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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when you read about watch valuations over time, Rolex and PP always gets mentioned for holding and typically increasing in value. What's the thought on other HH brands such as Lange? Should one expect their Lange's to increase in value over time? Given their craftsmanship and gorgeous movements, i'm surprised they don't stack up or gain mention like the Patek's. I have a rose gold Lange 1 and curious how the market might value this over time. I suppose that might inform my next purchase as well when considering a PP or something similar.
 
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At the moment, based on what I have been reading and hearing, unfortunately, A. Lange & Sohne Watches do not hold their value as well as Patek Philippe Watches, but that's no surprise.

I recently purchased a Lange, in spite of knowing that the resale value won't be great.

I do not intend to sell it anytime soon, but I also am realistic that if I do, I will take a huge hit on it.

In the end, I purchased what I really wanted.

A. Lange & Sohne apparently produces well under 10,000 Watches per year (and perhaps closer to 5,000 than 10,000), so when it comes to exclusivity, they are a lot more exclusive than PP, AP and VC.
 

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Lange's annual production is likely about 4000-5000 pieces. Lange has said a few years ago that they want to keep production about the same but shift it towards the more complicated pieces. I don't know if that has changed due to market economics, though. If you want to see approximate annual production numbers, click the "Production Year" tab at http://goo.gl/vWFC7Q (the "Caseback Number" column is where you want to look -- Lange started with caseback #110000 in 1994).
 

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Even with Rolex and Patek, with the exception of certain models (mostly sporty ones, such as the Daytona or the Nautilus), they will not appreciate, or at least not under normal conditions. ALS, not having the common name recognition of the other two, definitely does worse overall. Since I never plan to sell mine, it's not a problem for me. The same is true in reverse for me--I could make enough profit by selling my Hulk and my Silver Snoopy to buy another Lange, but I wouldn't sell either of them...
 

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If you take Rolex and Patek out of the equation how do they stack up in terms of value over time compared to similarly priced brands?
I know you are still going to lose but is going to be as bad as a Breguet, AP, VC, Journe etc.?
 

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If you take Rolex and Patek out of the equation how do they stack up in terms of value over time compared to similarly priced brands?
I know you are still going to lose but is going to be as bad as a Breguet, AP, VC, Journe etc.?
You are right to great extent. My only submission is that since ALS is a new Company in present form, we don't have a vintage collection of these models.

There was a huge gap since WW II when it was dismantled and 1994 when they restarted. You need a base of dedicated collectors to get appreciation in pre-owned watch market.

I think we may see appreciation in Lange after a decade or so when watch collectors compare them with other watch brands from 1990s onwards. They have everything that's needed for a watch to gain value in real term. At least they can't be called inferior to Patek in any aspect.
 

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Give Lange some time. The brand has a lot of time to make up. It was missing during a lot of the key periods in the last 70 years when Rolex and Patek made themselves into what they are today.

I don't own a Lange yet, but once I get one I don't think I will be too inclined to sell it anyway. Not sure how the actual Lange owners feel about that. To me, Lange brings finishing to a level that is at the peak of what I would think is not "over-doing” it. It still remains a very function over form brand for me. It straggles the line of art piece to actual timepiece. My perceptions might change over time. However at the moment, my feelings on some of the HH and independent HH pieces are that they are beautiful, but I don't fully consider them watches anymore. Lange is still very much a practical watch.

Does anyone else feel that way? That for me is Lange's number 1 draw.
 

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I have owned my A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Up/Down for exactly four weeks today.

I do not intend to sell it.

For a Dressy timepiece, I feel as though it actually is still practical enough for me to wear it when I dress more casually.
 

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I don’t think ALS will generate the hype of the PP5711 and therefore will not command a premium over SRP like PP.

I have the Lange 1 and PP Calatrava. Comparing these two watches, IMO the former has better workmanship, aesthetics and functionality. As to exclusivity, Lange 1 has a very different dial unlike the Calatrava that looks very similar to other brands dress watches.

I bought the Lange 1 for its value to me now and not for its future value.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I should have added this in my first reply. To your question, "Should one expect their Lange's to increase in value over time?" the answer is, "It depends."

If you look at the value of standard-production Lange watches from 1994 to the present, you'll see a pretty typical pattern.

For all current standard-production Lange models, the preowned price is always below retail. For the first few years after a popular new model is introduced, the preowned price starts out relatively high, but still below retail. Then, as more preowned pieces become available over those first few years, the preowned price hits a stable floor and then very, very gradually begins to rise -- but far too gradually to consider it an "investment" of any sort.

You mentioned that you own a RG Lange 1, so let's use that as an example. If you had bought a brand new rose gold/silver dial Lange 1 (101.032) back in 1998, when it was first introduced, you would've paid $19,800 USD full retail. That's about the same price you'd pay for that same 101.032 if you bought it preowned right now (20 years later). The brand new equivalent watch -- the 191.032 (which to most folks is indistinguishable from the 101.032) -- is now $34,700 USD full retail. So right now you could buy a preowned RG Lange 1 for about 40% less than a brand new one costs.

