Why I own the Richard Lange

Warning: This is a long post

In the beginning, I wasn't really interested in A. Lange & Söhne

Ever since I got into luxury watches, A. Lange & Söhne have been on my radar. Based on online material though, I wasn't sufficiently impressed to seriously consider them, given their prices. I could not be more wrong: I find it hard to put into words how excellent their watches are.

Initially I only knew of them digitally. I guess a lot of us mainly research online. In May 2022 I got to see one in the metal for the first time: A colleague of mine had recently bought the Saxonia thin and brought it to a company event. I was completely stunned, the watch looked way better than I could ever have imagine. I remember thinking how bland I felt it looked online, compared to how dazzling it was in real life. I was so stunned I even forgot to take a picture. It was then and there I realized that I wanted a watch from A. Lange & Söhne at some point.

In the summer of 2022, I tried a lot of watches

A couple of months later, I found myself on a vacation through various cities in Europe. As part of this vacation I was on a quest to find a rose/yellow gold dress watch. For those of you have seen my posts here on WC, you can probably guess that this was when I settled on the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Date. A seriously underrated piece, I might add. I must have tried dozens of pieces, anything from Omega DeVille to the Saxonia Thin.

Image

The first time picture I have of an ALS watch on my wrist

I found the Saxonia a bit too small for my taste at 38mm (my wrist is close to 20cm), and given how much I liked the JLC I couldn't justify going for it simply because it was an A. Lange & Söhne watch. In fact, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony was the runner-up. In any case, the search for a Lange watch continued.

I kept trying various Lange pieces

At some point I got my hands on the legendary Lange 1 in various configurations. It's a stunning watch, but wasn't quite what I was looking for. Just like the Saxonia, it's just a tad bit too small for my taste. I also tried a Grand Lange 1, but it didn't feel quite right, either.

Image

Lange 1, current production model

Image

Classic Lange 1

Image

Grand Lange 1. Maybe the moon phase threw me off, I don't know.

Eventually I found the Richard Lange and took a trip to Berlin

Towards the end of last year, I emailed the A. Lange & Söhne boutique in Berlin. I had settled on the Richard Lange as the piece I probably wanted. Buying it without at least seeing it first was not an option for me, however. They were super helpful: The watch wasn't available to buy then and there (an estimate was given of 3 - 6 months waiting time), however they could borrow one from the factory so I could see it in the metal. I was extremely thankful for this, and booked a trip to Berlin in January.

When I got the watch on my wrist, I knew I had found the one I wanted. It was everything I had hoped, and then some.

Image
Image

First time trying the Richard Lange on my wrist

I used to have a Frederique Constant Classic, a simple three-hand watch with a black dial, simple indices and a black, leather strap. Back when I first started out, the watch was an amazing value proposition (around €600 at the time) and I was super happy with it. At some point I saw the IWC Portofino when I had the Frederique Constant on my wrist, and I was blown away: The Portofino's design really appeals to me, and the finishing made my Frederique Constant look like a toy next to it. I know IWC get a lot of hate for their high prices when they use COTS movements, but to me, the Portofino was an excellent value proposition. The reason I am telling you this is that I brought the Portofino to Berlin, to see if I would experience the same thing again (this time with the IWC feeling like the inferior one).

Image

Comparison photo of the IWC Portofino and ALS Richard Lange

While this isn't a particularly good photo, I think it shows just how vastly better the finishing of the Lange is. As it should be, given the extreme price difference of course, but still. I didn't make the order there and then, frankly because at the time this was a huge investment for me: The asking price for the Richard Lange was more than I had spent on my entire collection combined up until that point.

It didn't take me long to pull the trigger, but I did think a lot.

On the plane home from Berlin I started seriously considering the idea of spending this much money on a watch. It is a luxury after all, and not a rational way to spend money (at least not if you think of it as an investment). Basically, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was essentially spending €40 000 on something I didn't need, and couldn't expect to get the monetary value back from, either. I decided to spend some time thinking it over: As the Richard Lange isn't particularly hyped among ALS' watches, the opportunity wasn't going away anytime soon.

