My A. Lange & Sohne pocket watch

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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Hello all,

I would like to share with you my A. Lange & Sohne pocket watch serial #31109. I am still waiting for the extract from the archives but in the meantime I believe it dates from the early 1890s. The watch is in the serial number matching coin silver case, which I love considering the quality of the movement, and it has a display glass bezel over the movement UNDER the dust cover, so a little complex. As the bridge is nickel plated and the pillar plate is German silver, both with some damaskeening, and the dial measures similar to a 16s, I believe this watch was made for the American export market.

I was a bit pressed for time during the service, so I did not get to document as much of the movement in photos as I would have liked, but I hope there are enough photos here for everyone to enjoy. This is a wonderful watch to service, the tolerances of everything made just goes together wonderfully. A couple of my favorite things are the quick release upper barrel bushing and the slot in the 3/4 bridge to allow for a mainspring service without servicing the entire movement. The balance wheel is made with the roller table as part of the wheel. So if you had to change the balance staff, which is just a friction fit tapered staff, you do not need to poise the wheel. It is my observation that Lange did ALL the adjustments to the watch in manufacturing, very little needed to be done in final assembly. Even the overcoil on the hairspring is a set height in relationship to the bridge, there is no height adjustment of the stud available to ensure flatness of the hairspring. It was done once and right when it was made! The banking can not be adjusted, again, done correctly when it was made. These are examples of the length this company went to ensure that the watch was made to very high manufacturing tolerances, and was servicable.

I can go more in depth, but I am also not trying to word anyone to death! Enjoy.

 

Downing

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I can go more in depth, but I am also not trying to word anyone to death! Enjoy.
That's impossible when it comes to AL&S pocket watches.

Congrats!

Here's a serial number list I swiped off this board sometime in the past.



IMG_4489.jpeg
 
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PapaLouies

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Hello all,

I would like to share with you my A. Lange & Sohne pocket watch serial #31109. I am still waiting for the extract from the archives but in the meantime I believe it dates from the early 1890s. The watch is in the serial number matching coin silver case, which I love considering the quality of the movement, and it has a display glass bezel over the movement UNDER the dust cover, so a little complex. As the bridge is nickel plated and the pillar plate is German silver, both with some damaskeening, and the dial measures similar to a 16s, I believe this watch was made for the American export market.

I was a bit pressed for time during the service, so I did not get to document as much of the movement in photos as I would have liked, but I hope there are enough photos here for everyone to enjoy. This is a wonderful watch to service, the tolerances of everything made just goes together wonderfully. A couple of my favorite things are the quick release upper barrel bushing and the slot in the 3/4 bridge to allow for a mainspring service without servicing the entire movement. The balance wheel is made with the roller table as part of the wheel. So if you had to change the balance staff, which is just a friction fit tapered staff, you do not need to poise the wheel. It is my observation that Lange did ALL the adjustments to the watch in manufacturing, very little needed to be done in final assembly. Even the overcoil on the hairspring is a set height in relationship to the bridge, there is no height adjustment of the stud available to ensure flatness of the hairspring. It was done once and right when it was made! The banking can not be adjusted, again, done correctly when it was made. These are examples of the length this company went to ensure that the watch was made to very high manufacturing tolerances, and was servicable.

I can go more in depth, but I am also not trying to word anyone to death! Enjoy.

This may be of interest.
Ad from Lange 1912 catalog, courtesy of Allan Purcell.
IMG_2102.JPG
Regards, P/L
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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I wanted to update this thread with the Extract from the Archive on my watch.

It was sold Feb 19th, 1894. Note who the buyer was, an A. Hawelk of Vienna. This was a surprise to me.

1. This is a Nickel movement with damaskeening, I thought this option was reserved for the American export market.

Anton Hawelk of Wien was a watchmaker of that time, it looks like he made nice clocks and deck chronometers.

The only part I don't know is that the buyer's name is preceded with Comp. I don't know what that would stand for. I can only speculate it stands for Company?

It also says it was delivered with certificate. I take that to mean that extra was paid to have the watch timing certified by an external source?
 

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Dr. Jon

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Most watches were delivered with a certificate typically a warranty statement to the effect that they made it and its a great watch. It is a certificate of authenticity.

If it were a rating I believe the notation would be more explicit.
 

Downing

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I wanted to update this thread with the Extract from the Archive on my watch.
This appears to have come from the Museum Glashütte. I thought they were closed.

Can you tell me the particulars as to how you acquired the extract? I'd like to get one for my AL&S.
 

SpringDriven

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Dec 22, 2010
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This appears to have come from the Museum Glashütte. I thought they were closed.

Can you tell me the particulars as to how you acquired the extract? I'd like to get one for my AL&S.
I work in a store that carries A. Lange and Sohne, so I requested the extract from the archives through my store representative back in early December and received it yesterday.
 

