Wants & Desires | A. Lange & Söhne Military Watch

In my world, there aren’t many things better than a military watch. The fantastic Hodinkee featured this vintage 1940’s pilots watch from German watch maker A. Lange & Söhne. I have a personal connection with Lange, since I helped with their PR at one of my previous jobs. Near the end of WWII the A. Lange & Söhne factory in Saxony was bombed and completely destroyed by the Allied war machine, forcing the closure of the company for nearly fifty years. The brand lay dormant until its revival in the early 1990’s by Switzerland’s Richemont Group. So this pilot’s watch is one of the last remaining time pieces from the old German factory and is something you won’t see five of your friends wearing, that’s for sure. More on the watch here.





Comments on “Wants & Desires | A. Lange & Söhne Military Watch

    componentsofenthusiasm on March 3, 2009 9:59 AM:

    This watch is really nice, I like its simplicity. Also love the history behind this watch. Killer find, Micheal.

    Jon Gaffney on March 3, 2009 10:18 AM:

    Totally agree on the J.Crew watch being worn by everyone. There are great military watches that will be in style for a long time to come, but you won’t see them on all your friends. I wear a nice Hamilton gg-w-113.

    Jon Gaffney on March 3, 2009 10:21 AM:

    Also check Stowa watches for a Flieger watch that’s more attainable than a authentic WWII one, but close to as rare on a day to day basis.

    JL on March 3, 2009 10:35 AM:

    I second Jon’s rec for the Stowa. The no-logo Airman is very nice…

    Steve on March 3, 2009 10:48 AM:

    Simply perfect. Everything a man could want in a watch with the added lust factor of the history. A fine watch should be understated yet at the same time be talking point, this is certainly both. Great find.

    Paul Pincus on March 3, 2009 10:53 AM:

    the pilot’s watch above is a real beauty.

    i’ve had a. lange & söhne lange 1 time zone on my wish list for a while now.

    aTreasuryOf.com on March 3, 2009 11:07 AM:

    Even the decoration on the time-set dial is carefully designed and could spark a conversation in and of itself.

    Maybe not a long conversation…but still.

    Tucker on March 3, 2009 12:19 PM:

    That’s a beautiful B-Uhr. Beautiful, but for me (at 55mm) virtually unwearable. Glashütte Original makes one of the nicest modern interpretations of this navigator’s watch with the Type 2 dial. And I’m getting one as soon as the trickle-down from the stimulus package reaches me.

    Sammy G on March 3, 2009 12:54 PM:

    Ah Ha! I was wondering how long it was going to take before you all got on board with the military watch thing. WestCoastTime has some pretty good deals on the O&W brand military inspired watches. Gnommon watches also has great deals on military watches as well as other great sport watch and dress watches too. My favorites are the O&W big Pilot, the Archimede and Damasko Pilots, and the Seiko Black Monster (and the Orange Monster). All of the watches look great on chunky handmade leather pilot straps, Zulu straps and Nato Straps.


    JB on March 3, 2009 2:17 PM:

    These original WWII watches are great looking but impractical to wear, measuring 55mm. (Ralph Lauren bought a mint IWC at auction for $50,000+ a couple years ago.) Another original maker, Laco, sells a great replica one can wear regularly — http://www.lacher-shop.de/e_shop/index.php?cPath=1&osCsid=bf0a0a72841779dd79f0de738ab071ca

    The Standard Edition on March 3, 2009 2:55 PM:

    A.Lange & Shone make some solid time pieces. I’ve been craving one of the newer military style watches, however your find is definitely one to be jealous of. Personally, I’m currently sporting a Hamilton Khaki Mechanical, which is the watch issued to fighter pilots during WWII, and requires daily winding, giving it that perfect tough of authenticity. Good find.

    The Standard Edition on March 3, 2009 2:58 PM:

    p.s. American fighter pilots…

    Johnny Slims on March 3, 2009 4:03 PM:

    IWC pilot’s chrono 3717 is a great wearable size at 42mm. Or you can go for the Big Pilot which is modeled after the original very large pilot’s watches IWC created to be worn over flight suits, read easily in dark, vibrating planes — and when jumping out of them. They are also magnetically shielded. Glycine and Sinn make some less expensive, beautiful examples as well.

    For vintage pilots tho, nothing beats the IWC Mark series IMHO . . .

    jason on March 3, 2009 4:19 PM:

    Stowa’s Airman watch is a fantastic piece that fits this bill while still being attainable.

    I use Victorinox/Swiss Army’s Infantry watch (self-winding) and it’s a nice looking piece, well made watch. It’s inspired by military/pilot’s watches and I get comments pretty regularly.

    Dave on March 3, 2009 8:25 PM:

    Only the most expensive watch brand on planet earth.

    martin on March 3, 2009 9:20 PM:

    Really, you need to see one on a wrist to know how unbelievably large they are. Intended to be worn on the *outside* of your Luftwaffe jacket sleeve.

    victoria thorne on March 4, 2009 12:26 PM:

    When we lived in Germany in the seventies, don’t think these were so uncommon…it just looks awfully familiar.

    Wish I had picked up a few. Or at least one…

    Perfect watch.

    Biggie_Robs on March 4, 2009 1:13 PM:

    Agree with JB: Laco is one of the original five manufacturers and makes a nice 42mm homage to their 55mm type-b flieger. There were a few made recently for a watch forum with a sterile dial, the original lume pattern and fonts, and a bead blasted case. As I understand it, Laco is planning to produce a serial version of this watch sometime in the (near?) future.

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