Just a couple of weeks after I came home, however, the boutique in Berlin called me. They wanted to inform me that a price increase was incoming, and that I could still get the Richard Lange at the old price if I decided quickly and paid a 100% deposit. If memory serves, the prices increased 11% across the board, which isn't negligible.

I had come to a crossroads in my watch collecting journey. Up until this point, I had made purchases that didn't significantly impact my private finances. The most expensive purchase I had was the JLC at roughly €15 000. Nearly tripling that was another ballgame entirely. While I didn't need to take up a loan to get the Lange, it was still a lot of money for me.

Maybe it was rationalization, maybe I had already made up my mind without realizing it. Whatever the case was, I had a few emotional days where I was contemplating what this hobby was turning into for me. The fact was that the money I had spent on watches was already a ridiculous amount. Why did I do this?

This post is getting long enough, so I'll dig deeper into this at a later point. In short I concluded that watches are a way for me to express my identity, my values and my visual taste. Expressing my identity and my values isn't really something I do, apart from people I am close to. As far as visual taste goes I have no natural artistic talent whatsoever. Curating a collection helps me do all of this, in my own way. As such, major purchases for me require that a lot of things align between how I see myself, and the company producing the watch.

So, how exactly do A. Lange & Söhne align with me? I am highly motivated and strive to be the best at whatever I do, and I respect passion and perfection a lot. Few words describe Lange better, in my opinion. They are also open, and communicate clearly, which are also values I hold high. The way they approach waiting lists and allocation of pieces is so much better than a lot (all?) of the other high end brands in my opinion. Lastly, they innovate and renew themselves. This last point is something that reflects more how I want to be rather than how I am today: I typically go with the old and reliable. My recent venture into photography is an example of how I try to do more of this.

Anyway: A serious talk with my wife, who gave me the green light (she is the best!) to go ahead, and I was committed. I was super excited!

Another trip to Berlin in August saw me pick up the Richard Lange

After quite a bit of a personal and emotional journey, and a waiting time of roughly half a year, it was finally time to pick up the watch. The boutique in Berlin was super accomodating this time as well, and we spent a couple of hours in the store with them. Various gifts and lots of champagne came with the purchase, and I got to try a lot of the watches they happened to have in the store at the time. Again I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take pictures, apart from the mandatory first wrist shot:

Image

The very first picture of my Richard Lange

Image

The white gold and the blued hands really shine in natural lighting

Following this purchase and the journey here, I have a new-found interest and respect for this hobby. I'm sure there are a million reasons for collecting watches. For me, the Richard Lange represents a commitment to who I am, and who I want to be.

I will get another Lange, I just don't know when

There are three watch companies which resonate a lot with me: Jaeger LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne. Among them, A. Lange & Söhne are my absolute favourites. I know that a lot of the buzzwords surrounding this industry is marketing. With that said, when you pick up a Lange and compare it to other watches, the passion and quality really show. I've held and tried various other hype pieces, anything from Patek to AP to Rolex. In my opinion, Lange is simply on another level.

Image

The mechanical, digital Zeitwerk: Another amazing watch from Lange

It's a question of time before I get another A. Lange & Söhne watch. There are tons of Lange models I can see myself buying in the future: Currently the Zeitwerk is the favourite. We'll see if it remains in pole position until I've saved up the money I need.

In the meantime, I am super happy with my collection. I don't feel the need to buy another watch at the moment. Every time I look down at my wrist, my day gets just a little bit better. I feel privileged and humble that I'm able to own these amazing pieces.

At some point, I'll be super excited for a new watch. For now, the craziest and best purchase I've ever made is my most valued physical item.

Image
·

Congrats 🎉 Truly stunning watch & a pleasure to read. 👍🏻👍🏻😍

·
Inkitatus

Congrats 🎉 Truly stunning watch & a pleasure to read. 👍🏻👍🏻😍

Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback 🙏

·
horologytrinkets

Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback 🙏

Think there's some inverse snobbery going on , it's a truly beautiful watch and well written piece, should have more likes and comments imho.

