Philippe Dufour
Philippe Dufour is one of the world’s most talented watchmakers. This Swiss watchmaker had a remarkable career with Jaeger-LeCoultre, where he was responsible for creating some of the company’s most famous watches, including:
- Sonnerie, the world’s first wristwatch featuring a quarter-strike mechanism.
Since retiring, Philippe Dufour has been a loyal A. Lange & Söhne customer. His favorite piece is the Datograph, an exquisite rose gold timepiece with a black dial.
Philippe Dufour’s endorsement of A. Lange & Söhne watches is another reason for their high prices. Of course, given the inherent quality of the watches, a thumbs-up from a watchmaker of Dufour’s caliber is simply icing on the cake.
A. Lange & Söhne watches are expensive, and there are many reasons behind the high price tag:
- They have a timeless and classic style.
- Only 5,000 watches are released each year.
- A. Lange & Söhne watches are collector’s items.
- They’re hand-finished.
- They have intricate designs and features.
- A. Lange & Söhne watches have been endorsed by Philippe Dufour, a world-renowned watchmaker.