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A. Lange & Söhne 1815

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A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph White Gold Watch A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph White Gold Watch US 18 2008 $39,655

A. Lange & Söhne 1815: Inspired by Pocket Watches

The 1815 series from A. Lange & Söhne is one of this German manufacturer's most important collections. It consists of flyback chronographs with perpetual calendars and the Grand Complication watch, one of the most expensive watches in the world.

Highlights

  • Classic dress watches made of gold or platinum
  • Also available with a chronograph function, tourbillon, or perpetual calendar
  • Top model: Grand Complication with perpetual calendar, rattrapante chronograph, and grande sonnerie
  • Mid-sized cases: 36 mm, 38.5 mm, 39 mm, 39.5 mm
  • Design inspired by historical pocket watches

A. Lange & Söhne 1815: The Classic Dress Watch

The design of the 1815 series from A. Lange & Söhne is based on historical Glashütte pocket watches. The "1815" in the name is a reference to the birth year of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who founded the Glashütte watch industry in 1845. That same year, he opened his workshop with 15 apprentices. After some time, several of these apprentices were able to go into business for themselves and took jobs as suppliers for Lange and other watchmakers in the area. Today, the classic 1815 series features many gold and platinum watches. Arabic numerals, blued hands, and silver dials characterize the look of these timepieces.
With moderate case diameters of less than 40 mm, most models are suitable for every wrist. Only the more intricate models with rattrapante chronograph functions and perpetual calendars are larger at 41.9 mm. The Lange 1's size ranges from 38 to 42 mm. Thanks to its characteristic asymmetrical dial design, the Lange 1 has developed into an iconic symbol of A. Lange & Söhne.
The highlight of the collection is the Grand Complication. This 50-mm watch has a rattrapante chronograph function, perpetual calendar, moon phase display, and a Grande Sonnerie. The Grande Sonnerie is an automatic striking mechanism that chimes the full hours as well as quarter hours. This watch is so intricate that it requires a year of work to be produced. With a price of around two million euros, the Grand Complication is one of the most expensive watches in the world.

Buying Advice

Every wristwatch from A. Lange & Söhne is a piece of superior watchmaking. If you want a classic dress watch from Glashütte, then the 1815 collection is perfect for you. You can buy a pre-owned watch from this series for less than 10,000 euros. These models are often made of 18-karat pink or yellow gold. The time is displayed on central hands for hours and minutes as well as a small seconds at six o'clock. New models cost around 15,000 euros; pre-owned watches with a power reserve display run in a similar range. New, these watches cost around 18,800 euros. New chronograph models start around 35,000 euros. Used 1815 chronographs are available for around 30,000 euros. If you want an A. Lange & Söhne watch with a tourbillon, then the 1815 collection is also for you. New, a tourbillon watch in this collection costs around 122,000 euros. Watches with a perpetual calendar and rattrapante chronograph function are in a similar price range. If you want one in platinum or gold, expect prices starting at 130,000 euros.

A. Lange & Söhne 1815: Simple Elegance

The best dress watches are simple watches with few additional complications. The 1815 model with small seconds is the ideal everyday business watch. You have the choice of a pink or white gold case, and the diameter is 38.5 mm. Older models are available with a diameter of 36 mm or 40 mm.
Characteristic features of these timepieces are blued hands, Arabic numerals, and a railway-track minute scale. A. Lange & Söhne based this design on historical pocket watches. The manufacturer began using railway tracks as inspiration for the minute scale design as early as the 19th century. Back then, steam-powered engines were new technology which revolutionized means of production and transportation. Similar to today, important technological advances were mirrored in design; for example, railway tracks influenced design in the 19th century. The cornflower blue hands contrast strongly against the solid silver dial and are especially corrosion-resistant.
The in-house caliber L051.1 powers current three-hand models. This manual movement has a power reserve of 55 hours and a stop-seconds mechanism so you can set the watch to the exact time. The three-quarter plate, a characteristic of Glashütte watches, is made of untreated German silver. Over the years, this material develops a unique, pale gold patina. The Glashütte-based watch manufacturer Moritz Grossmann also uses German silver in their movements. Assembling such movements requires extra care, as the material is very sensitive.
One highlight of the L051.1 is its hand-engraved balance cock. Beneath it swings a screw balance at a frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (A/h). Additional characteristic features include ruby jewel bearings set in gold chatons. Blued screws keep the chatons attached to the plate. The combination of the screws, chatons, and rubies create A. Lange & Söhne's traditional color scheme.

Features

  • Classic dress watch with small seconds and hour and minute display
  • Blued screws, solid silver dial
  • Minute track reminiscent of a railway track

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 UP/DOWN with power reserve display

The 1815 UP/DOWN model adds a little something more to the simple three-hand design by adding a power reserve indicator located at eight o'clock. A hand on the subdial indicates when you should wind your watch. The power reserve indicator design with "AUF" and "AB" (German for "up" and "down," respectively) is characteristic of A. Lange & Söhne watches. Lange patented this power reserve indicator design in 1879. The manual caliber L051.2 powers the watch. With a power reserve of 72 hours, the 1815 UP/DOWN has enough power to be taken off on Friday and put back on Monday morning working perfectly. The small seconds subdial is located at four o'clock. The case is available in 18-karat pink, white, or yellow gold. The dial is made of silver and features blued hands.

Features

  • 72-hour power reserve
  • Power reserve display subdial
  • Case in pink, white, or yellow gold

The Classic 1815 Chronograph

The design of the 1815 Chronograph wristwatch is reminiscent of pocket chronographs also made by A. Lange & Söhne. Therefore, the small seconds and minute counter are at eight and four o'clock, just below the central axis. The hand for the 30-minute counter jumps precisely from one minute to the next. The chronograph second hand is especially thin. The watch is available in pink or white gold, and the men's version also has blued hands and a solid silver dial. With a moderate case diameter of 39.5 mm, it looks good on almost every wrist. Using this watch, you can time down to 1/5th of a second. Therefore, the minute scale on the dial edge is divided into 60 segments, each with four small markers. If you want a sportier look, then the Datograph from A. Lange & Söhne is an option. This chronograph has a tachymeter scale that can be used to calculate speed.
The caliber L951.5 powers the 1815 chronograph. Like every Lange movement, it is a piece of fine workmanship. Watchmakers polish the bridges and levers by hand; even the balance cock is hand engraved. The large balance wheel, which keeps the watch running precisely, has a balance spring developed and produced in-house. It has a frequency of 18,000 A/h and a power reserve of 60 hours. One special feature of the watch is its flyback mechanism. This helps set the chronograph second hand back to zero quickly. Normal chronographs require you to first stop timing before you can set the hand back to zero.

Features

  • Flyback chronograph
  • In-house caliber L951.5
  • Pink or white gold 39.5-mm cases