Downing

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The museum at Glashutte has the Lange records and they provide the extracts.
Yes. But because they're closed due to the pandemic I assumed I would have to wait until they reopen. I'll shoot them an email to see if they respond.
 

Downing

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An update on obtaining an extract:

I received a reply from Mr. Anke Johne in the Digital Archive and Archive Information Department. He advised that the photos of the watch that I included in my request for an extract were sufficient so there was no need to inspect the watch in person. In order to do the extract, they will compare the photos to the original AL&S sales book.

The extract will include the date of sale, the buyer, the price, a copy of the sales book page and technical details about the watch.

The cost is $177 plus postage for the German language or $206 plus postage for the English language.

So I've ordered an English language copy--very exciting!
 
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SpringDriven

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As Downing mentioned that there would be a copy of the sales book page, I checked and I have that as well.

Mr. Hawelk paid for two watches that day of Feb 19, 1894. While I would love to understand more of the abbreviations used to describe what he purchased, I find it interesting the large difference in serial numbers between the two watches. 31109 and 31995, the cost difference is considerable as well as 31995 is more than double the cost of 31109.

However they may have just been in stock waiting for a buyer, or movements waiting to be cased. Either way, this is interesting information.
 

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shinytickythings

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I wish I had seen this thread sooner. I guess no one has mentioned Martin Huber's excellent book "Die Lange Liste"?
I have a copy, but it's all in German, so I've never been able to actually read it. It is mostly lists and descriptions, though. So, it's not too difficult to parse out some of it without an interpreter.
Attached is the page concerning 31109.
The abbreviations, as best I can determine
O= open face or lepine
S= Silver
1/2B= 1/2 Bassine case type
la=first quality(rubies in screwed gold settings and diamond endstone), from mid 1893
F=fine adjustment, regulator with swan neck spring 004.jpg 003.jpg
 
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SpringDriven

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I wish I had seen this thread sooner. I guess no one has mentioned Martin Huber's excellent book "Die Lange Liste"?
I have a copy, but it's all in German, so I've never been able to actually read it. It is mostly lists and descriptions, though. So, it's not too difficult to parse out some of it without an interpreter.
Attached is the page concerning 31109.
The abbreviations, as best I can determine
O= open face or lepine
S= Silver
1/2B= 1/2 Bassine case type
la=first quality(rubies in screwed gold settings and diamond endstone), from mid 1893
F=fine adjustment, regulator with swan neck spring View attachment 647847 View attachment 647846
That is awesome!!! Now I need to find this book. Is there an entry on the other watch that was purchased with mine by A. Hawelk, 31995?

And look at the price my watch sold for compared to others, seems like it was a good price, considering the movement quality, nickel and damaskeening, observation cover on the movement! It is only shared with one other that was also ALS quality and one other that was not ALS grade.

Thank you for sharing!
 
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shinytickythings

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That is awesome!!! Now I need to find this book. Is there an entry on the other watch that was purchased with mine by A. Hawelk, 31995?
Sadly, I'm not finding #31995 in there.
It's broken down by watch type, so it's a little difficult.
I could just be overlooking it in another section.
Production was clearly not sequential.

And look at the price my watch sold for compared to others, seems like it was a good price, considering the movement quality, nickel and damaskeening, observation cover on the movement! It is only shared with one other that was also ALS quality and one other that was not ALS grade.
31993 and 31997 are there. They both look like the same grade as 31109, the big difference being they are both hunter cased in gold.
If I had to make a guess, the price difference seems about commensurate compared to the silver cased examples.

Thank you for sharing!
My pleasure!
 
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Downing

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Btw, speaking of Lange books I recently purchased a copy of A. Lange & Sohne - Great Timepieces from Saxony by Reinhard Mels. It's a two-volume set with the first book focused on the rise and history of watchmaking in Glashutte and the second volume focused on the AL&S watches.

It's expensive but really well done. I especially enjoyed reading about Julius Assmann and Deutsche Präzisions-Uhrenfabrik Glashütte (DPUG), which are two of my other German pocket watches, as there's not a lot of information out there about either of them.
 

shinytickythings

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Cool! Can you look to see if mine is listed? It's 43001. Photos attached. (Hope you don't mind, SD.)
Downing, I'm very sad to say I can't find that one in here either.
There are several listed close to that, but not that one.
About all I can say is those numbers all appear to have been used around the turn of the century. 1900-1902.
The closest one was #43002 and interestingly, it looks like it was specifically engineered for a expedition to the South Pole(?).
015.jpg
 
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Downing

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Aw, too bad.

But thanks for checking.

I would be surprised if someone took a gold pocket watch to the South Pole. I know I wouldn't. That's more like a Timex trip for me, lol.
 

shinytickythings

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Aw, too bad.

But thanks for checking.
No problem.
I'm probably near disappointed as you.

I would be surprised if someone took a gold pocket watch to the South Pole. I know I wouldn't. That's more like a Timex trip for me, lol.
The material "S" would have been silver, but honestly even that surprises me.

All the best,
Steve
 
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