x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Privilege of buying a Complication watch a matter of time

The Life: The result of seven years' painstaking design at the drawing board, the Grand Complication wristwatch from prestigious German brand Lange & Söhne takes a single watchmaker a full year to assemble.

The Grand Complication wristwatch from ALange & Söhne takes a single watchmaker a full year to assemble. Courtesy A Lange & Söhne
The Grand Complication wristwatch from ALange & Söhne takes a single watchmaker a full year to assemble. Courtesy A Lange & Söhne

The result of seven years' painstaking design at the drawing board, the Grand Complication wristwatch from prestigious German brand ALange & Söhne takes a single watchmaker a full year to assemble.

Priced at €1.92 million (Dh9m), the meticulous construction involves 876 tiny components and is actually assembled twice, just to be extra sure that every element is perfect.

Don't expect platinum, diamonds or any such ostentation though. With a hand-stitched leather crocodile strap, enamel dial and pink gold case, the watch is classical and understated.

The value lies predominantly in the extreme complexity of the many functions.

Comprising a chiming mechanism with grand and small strike, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph with minute counter and flying seconds as well as a perpetual calendar with moon-phase display, the Grand Complication is a horological opus.

Although ALange & Söhne have boutiques in Abu Dhabi on the Avenue at Etihad Towers and in The Dubai Mall, as well as points of sale with Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons in the Burj Al Arab hotel and the Burjuman Centre, the Grand Complication will not be found here.

Limited to a production of just six pieces, the privilege of owning one of these treasures of haute horlogerie will depend very much on credentials.

Such is the importance of the timepiece, ALange & Söhne is not selling them on a first come, first served basis.

Prospective owners will be consulted to ensure their intentions are genuine.

"It's a very delicate thing because we have far more requests than we have watches and at the moment we are evaluating that," says the brand's chief executive Wilhelm Schmid.

The first sale, guaranteed to be a collector's item, is set to be completed and dispatched to an unknown buyer next year.

As for further sales, Mr Schmid adds: "We're still in that process of evaluating.

"I'm very happy that we have people that are so interested in the brand, but I'm also a bit scared in a way because I will have to apologise to quite a few people.

"It's not about arrogance, I don't want to have that idea associated with it but if you have only six, you have to make sure they end up with people who really know and understand the watch and don't put it to auction straight away.

"Then I would have a problem with all the people I turned down."

 

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