A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
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A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin

The question of what makes a fine timepiece has befuddled collectors for decades. In watch collecting, particularly in the world of haute horlogerie, there’s the mistaken notion that a watch must be complicated to be considered a work of art. But sometimes there’s beauty in simplicity—not a stark, antiseptic kind of simplicity, but the kind of austere beauty that comes when watchmaking is distilled to its simplest elements.

Two hands and nothing more. For years that’s been the basest requirement of a dress watch. And for years—ever since the manufacture’s reestablishment in 1990—no one has done dress watches as well as A. Lange & Söhne.

In many ways the the story of Lange mirrors the story of Dresden, capital of the region in which Lange’s headquarters is located. The city once known as the “Jewel Box” of Saxony for its ornate rococo and baroque architecture was the target of extensive bombing raids by the air forces of the United States and the United Kingdom during the Second World War. From February 13 to 15th, 1945, more than 90% of the splendid city center was destroyed by over 2400 tons of explosive bombs and over 1400 tons of incendiaries. 

After the war, many of Dresden's historic buildings were restored, but others were not. In fact, many were razed by the Soviet and East German authorities. Much of the city was rebuilt in a Socialist Modern style that reflected Dresden’s new status as an industrial hub of the German Democratic Republic. 

However, after Reunification, the city underwent an architectural renaissance as historic buildings like the Frauenkirche were restored to their pre-war splendor.

Like Dresden, Lange had an illustrious past. Established in 1845 in the neighboring village of Glashütte, A. Lange & Söhne made its name producing ornate pocket watches that were as accurate as they were beautiful. During the War, Lange found itself—like many manufactures, from Jaeger Le-Coultre to Longines—swept up in the war effort, producing wristwatches and instruments worn and used by the airmen of the Luftwaffe.

Following the war, in 1948, the Soviets seized the company’s property and A. Lange & Söhne ceased to exist. However, following Reunification, Walter Lange (the founder's great-grandson) restored the company with the help of IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. That first collection in 1994 marked the triumphant return of the Lange name to the world of watchmaking.

From that time forth, the Saxonia has served as the gateway to the manufacture’s collection. Though that first Saxonia featured a big date complication (the company’s hallmark, found in watches from the Datograph (itself a member of the Saxonia family) to the Zeitwerk), many examples of the Saxonia line are time-only pieces. To us they are purest expression of Lange’s masterful skill, minimalist without being brutal, with a simplistic case design and clean lines.

At 40mm the Saxonia Thin is on the larger size for a dress watch (larger than the 37mm Saxonia that took the watch collecting world by storm last year), but the extra two or three millimeters does not take away from the beauty of this piece, and make it far more wearable for those who prefer a slightly larger diameter. We are pleased to say that those extra millimeters can't be found in the thickness of the case, and at just 5.9mm, it is the perfect size to house the manually-wound Calibre L093.1 movement (itself just a hair shy of 3mm thin). 

This particular Saxonia comes to us complete with its inner and outer boxes, hang tag, cleaning cloth, instructions booklet, warranty card, and a sales receipt from Wempe dated August 2012. Lightly worn and lovingly preserved, it's the ultimate testament to Lange's mastery of minimalism. It's a contemporary classic that, given time, we are confident will enter the pantheon of iconic dress watches.

Details

SKU: AS02017

18k White gold case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin Ref. 100038-01940. A. Lange & Söhne Cal. L093.1 Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 2012.

Overall Condition: 18k White gold case is in very good condition with only the faintest signs of light wear and use. Silver dial is in excellent condition, as new. Lange signed crown. Sapphire display case back is in excellent condition with only the slightest signs of wear.

Includes one 19mm black Lange-signed crocodile strap and one signed Lange buckle. Also includes unworn genuine Lange blue leather strap.

Also includes inner and outer boxes, hang tag, cleaning cloth, instructions, warranty card, and sales receipt from Wempe dated August 2012.

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