With the sun rapidly setting on 2015, A. Lange & Söhne has revealed its final commemorative piece to bring the year that marks the 200th birthday of Ferdinand Adolph Lange to a spectacular close. The 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst features an extraordinary dial, and combines two precision focused mechanisms.
The 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is not an all new watch, rather it is a new interpretation of the 1815 Tourbillon, which Lange introduced back in 2014. Like that timepiece, the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is presented with a 39.5mm pink-gold case, and boasts Lange’s in-house L102.1 movement. The movement combines a rare stop seconds device for the tourbillon, as well as a zero-reset mechanism. The mechanisms allow the lucky owner to stop and set the timepiece with one-second accuracy (and isn’t accuracy one of the reasons you buy a tourbillon?).
Where the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst differs from its predecessor is with regards to its dial (and what a dial it is). ‘Handwerkskunst’ is the German word for artisanship, and A. Lange & Söhne has been using this distinction since 2011, on timepieces outfitted with dials and movements that are finished with complicated and rare engraving techniques.
To date there have been four different Handwerkskunst timepieces; the 2011 Richard Lange Pour Le Mérite Handwerkskunst, the 2012 Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst, the 2013 Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst, and last year’s Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (click here to read our story). The introduction of the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst this year is the fifth such timepiece, so perhaps Lange is gunning to give the world a new Handwerkskunst every year? We certainly hope so.
With the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, Lange created the dial using black-rhodiumed pink-gold and decorated it with incredibly beautiful tremblage engraving work. To create the effect you see in the pictures (above), the engraver uses the aforementioned technique to sculpt the material with a specially designed lining burin to achieve a uniform, fine granular structure. The relief elements on the dial, which includes the brand’s logo and numerals, are then later polished to a mirror gloss, which gives prominent contrast against the dark background.
The incredible finishing doesn’t end with just the dial however, the tourbillon bridge and the upper part of the one-minute tourbillon’s cage are black-polished – Lange says this requires the use of one of the most elaborate and time-consuming finissage techniques. The L102.1 calibre (picture above) is, as you’d expect, beautiful featuring the hallmark three-quarter German silver plate, bevel-polishing and a diamond endstone of the tourbillon to highlight the other movement decorations.
Limited to just 30 pieces worldwide, the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst carries a retail price of US $181,000.
To learn more about A. Lange & Söhne, click here.