A. Lange & Söhne 1815: The Classic Dress Watch
A. Lange & Söhne's 1815 collection is one of their most prestigious series. It includes flyback chronographs with perpetual calendars and the Grand Complication watch, one of the most expensive watches in the world.
5 Reasons to Buy an 1815
- Top-Model: Grand Complication with a perpetual calendar, rattrapante, and chiming mechanism
- Available with a chronograph function, tourbillon, or perpetual calendar
- Exclusive use of gold, platinum, and silver
- Case diameters ranging from 36 to 43 mm
- A solid investment
Inspired by Pocket Watches
A. Lange & Söhne based the design of the 1815 collection on historic Glashütte pocket watches. The "1815" in the name is a reference to the birth year of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who founded Glashütte's watch industry in 1845. That same year, he opened his workshop with 15 apprentices, including former miners and basket makers. After some time, several of these apprentices were able to start their own businesses and work as suppliers for Lange and other watchmakers in the area.
Today, the classic 1815 series features many gold and platinum watches inspired by the manufacturer's historic pocket watches. Arabic numerals, tempered blue hands, railroad minute scales, and silver dials characterize these timepieces. Each watch contains a high-precision manual in-house caliber. These movements are masterpieces of technology and art thanks to their intricate ornamentation. It should therefore come as no surprise that every 1815 model is outfitted with a sapphire glass case back.
In addition to simple three-hand watches, this collection includes timepieces with complications like a power reserve display, split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar, or tourbillon. Moderate case sizes of 38.5 to 40 mm mean most models fit well on any wrist. Only the most complicated pieces have larger, 41.9 to 43-mm cases.
How much does an 1815 cost?
|Grand Complication, ref. 912.032||2.3 million USD||Chiming mechanism, rattrapante, perpetual calendar, moon phase|
|Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite, ref. 706.025||546,000 USD||Tourbillon, perpetual calendar, rattrapante, moon phase|
|Rattrapante Perpetual, ref. 421.025||188,000 USD||Perpetual calendar, rattrapante, moon phase|
|Tourbillon, Ref. 730.032||123,000 USD||Tourbillon with a stop-seconds mechanism|
|Homage to Walter Lange, ref. 297.026||53,000 USD||Jumping seconds with a start/stop function|
|Chronograph, ref. 414.031||40,500 USD||Flyback chronograph|
|Up/Down, ref. 234.032||21,000 USD||Power reserve display|
|1815, ref. 235.026||18,500 USD||Small seconds dial|
A. Lange & Söhne 1815: Simple Elegance
The best dress watches are simple watches with few additional complications. The timepiece with a small seconds dial in the 1815 collection is the ideal everyday business watch. For the case, you can choose from pink or white gold. The tempered cornflower blue hands contrast beautifully against the solid silver dial. Thanks to the in-house caliber L051.1, this watch has a 55-hour power reserve and a stop-seconds mechanism, which allows you to set the time to the exact second. Another defining feature is the inclusion of rubies housed in gold chatons. Tempered blue screws attach the chatons to the three-quarter plate.
Plan on seeing prices of over 18,000 USD for a mint-condition timepiece. You can save some 2,500 USD by purchasing a pre-owned model instead.
The 1815 UP/DOWN adds a practical power reserve indicator to the simple three-hand model. This indicator sits at 8 o'clock and uses a hand to display how much of the 72-hour power reserve remains. Many A. Lange & Söhne watches feature this distinct "AUF" ("up") and "AB" ("down") display, which Lange patented all the way back in 1879. This timepiece's small seconds dial has shifted slightly to the right and now sits at 4 o'clock. The 39-mm case is available exclusively in 18-karat pink or white gold. The dial is made of solid silver, and the hands are tempered blue.
Expect to pay around 19,000 USD for a well-maintained pink gold timepiece. Prices for never-worn models climb to around 21,000 USD. On the other hand, white gold watches cost between 21,000 and 22,000 USD depending on their condition.
Flyback Chronographs with a Jumping Minute Counter
A. Lange & Söhne's pocket chronographs served as inspiration for the 1815 Chronograph . Like its historic predecessors, its small seconds and minute counter are at 8 and 4 o'clock, just below the central axis. The hand for the 30-minute counter jumps precisely from one minute to the next. The especially thin stop seconds hand is able to measure times to within a fifth of a second. A. Lange & Söhne also outfits this timepiece with a flyback mechanism, meaning you can return the stopwatch hand to zero instantaneously. Most chronographs have to stop running before you can reset the hand.
This timepiece comes in pink or white gold with a silvery white or dark black dial made of solid silver. You can find older, pre-owned models for around 35,000 USD. If you'd prefer a current, never-worn timepiece, be sure to set aside about 43,000 USD. You'll need another 2,500 USD to purchase the boutique edition of the 1815 Chronograph. This white gold timepiece was created in celebration of F. A. Lange's 200th birthday and has a bright silver dial with blue numerals.
