The third edition of Watches & Wonders (W&W) takes place from September 30 to October 3 in Hong Kong. Since the exhibition is now just around the corner, some of the participating brands have begun showing off their latest creations – we recently saw an example of truly stunning horology in the form of Vacheron Constantin’s Cornes de vache 1955 (read our story here). Now, A. Lange & Söhne has joined the W&W run-up party by introducing a new, boutique-only, reference of its highly desirable 1815 Chronograph.
The watch, known as the 1815 Chronograph Boutique-Edition (reference: 414.026), will only ever be sold at Lange’s 16 worldwide boutiques, and pays tribute to the 200th birthday of Ferdinand Adolph Lange. This isn’t a limited edition timepiece however, but rather one that will be made in small quantities each year.
Like the current 1815 Chronograph, the new boutique edition sports a 39.5mm case, but will only be produced in white gold through its production run (the current 1815 Chronograph is offered in white or pink gold). The dial features deep-blue Arabic numerals, while the rest of the dial is argente-solid silver. On the periphery of the dial sits a railway-track style minute scale, as well as a pulsometer scale (picture below). Rounding up the dial’s aesthetics are rhodium-gold minute and hour hands, whereas the main seconds hand, chronograph seconds hand and minute counter are made from blued steel.
Underneath the beautiful dial beats Lange’s manual-wind calibre L951.5, an in-house column-wheel movement (the same movement used by the current 1815 Chronographs), which gives the watch its time-keeping, precisely jumping minute counter and flyback chronograph functions. The hand-finished movement, when fully wound, offers a power reserve of 60 hours. As with recent Lange movements, this movement also sports an in-house hairspring.
The watch is offered with a hand-stitched dark blue alligator strap, and a white gold prong buckle.
While Swiss watchmakers frequently capture the imagination of watch lovers, for our money we would only look at Saxony and A. Lange & Söhne, if we were in the market for a finely finished timepiece with a chronograph complication. In fact, if we were to inherit a fortune and could have three fine chronographs, our list would comprise two watches from Lange and one from Vacheron.
One of the best complicated watches in the world is A. Lange & Söhne’s spectacular Datograph Perpetual (we selected this watch as one of the best of SIHH 2015). If we could only have one watch, that’s the one we’d have, since it packs one of the most important complications to watch lovers (the chronograph), and one of the most useful complications on a mechanical watch (a perpetual calendar). On the other hand, if we wanted a more focused piece that was just as beautiful but just a bit more elegant, the 1815 Chronograph is what we’d turn to.
The 1815 Chronograph is now two generations old. The first generation (pictured above) is a watch that’s highly prized by collectors, and is also one that is arguably more popular than its second-generation counterpart (pictured below). Watch lovers are a pedantic bunch and it would seem that the first generation 1815 gets the nod because of its pulsometer scale, an element that was deleted from the second-generation reference. We can attest to being suckers for watches with pulsometer scales ourselves, which is why we also love Vacheron Constantin’s new for 2015 Harmony Chronograph (that Vacheron timepiece was also one of our picks for the best of SIHH 2015).
With the new 1815 Chronograph Boutique-Edition, Lange has revived the pulsometer scale, and left the remainder of the watch largely unchanged, and we couldn’t be happier. There’s absolutely no element that we would have changed on the 1815 Chronograph, not even on the second-generation reference that no longer carried the pulsometer scale that we love.
By introducing this new 1815 Chronograph reference, Lange is giving collectors the power of choice – we quite fancy staring at the second generation 1815 Chronograph alongside this new reference, agonizing for hours over which to choose in a nicely appointed boutique.
We’ve no doubt that this new reference will prove popular with chronograph purists and Lange collectors, and we can’t wait to see one in person. In pictures, the watch is as handsome and elegant as ever, and considering its physical proportions haven’t changed, we’re confident that it will be a watch that’s comfortable to wear on a daily basis.
Pricing and availability for the Middle East has yet to be announced but you can be sure to see it A. Lange & Söhne’s Dubai Mall boutique at some point in the future. In the meantime, if you are attending W&W, we’re sure you’ll get a chance to spend some time with this magnificent timepiece if you visit Lange’s booth.
To learn more about A. Lange & Söhne, click here.