‘Dufourgraph’ 403.031 A. Lange & Söhne Datograph
This is what we call a Dufourgraph, and that’s more interesting than it may sound outright. Think for a second of all the many watches nicknamed in honor of people. There are Paul Newmans, McQueens (he never actually wore that one, look it up), Jean-Claude Killys, Yves Kleins, Nina Rindts, Rindts, Sifferts, Claptons, the list goes on and on. However, despite that list’s infinite scroll, I can’t think of a single other watch which was nicknamed after someone whose business is watches. There’s no Clymer (alright you could argue it’s a Speedy, but not really), there’s no Wind (it would be a Cricket, let’s be honest), not even a Reardon or Bacs. There are Journes, but that’s just a name. You can’t give yourself a callsign in the Air Force, otherwise all F-22 pilots would be called Saddam-slayer thundercock 69. No, this is sick precisely because it wasn’t planned.
That makes this Datograph the first watch nicknamed after a watchmaker who didn’t make it; this is the first moment in time that watch media has had enough sway to propel a watchmaker to the point where what he’s wearing compels stardom. It’s all a bit incestuous sure, but that’s pretty damn cool. And in characteristic style, Philippe Dufour recognized brilliance. The Dufourgraph, ref. 403.031, is a rose gold Datograph made between 2003 and 2005, only found with a ‘METER’ dial (a Lange enthusiast detail).
It’s not just a watch of Mr. Dufour’s, but the first new watch he ever bought himself. He (and yours truly, though I’m far, far less qualified to say) calls it the finest chronograph on the market. When ACM asked him in their collector’s guide which brought this relation to light, he noted that the finishing is ‘very similar to mine. A very high standard. I was lucky enough to visit the manufacture some 20 years ago, and they were doing it all my way, with traditional techniques.’ The rose gold case he chose makes up only 10% of Datograph production in those two years. So they’re also a bit scarce. There aren’t many Langes with a nickname. Just Darth, really. Vader and Dufour . . .could there be a stronger start?
The example shown here has light surface wear visible and that’s about it. Rose gold, or any gold, is not as tough as steel. Daily wear will show up more quickly. But this one really isn’t bad at all. The dial is perfect, with the lovely non-s meter. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded Shanghai retailer.
Find this 403.031 Dufourgraph here from Woohoo Time for 126500 USD.