Homage to Walter Lange with a Stoppable Jumping Seconds
Introduced in late 2017, the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange comes with a stop function unlike any other in this collection. This watch is dedicated to the company's late CEO, Walter Lange, who passed away in 2017. It is truly a sight to behold. Tempered blue hands rotate atop a solid silver dial. The small seconds dial at 6 o'clock also features a tempered blue hand. This small hand moves forward in 6 small steps per second, while the stop seconds hand jumps forward once every second . A pusher at 2 o'clock allows you to start and stop the stop-seconds hand. This is helpful when measuring someone's pulse, for example.
This 40.5-mm watch is available in yellow, pink, or white gold. Prices for mint-condition pieces are around 53,500 USD. Since it's so new, there aren't many pre-owned models on the market yet.
Watches with Annual and Perpetual Calendars
Displaying the correct date, day, and month is the specialty of the 1815 Annual Calendar . An elaborate gear system allows this timepiece to automatically account for the differing lengths of the months. It only needs to be corrected manually once a year on March 1st.
This white or pink gold 40-mm watch shows the date using two subdials. The date and day are located on a subdial at 9 o'clock, while the subdial for the month sits at 3 o'clock. A third subdial at 6 o'clock houses both a small seconds dial and moon phase display. These displays can either be set separately via three push pieces integrated into the case or all at once using the pusher at 2 o'clock.
Set aside around 31,500 USD for a new 1815 Annual Calendar. Pre-owned pieces are rare and cost only marginally less.
The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar goes a step further. As its name suggests, this timepiece fits multiple complications into its 41.9-mm case. These include a perpetual calendar, moon phase display, leap year indicator, power reserve display, and split-seconds (rattrapante) chronograph, which you can use to measure intervals. Each of this watch's four subdials does double duty: The month and leap year sit on a subdial at 3, the small seconds and moon phase at 6, the date and day at 9, and the elapsed minutes and power reserve at 12 o'clock.
There are two central stop seconds hands – one gold-plated and one tempered blue. These are operated using three pushers. The pusher at 2 o'clock stops and starts the mechanism, the pusher at 4 resets the hands, and the pusher at 10 is used to take intervals.
Of course, such a complex watch comes at a price. Expect to pay around 158,000 USD for a mint-condition timepiece in pink gold. Pre-owned, this watch demands about 138,000 USD. The platinum edition sells for approximately 188,000 USD new and 147,000 USD pre-owned. Only 20 copies exist of the limited edition 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst, hence its list price of 290,000 euros (around 330,000 USD). The luxury watch manufacturer equips this masterpiece with a blue enameled and intricately engraved white gold dial and an equally intricate hinged case back.
The Tourbillon and Other Grand Complications
The tourbillon is among the most elaborate complications. A. Lange & Söhne has had this technology in its repertoire since its early days and has even gone on to improve it. For example, the 1815 Tourbillon contains the patented Zero-Reset mechanism that stops the second hand and returns it to the zero position when you pull out the crown. This allows you to set the watch to the exact second – something you can't do with most tourbillon watches.
A hole in the solid silver dial offers a view of this fascinating mechanism and offers a nice addition to the three-hand watch's otherwise rather modest design. The pink gold models are the most affordable, with prices ranging from 111,000 USD pre-owned to 123,000 USD new. If you'd prefer a platinum watch, be prepared to spend anywhere from 144,000 to 161,000 USD depending on its condition. The Handwerkskunst model features a black, rhodium-plated pink gold dial and intricate tremblage engraving. This timepiece is limited to a run of 30 pieces and sells for around 256,000 USD.
A. Lange & Söhne combines five grand complications in the Tourbograph Perpetual "Pour le Mérite." In addition to a tourbillon, it contains a perpetual calendar, moon phase display, and a split-seconds chronograph. The chronograph is operated via three pushers at 2, 4, and 10 o'clock. A recessed pusher at 8 o'clock controls the calendar display.
At 43 mm, this platinum watch is a bit larger than its sister models. Its price tag of around 546,000 USD is also much higher than that of any other 1815 timepiece since it is limited to only 50 copies.
Last but certainly not least is the 1815 Grand Complication. Its perpetual calendar, grande and petite sonnerie, rattrapante chronograph, jumping seconds, and moon phase display make it the most complicated watch in this Glashütte-based luxury watch manufacturer's catalog. Each timepiece takes the company's best watchmakers a full year to produce, which is why only six such pieces will ever be constructed.
This 50-mm marvel is extremely rare, and its price often exceeds 2.25 million dollars.