This year has been somewhat odd, but this hasn’t stopped watch manufacturers from introducing some of their best releases to date and Lange is one of those brands. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the establishment of Saxon precision watchmaking, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded his manufactory for fine timepieces. So, to honour this milestone, Lange have created a two-hand watch in a limited edition of 175 pieces features a case in Lange’s exclusive honey gold, a white enamel dial and special movement finissage.
The seventh of December 1845 marks a turning point in the history of the town of Glashütte. The inauguration of the first pocket watch workshop in the former mining community south of Dresden by Ferdinand Adolph Lange, then 30 years old, laid the cornerstone for Saxon precision watchmaking. To commemorate the anniversary, A. Lange & Söhne is now presenting three limited-edition timepieces that we will look at over the next few weeks. Today, however, we will be looking at the 1815 Thin Honeyghold.
Mechanical watches are largely distinguished by their “sweeping seconds” hands, however, this hasn’t necessarily always the case. The absence of a sweeping seconds hand is something perhaps not seen as often as one would’ve thought these days, but it is a trait that belongs to timepieces of yesteryear. With its numerous traditional hallmarks, the 1815 Thin Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange” is reminiscent of his legendary pocket watches. At the same time, it unites two features that also characterise Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s designs and developments: perfection and clarity.
The dial of the 1815 Thin Honeygold is a rather sparse affair and as mentioned, features just an hour and minute hand, against a white enamel backdrop. The dial is simply characterised by Roman numerals and railroad track minute-markers. This simple elegance is held in case that measures a mere 6.3 millimetres high and has a diameter of 38 millimetres. Just like the hands and the buckle, it consists of honey gold, an alloy developed exclusively for and used only by A. Lange & Söhne. Thanks to special admixtures and special thermal treatment, the metal is harder and thus more scratch-resistant than other gold alloys with a fineness of 18 carats. It was used for the first time in 2010 for the three watches of the “165 Years – Homage to F. A. Lange” anniversary edition. So far, only eight limited editions of watches cased in this exceptional gold alloy with its warm glow have been launched.
Turning the 1815 Thin over and peering through exhibition caseback affords a glimpse of the beautifully finished L093.1 manufacture calibre, which is a modern interpretation of Lange’s product philosophy. It boasts a power reserve of 72 hours and at just 2.9-millimetre-high, the manually wound movement proves that compact dimensions and performance are not mutually exclusive. The freely oscillating Lange balance spring has a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. In combination with a classic screw balance.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the 1815 Thin Honeygold is the movement finissage; why you may ask? The manually assembled calibre L093.1 movement pays tribute to the style introduced by Ferdinand Adolph Lange. Contrary to the Glashütte ribbing commonly used in other Lange models, the German-silver three-quarter plate has a granular surface texture often found in historic Lange pocket watches. The crown and ratchet wheels are visibly integrated in the train bridge and decorated with perfectly executed circular graining. Gold chatons secured by three thermally blued screws trace the path of the power transmitted from the mainspring barrel to the escapement. In traditional fashion, the balance cock has been hand-engraved; a signature element of all Lange manufacture calibres. The fine lines of the floral pattern are black-rhodiumed, just like the inscription on the plate.
1815 model line is without doubt one of my personal favourites and this new limited edition lends something a little different to the range that is still in keeping with the heritage of Lange.
The new Lange 1815 Thin Honeygold is priced at €32,200 and is limited to only 175 pieces. For more information on the 1815 Thin Honeygold 175th Anniversary piece, visit the official A.Lange & Söhne website.