A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Platinum "Gen 1" with deployant
- Condition: Excellent
- Model: 403.035
- Movement: Manual Wind
- Strap Length: Adjustable
- Scope: Watch Only
- Year: C.2005
- Case Width: 39mm
- Listing ID: SD023551
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This watch is in excellent condition, with some light marks on the platinum case. There are some very light scratches on the caseback crystal.
A. Lange & Söhne's first generation of Datographs were introduced in 1999 to a market that hadn't seen substantial development in the field of chronographs since the 1970s. Patek Philippe had just released its first manually-wound chronograph design in many years, but even this used a Lemania ebauche.
As the market's newest in-house chonograph movement, it brought unique and novel functions such as the 'Big Date' at 12 o'clock and the positioning of the minute counter and running seconds subdials at 4 and 8 o'clock respectively. This gave the Datograph a unique and eye-catching appearance, which was further emphasised by its proportions (at 12.8mm in thickness compared to the Patek 5070's 11.6mm).
As the very first Datograph made, the 403.035 is one of the few watches that have defined a generation of watchmaking. Its influence on the rest of the market is often underestimated, but its released prompted other watchmakers with centuries of heritage to take a long hard look at their own product lines.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE
From the ashes of the Cold War, A. Lange & Söhne's relaunch in 1994 reintroduced the world to both the brand and the concept of fine German watchmaking. When its first four watches debuted, they formed the crest of a resurgent wave of high-end watchmaking. This period marked the high tide of the watchmaking renaissance that began in the late 1970s as a response to the Quartz Crisis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lange has since gone from strength to strength, building up a highly-focused range of watches that show off its signature complications and Teutonic aesthetics.
While other brands look to their own history for inspiration, Lange takes a broader view. The brand prides itself in being a thought leader, being one of the first manufactures to produce an in-house manually wound chronograph from scratch a full decade before Patek Philippe. At the same time, Lange also draws design cues from its surroundings, with the most famous example being the 'outsized date' window being inspired by the Five-Minute Clock at the Semper Opera House in Dresden.
This unique combination gives Lange a unique position. While the brand is part of a large luxury group and produces more watches than the highly-revered independent watchmakers, Lange collectors are arguably more passionate than their contemporaries who focus on other brands. The brand's positioning as a challenger while adhering to traditional watchmaking created an alluring combination that managed to excite even the most cynical of collectors, and continues to do so over 25 years after its revival.
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