Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lange Pocket Watch - A 1908 Gem

The things one find in a hidden store somewhere in Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong. I like walking into these small shops not expecting anything but coming out impressed by what you find. Such is the story of my Lange pocket watch.

I was waiting for a friend to pick me up at the Hotel Nikko along Mody Road and I thought since I had another half an hour that I would walk into one of the shopping centers to explore. Perched on the 2nd floor and one corner of the shopping centre (can't remember the name) was this shop displaying several vintage watches. The owner saw me standing at the window display and buzzed me in. What first caught my eyes was a fully dis-assembled Lange & Sohne pocket watch movement.
Lange Pocket Watch Movement photo LangePocketWatchSketch03.jpg

Pristine condition and definitely well kept. Wilson, the shop owner told me the case was sent for polishing. I expressed my interest and left my contact. A few weeks later as promised, Wilson sent me an email and told me the pocket watch was ready and that he wanted to sell it. I sought the advice of Manfred in AL&S HK and he told me it looked authentic - good enough for me. So I bought it!

I had a friend Stefan pick it up and he brought it back for me. And wow! What a beauty! The enamel dial is in pristine condition. The Louis-XV hands are also in good condition.
Lange Pocket Watch Dial photo LangePocketWatchDial01.jpg

The case as Wilson had explained was well restored and polished to the point of brand new. The rose gold case was restored to its former glory. Unblemished and without engraving. Its a double hunter case.
Lange Pocket Watch Cover photo LangePocketWatchDialampCover01.jpg

And the movement, well it is in great condition. The movement measures 41mm and is what they consider a "flat design".
Lange Pocket Watch Movement photo LangePocketWatchMovement01.jpg

I had sent the pictures to the Lange Manufactory and applied for its archive papers. Based on the serial number, Lange says the watch was sold to a company (presumably retailer) in Frankfurt in 1908. Certificate says it is a Calibre 41 movement & the manufacturer is A. Lange & Sohne, Glashutte.

Thanks to my good friend Prof Harry Tan for for this image.
Lange Pocket Watch photo LangePocketWatchHT001.jpg

So the next time you have time on your hands, take a walk into one of those old shopping centers in Hong kong. You may not know what you will find.