A trio of exceptional models from A. Lange & Söhne’s 1815 watch collection has been reborn recently in honour of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who established the manufacture 175 years ago.
Unveiled at the Watches & Wonders event in Shanghai earlier in September, the “Homage to F. A. Lange” 2020 anniversary editions comprise the 1815 Thin Honeygold, 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold and the Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold.
All three tribute models are clad in 18k honey gold and showcase special movement decorations, such as grained plates cast in German silver and black rhodium engravings on the balance cock. Much harder than other gold alloys and platinum, honey gold is extraordinarily difficult to shape and finish. This also makes the patented material, whose exact formula remains a secret of the manufacture, extremely damage-resistant. First introduced in 2010, honey gold – reserved for the maison’s most exclusive timepieces – features a unique hue that recalls the sweet golden liquid produced by bees, hence its apt name. To date, A. Lange & Söhne has launched only eight limited editions of timepieces forged in this remarkable precious alloy.
Reminiscent of the manufacture’s legendary pocket watches, the classically elegant 1815 Thin Honeygold two-hand watch is a mere 6.3mm slim. A limited edition with only 175 pieces available, the 38mm model features Arabic numerals, a railway-track minute scale – the hallmark design element on the 1815 family of watches – and an intricately handcrafted white enamel dial. Its L093.1 manufacture calibre is a modern interpretation of Lange’s product philosophy. The 2.9mm-thin manually wound movement, with a 72-hour power reserve, proves that compact dimensions and performance are not mutually exclusive.
The 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold is the first A. Lange & Söhne watch that features two classic and elaborate complications of timekeeping – split-seconds chronograph and rattrapante – in the forefront. When measuring running time, the superposed chronograph and rattrapante sweep-seconds hands make it possible to ascertain any number of lap times within the course of a minute. A significant detail of this 41.2mm watch, which is limited to 100 pieces, is the combination of a honey gold case and black dial cast in solid silver – a first for the manufacture. The chronograph/rattrapante mechanism is located on the movement side of the new L101.2 manually wound calibre that boasts a power reserve of 58 hours.
With only 50 pieces of the 43mm Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold produced, the model is proof of the maison’s endeavours to constantly push the boundaries of precision watchmaking. The most technically complex timepiece of the anniversary collection, two of its five complications – the tourbillon and fusée-and-chain transmission – have the sole purpose of further increasing the accuracy of the watch. As orchestrating the perfect interaction between chronograph, rattrapante and perpetual calendar was a major horological challenge, the maison took a completely new approach in the arrangement of the dial, which is forged in black rhodium honey gold and sports raised numerals and scales that contrast against the dark background. The grand complication timepiece is endowed with an ultra-complex calibre L133.1 that is composed of 684 parts.
(All images: A. Lange & Söhne)