Limited edition Langes (unsurprisingly) do not conform to this price behavior model and are much less predictable. This has been the subject of much discussion among collectors. In the past 10-12 years, Lange has introduced various LEs that have frustrated and disappointed many collectors because these new LEs may dilute the value of previous similar LEs (or even standard-production models), often because these new LEs are not innovative or special enough to warrant being an LE (in the eyes of many) and are available in relatively large numbers for a brand the produces less than 5000 total watches annually.

For example, 3 years ago, Lange introduced the PT/black dial/rhodium hands 1815 "200th Anniversary of F.A. Lange" in an LE of 200 pieces (236.049). Guess what? Just a few years prior to that, Lange had introduced a "limited edition" of 500 pieces (an extraordinarily large LE for Lange) in the exact same watch with a rhodium dial (233.025). That was the only physical difference between the two watches -- black dial vs. rhodium dial. It's very likely that Lange offered the 200-piece LE before all 500 of the other pieces were sold out. And here's the kicker: The price for the 200-piece black dial model -- the later model with fewer pieces -- was actually LOWER than the price of the earlier 500-piece rhodium dial model! So imagine how you might've felt if you had bought the rhodium-dial version. And it gets even better: Less than a year after Lange launched the 200-piece black-dial version, they launched ANOTHER 200-piece "200th Anniversary of F.A. Lange" 1815 -- same watch -- but with a honey gold case and eggshell dial (236.050). That SECOND LE of 200 pieces was pretty offputting to more than one person who had just purchased the PT/black dial version a few months earlier.

Lange did this with various other models too, such as the Richard Lange "Pour Le Merite" (which first had a RG case/enamel dial, and was then introduced for much less money with a WG case/black dial). And in fact, just last week, Lange offered a 100-piece "1815 Tourbillon" LE in PT with an enamel dial for just under $200,000 ... but just a few years ago, when Lange launched the 1815 Tourbillon, it did so with a 100-piece LE in a PT case with regular rhodium dial, for just OVER $200,000. So again, here you have the same frustrating dynamic: Lange later introduces an arguably more desirable LE (PT/enamel dial) for less money and in the same quantity as an earlier LE (PT/standard rhodium dial).

Also, in the early days (late 1990s), Lange's LEs all had something very special about them -- either some special engraving on the movement, or a totally different dial, etc. That would tend to make them more desirable and valuable over time. The early LEs would never have, as their only distinguishing feature from a standard-production model, something so basic as different colored (but still standard) hands or dial. Those relatively mundane differences of course make the watch much less special, especially when Lange releases them in such large numbers.

So the net result is that certain Lange LEs -- especially certain early LEs -- have increased significantly in price (and then stabilized). For example, look at the prices for the Emil Lange 1815 Moonphase series from 1999 (150 in PT/black dial 231.035, 250 in RG/black dial 231.031). The retail prices on those watches were $18,200 and $13,200, respectively. They have more than doubled in price -- which is tremendous for a Lange, but still not so great for a 20-year investment.

With a few exceptions, the more recent LEs that are likely to hold their full retail value right now are those that are introduced in very small numbers (e.g., less than 30), usually because there's something quite special about these watches (such as the "Handwerkskunst" series). Those tend to be quite expensive, though. The Lange 1 Tourbillon with black enamel dial (704.048F) exemplifies this. It was released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1 in an LE of 20 pieces. The retail price was $221,700 USD. One was auctioned not long ago for basically that same price (slightly higher by a few thousand dollars).

I hope this helps, and sorry for the long reply -- just thought some examples might be useful.
 

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So the short answer is.. no. They won't. Because ALS doesnt market themselves. Patek and Rolex both have excellent marketing and create hype around their products. This in turn leads to more demand on the secondary market. Could ALS get there? Yes, but its going to a tough uphill climb for any brand that wasnt big in the 90s. That was the turning point for pure marketing that really propped up the brands. I dont think anyone will ever take a bath on their ALS as HH always has fans but its not going to be like those two. Take Vacheron. They have equal to or better than AP in almost every way but they dont hold value like the Royal Oak does because the Royal Oak is marketed like crazy (even if its rappers).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
what an amazing, informative reply. Thank you!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, I'm dying to know ... You posted this question nearly 2 years ago. What went on between then and now? Do you still have your RG Lange 1, was yesterday the first time you saw these replies since 2018, etc.? I'm really curious!
I do still have it yes. I originally posted it and your reply came in 12 days later, thus I Somehow missed it at that point. Funny enough, I never felt I got a comprehensive answer, and I happened to do a Google search for something similar yesterday when I came across my own thread. I chuckled, took another look at the replies and finally saw yours. I have a much better perspective after reading your reply. Would your thoughts differ in any way 2 yrs later? I remain curious as I continue to casually consider the Datograph or 1815 fly back but a data point is value retention over time.

I felt so rude not replying when I finally saw your thoughtful answer...apologies:)
 
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When you talk about valuation you're specifically targetting second hand resale prices?

To be honest, watches are not investments , they're expensive toys.

However, if you are a collector, the resale prices are attractive in the sense that you will be able to pick up a Lange grail , sometimes for pennies on the dollar.
 
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