Lovely mate, enjoy it 😊👍🏻

·
Inkitatus

Think there's some inverse snobbery going on , it's a truly beautiful watch and well written piece, should have more likes and comments imho.

Lovely mate, enjoy it 😊👍🏻

Maybe you are right! I don't experience a lot of this on WC, but then again, how would I? I so appreciate your kind words regardless 🙌

·

Solid write-up. A major acquisition like this deserves some words devoted to it! And I can see why A. Lange resonates with you. The dedication to design, quality and finishing is awe inspiring and almost unequalled. My own current ‘top 3 brands’ include JLC and VC as well, but I opt for GO as the third one - ALS being outside my realm of affordability :) But who knows, one day…in the meantime: great to see it gives you so much joy. As it should - because it is a stunner of a watch. Restrained yet luxurious. Happy wearing!

·
Icarium

Solid write-up. A major acquisition like this deserves some words devoted to it! And I can see why A. Lange resonates with you. The dedication to design, quality and finishing is awe inspiring and almost unequalled. My own current ‘top 3 brands’ include JLC and VC as well, but I opt for GO as the third one - ALS being outside my realm of affordability :) But who knows, one day…in the meantime: great to see it gives you so much joy. As it should - because it is a stunner of a watch. Restrained yet luxurious. Happy wearing!

Thank you 🙏I love the designs from Glashutte in general. Not everything resonates with me, but it's different, and it's consistent. The fact that such a small town can house so many, and varied, manufacturers is astonishing.

From GO I tend to gravitate towards the Senator-collection. Some of the Pano models are really nice, too.

Out of curiousity, what are your favourites from your top three?

·

Stunning watch, congratulations!

·
granophyre

Stunning watch, congratulations!

Thank you 🙏

·
horologytrinkets

Thank you 🙏I love the designs from Glashutte in general. Not everything resonates with me, but it's different, and it's consistent. The fact that such a small town can house so many, and varied, manufacturers is astonishing.

From GO I tend to gravitate towards the Senator-collection. Some of the Pano models are really nice, too.

Out of curiousity, what are your favourites from your top three?

Visiting Glashütte in May - looking forward to that! Re favourite lines from my top 3: Senator for GO. Although I really like the SeaQ, the Pano and the Seventies as well :) VC: can only afford vintage, given the funds Traditionelle and Historiques would top the wish list. For JLC it’s the Master Control series which is most emblematic for the brand imho. Researching this now.

·

Beautiful 👌🏻

·
Icarium

Visiting Glashütte in May - looking forward to that! Re favourite lines from my top 3: Senator for GO. Although I really like the SeaQ, the Pano and the Seventies as well :) VC: can only afford vintage, given the funds Traditionelle and Historiques would top the wish list. For JLC it’s the Master Control series which is most emblematic for the brand imho. Researching this now.

I want to go to Glashütte as well! I hope I'll be able to do it next year. Please let us know how the trip is when you go there!

The VC Traditionelle is an almost watch for me: It does so many things right, but ends up being a little too generic for my taste. If you take the rose gold vanilla version for example, I think the JLC Master Ultra Thin is a straight-up improvement. That said, the higher end of the Traditionelle lineup has some really beautiful pieces. Historiques contains a lot of really cool stuff as well. Like you, I don't have the funds for these (and if I ever get them, chances are other pieces will have a higher priority for me).

Among my top three, JLC has the most watches which I don't really like. I think their design is too all over the place. The pieces they've released the last year though are all fantastic. The Reverso Tribute Chronograph in particular looks amazing. I've yet to see it in the metal, but have no doubts it's gorgeous!

