On the subject of pure, thoroughbred manual-winding chronographs, fashions which might be devoted solely to capturing elapsed occasions and never geared up with some other paraphernalia, A. Lange & Söhne’s 1815 Chronograph is up there within the pantheon of perfection. The mannequin we’re reviewing for our three-part Battle of the Excessive-Finish Chronograph collection is the 2018 pink gold with black dial model, much like the Boutique Version of 2015 with its pulsometer scale. Like all the present variations on the 1815 chronograph theme (white gold black dial, Boutique Version), this watch is supplied with what’s probably probably the most stunning hand-wound motion in the marketplace at this time.
In pursuit of purity
Hand-wound chronographs with in-house actions and no extra problems usually are not as prevalent as you may assume. Much more sophisticated to develop than a tourbillon, many watch producers have relied on outsourced actions, together with Patek Philippe’s well-known – and now discontinued – ref. 5070. On the subject of pure chronographs, Lange’s 1815 Chronograph is up there within the pantheon of perfection. Many attribute Lange’s spectacular Datograph flyback chronograph, launched in 1999, because the chronograph that reignited the fervour for in-house chronograph actions, however due to its extra problems – giant date and energy reserve indicator – it doesn’t qualify as a contender in our battle of pure, unadulterated chronographs.
Editor’s word: this evaluation of the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph is a component 2 of a collection of three articles the place we evaluate two of probably the most fascinating high-end, hand-wound chronograph watches presently in the marketplace. Two watches with the identical idea, however two totally different flavours. The third article, which shall be printed after our two separate evaluations, will pit them side-by-side.
The 1815 Chronograph has undergone varied aesthetic evolutions throughout its 15-year lifespan and alongside the Datograph is taken into account a grail watch. Each watches share the identical spectacular chronograph calibre, however the truth that the Datograph has the hallmark Lange giant date complication on board implies that it’s thicker across the waist. The slimmer profile and smaller case measurement of the 1815 Chronograph situate it in a barely totally different class, nearer to a gown look ahead to males who don’t thoughts attracting consideration to their wrists.
With a diameter of 39.5mm and a case peak of 11mm, the 1815 Chronograph boasts virtually good important statistics. It isn’t an ultra-slim mannequin by any stretch of the creativeness and truly sits greater on the wrist because of the rim on the caseback for the sapphire crystal. The luxurious 18okay pink gold case, with its fantastically polished and brushed finishes, appears to rise as much as meet your gaze and demand your consideration. The smoothness of working this flyback chronograph is, in Frank Geelen’s phrases, ‘majestic’! And I’ve to agree that activating the stable gold rectangular pushers is an expertise you received’t overlook. In actual fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to search out one other chronograph with such clean, responsive pushers. The pusher at 2 o’clock prompts the chronograph sweep seconds hand indicating time with a decision of one-fifth of a second. The great thing about a flyback operate is that it permits prompt consecutive timings: when the pusher at four o’clock is pressed, the chronograph’s seconds and minute-counter arms bounce again to zero and instantly restart a brand new measurement.
A wedding made in heaven
The wedding of the jet-black dial and opulent pink gold case is one made in heaven. Elegant, putting, subtle and unabashedly luxurious, the distinction between the case and dial is actually spectacular. Richer than the rose gold and silver dial model, this mannequin is certainly not for wallflowers.
The primary impressions when viewing the dial are ones of steadiness and legibility. Like different 1815 watches, the symmetrical structure, Arabic numerals and railway-track scales are all parts designed to evoke Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s elegant 19th-century pocket watches.
The dial is made out of stable silver and the inky black color is the results of a galvanisation course of permitting the white numerals and tracks to face out. The 2015 Boutique Version in white gold reintroduced the pulsometer scale, a captivating classic twist that was initially used – and nonetheless may be – by docs to measure a affected person’s coronary heart price. Positioned on a raised flange that provides depth to the composition, the pulsometer works by beginning the chronograph, counting 30 heartbeats after which stopping the chrono and studying the elapsed time in opposition to the size graduated from 40 to 200 to point the guts price per minute.
The 2 snailed sub-dials, positioned barely under the equator of the dial – subsidiary seconds on the left and the leaping minute counter on the appropriate that advances in 1-minute increments when the chrono is working – underline the balanced composition of the watch and its basic origins. Traditionally, the exactly leaping minute counter was a function typically present in pocket watches recording every full revolution of the chronograph seconds hand making it simpler to learn elapsed time when the chronograph is stopped.
The pink gold arms match the case and there’s not a hint of lume. Whereas this definitely elevates the watch to a extra formal gown aesthetic, some may need most well-liked a differentiated color of hand for the chronograph operate.
Miniature Mechanical Metropolis
Should you thought the face of this watch was spectacular, simply wait till you flip it over. Fitted with calibre L951.5 – nearly the very same motion used within the Datograph with out the outsize date and energy reserve indicator – the motion is a piece of horological artwork. Lavishly completed with all of the hallmark touches of Lange’s actions – hand-engraved steadiness cock, gold chatons, polished angles on the bridges, blued screws and Glashütte stripes on the bridges – the composition is as swish as it’s complicated. The absence of the standard three-quarter plate permits an unobstructed view of the miniature symphony of the 306-strong orchestra. Using untreated German silver on the bridges will ultimately produce a heat, golden patina.
Calibre L951.5 is a column-wheel chronograph with a horizontal clutch and due to its conservative structure, you may admire the a number of ranges and interesting interaction of levers, gears, springs and wheels that animate the flyback chronograph features and the exactly leaping minute counter. The motion beats at a stately 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour and has a sturdy 60-hour energy reserve.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph, with reference quantity 414.031 in pink gold, is offered on a hand-stitched black alligator leather-based strap with a pink gold pin buckle. Retail worth of the watch is EUR 51,000 (incl. VAT). For extra data, please go to alange-soehne.com.