Seven years to create, only six will be made - the Grand Complication from A. Lange & Söhne unveiled at SIHH 2013.
In 1898 Kaiser William II ordered a jeweled pocketwatch, a gift for Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire - a clear demonstration of the esteem held for the bespoke timepieces made by A. Lange & Söhne, and just one noteworthy anecdote in the Saxony Manufacture's history.
Much has been documented about how the watch brands survived the "quartz crisis", and there have been many references to how some of the older brands survived the ravages of World War I and II. Similarly, A. Lange & Söhne has a remarkable history, one which includes fifty years of isolation from fine watchmaking while Glashütte was deep inside Soviet-controlled East Germany. Mere weeks after the official reunification of Germany Walter Lange registered and re-established his family's brandname and set about making up for the lost years. The speed of A. Lange & Söhne's rebirth was astonishing and a credit to those involved.
Perhaps this is a renaissance best represented by Lange's creations, culminating in the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” Handwerkskunst - 2011, and the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar - 2012, superbly complex pieces which have now been surpassed by the A. Lange & Söhne Grand Complication, unveiled at SIHH 2013.
Three barrels are required to power its complications and functions - Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater, Foudroyant Split-Seconds Chronograph (monopusher) and Perpetual Calendar with Moonphase display. The piece has the added distinction of being "the most complicated watch ever to be made in Germany".
This is an heirloom piece, a collector's piece and as such only six pieces will be made available for purchase. More information at the brand's official website.