·
NiroZed

Beautiful 👌🏻

Thank you very much 🙏

·

Congratulations and thanks for taking the time to share. It think this is a wonderful example of the emotions many of us go through when looking to get into a new watch a a level previously unprecedented to us. Thankfully to date I’ve never had any lasting buyers remorse and love what I have so glad you are getting so much joy from your Lange. Would love to own one some day. Have only held one in the flesh once and the finishing was a completely different level to anything else I’d seen at that point.

·

Lovely watch

·
AshJD88

Congratulations and thanks for taking the time to share. It think this is a wonderful example of the emotions many of us go through when looking to get into a new watch a a level previously unprecedented to us. Thankfully to date I’ve never had any lasting buyers remorse and love what I have so glad you are getting so much joy from your Lange. Would love to own one some day. Have only held one in the flesh once and the finishing was a completely different level to anything else I’d seen at that point.

Thanks a lot! Yes, I believe the absolute price isn't what it's about. Even your average Tudor, regarded as giving you tremendous value for money, is crazy expensive considering that it only tells the time (and not even particularly accurate at that). The stories, the emotions and the reasons are what I find most interesting about this hobby. It doesn't matter if it's a Seiko or a Richard Mille, a mechanical watch has very little intrinsic value. Yet we spend a stupid amount of time and money for a reason. We want to belong, we want to express ourselves, and we want to show the rest of the world who we are. The whys and the emotions behind that is something I love to read and hear about. It's why I wrote this, and why I value every little piece of feedback so much.

I hope you're one day able to get a Lange of your own. I have not once regretted buying it, not even for a second. For an enthusiast who values what they produce, it's a wonderful feeling. Truly unique timepieces.

·
werdna

Lovely watch

Thank you 🙏

·

Roman numeral watches are my favorite. There is something timeless about them and they lend themselves to being dressed up or down. That is a very nice watch. About 80 times more expensive than my Hamilton Boulton. Perhaps one day.

Image
·
Scorpiowatchman

Roman numeral watches are my favorite. There is something timeless about them and they lend themselves to being dressed up or down. That is a very nice watch. About 80 times more expensive than my Hamilton Boulton. Perhaps one day.

Image

Thank you! I think Roman numerals look amazing in the right watch. They do take a lot of dial space, though, so I think they fit best with an otherwise clean design.

Lovely Hamilton you have there, thanks for sharing! Definitely looks like a versatile piece, with the small seconds and the logo adding just enough complexity to make the dial unique.

·

I really enjoyed your synopsis of your Richard Lange. I have the same watch. And I have a very similar taste I think.

I tried on the saxonia and Lange 1 at the boutique in London. As you say a little too small. Nice watches but not for me.

This relatively rare watch came into the store one day on a different occasion and I tried it on. 41mm which is big for a dress watch but it looked and felt incredible.

Personally I have tried on Pateks, Vacheron, AP, Rolex etc. they simply don’t compare, from an engineering perspective, to Lange watches. Design of course is subjective, but engineering less so. Not even Breguet make dress watches as nice as this.

I love GO and Moritz Grossman watches as well. I own a seventies panorama date which is one of my favourites.

I find JLC dress watches outside of the Reverso a little bland for me.

Image
Image
Image
·
Daddypig

I really enjoyed your synopsis of your Richard Lange. I have the same watch. And I have a very similar taste I think.

I tried on the saxonia and Lange 1 at the boutique in London. As you say a little too small. Nice watches but not for me.

This relatively rare watch came into the store one day on a different occasion and I tried it on. 41mm which is big for a dress watch but it looked and felt incredible.

Personally I have tried on Pateks, Vacheron, AP, Rolex etc. they simply don’t compare, from an engineering perspective, to Lange watches. Design of course is subjective, but engineering less so. Not even Breguet make dress watches as nice as this.

I love GO and Moritz Grossman watches as well. I own a seventies panorama date which is one of my favourites.

I find JLC dress watches outside of the Reverso a little bland for me.

Image
Image
Image

Thank you for a very interesting reply, and for the pics 🙌 From the watches I have seen, I definitely agree that Lange is on another level. Got to love it 😍