A. Lange & Söhne
Datograph | platinum

Ref. 403.035

Regular price £56,850 GBP USD EUR Enquire

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A. Lange & Söhne
Datograph | platinum

Ref. 403.035

Regular price £56,850 GBP USD EUR Enquire

Introduced in 1999, the Datograph is considered by many to be one of the most compelling chronographs ever made. Admired by the like of Philippe Dufour, who owns one himself, its movement took several years to develop, before taking the watchmaking industry by surprise. Sold in 2004 in Germany, this example represents the first iteration of the design, with its platinum case, striking black dial and warm subdials.

 The Rebirth of A. Lange & Söhne 

The name Lange has been tied to watchmaking and the Saxony area of Germany for centuries. In the 1800s, Ferdinand Aldoph Lange – which is where the “A” in A. Lange & Söhne comes from – began his watchmaking journey under the tutelage of master watchmaker, Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. Passed from father to son, the Lange name flourished, before encountering considerable obstacles during 20th century. The brand got caught-up in the turmoil caused by World War One, the financial crash of 1929, World War Two and was finally placed under the rule of the Soviet Union. The company was nationalised for the next 45 years, essentially spelling the end of the A. Lange & Söhne name. 

Years later, in 1990, the brand was resuscitated by the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, Walter, and watch industry veteran, Günter BlümleinBlümlein, a Nuremberg native who grew up in post-War Germany, had previously overseen the resurgence of IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. This started the four-year journey that Lange and Blümlein would go on with their small team to bring the company back from the ashes, with the release of their first four models on the 24th October 1994. These innovative models, all of the with their own distinctive visual language, the ArkadeSaxoniaTourbillon Pour le Mérite and the Lange 1

The Datograph

In 1999, A. Lange & Söhne introduced the Datograph, powered by the caliber L951.1. The movement challenged the status quo that had been in place for decades, where high-end manufactures such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet used movements provided by external suppliers. The newly developed caliber combined impressive mechanics with a remarkable aesthetic construction. It was praised by none other than Philippe Dufour, who owns a Datograph himself, and wears it on a frequent basis. As the Swiss watchmaker put it,

“Take ten movements out of the current range of any contemporary brand, put them next to a Lange movement, and comment honestly on what you see. That is the best way to judge — by examining the truth.”

The Datograph name is an amalgamation of the words Date and Chronograph, indicating the two key complications of the model. This particular variant - with its platinum case and black dial - was the first iteration of the design, having remained in production from 1999 to 2011. To many, it remains the quintessential Datograph

The Design

This Datograph 403.035 features a carefully designed dial, which perfectly balances the different elements throughout. The date and chronograph subdials form an equilateral triangle, with the central point being the pinions in the middle, which hold the hands in place. The applied roman numerals - at 2, 6 and 10 o'clock - also form a triangle, which subtly reinforced the balance of the overall design.

The subdials are slightly recessed, with a warm, creamy tone, which contrasts with the stark, black dial. This layering creates a satisfying level of depth, which becomes especially prominent when light hits the dial at different angles. All the indications are printed in white ink, including a tachymeter scale, which follows the circumference of the dial. The  A. Lange & Söhne signature is discretely placed at 12 o'clock. The broad hands are lumed, helping with legibility, and leaning into the more contemporary aesthetics of the Datograph

Measuring 39 mm by 12.8mm, the case is made out of platinum, which complements the darker tones if the dial. The case features the brand’s distinctive notched lugs, which are mirror polished and bevelled separately, then attached to the case. The pushers follow the lines of the case, with subtle bevels used on the edges.

The Movement

This Datograph 403.035 is powered by the caliber L951.1, which combines a range of impressive technical and aesthetic features. It is understood that the development began in 1995, with several years of design, prototyping and construction required to achieve the end result. It features a column wheel, lateral clutch and flyback chronograph movement, combined with a date function. The “flyback” chronograph function also allows the stopwatch to be instantaneously restarted for continuous timing, without having to stop, reset, and restart the chronograph.

The architecture of A. Lange and Söhne movements are perhaps their most distinctive feature, with a three dimensional aspect that is truly unique. Every bridge is ribbed, polished and chamfered, with a hand engraved balance cock bringing an additional flourish. It is comprised of 405 parts and has an approximate power reserve of 36 hours.

The Set

This A. Lange & Söhne Datograph 403.035 comes with its outer box, inner box, manuals and Warranty Card (confirming sale in 2004 in Germany). It comes on a grey nubuck strap, as well as its black alligator strap and corresponding platinum tang buckle.

If sold within the United Kingdom, this Datograph 403.035 will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.

Brand: A. Lange & Söhne
Model: Datograph 403.035
Movement: mechanical manual-winding cal. L951.1
Functions: hours, minutes, sub-seconds, chronograph, date
Features: black dial, platinum case
Case: 39 mm platinum
Crystal: sapphire front and back
Strap: grey nubuck strap, black alligator strap, platinum tang buckle
Lug: 20mm
Year: 2004 (sold)
Box & papers: outer box, inner box, manuals, Warranty Card
This A. Lange & Söhne Datograph 403.035 is in very good condition overall, with the hallmarks remaining crisp and deep. There are a few superficial marks throughout, consistent with light wear over time. The watch is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.

If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please see here

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

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