Four new watches were announced by A. Lange & Söhne in a special edition called the 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” . The series comprises of a piece unique Stainless Steel model with a black enamel dial, and a limited edition series in yellow gold, white gold and pink gold respectively.
It was with great sadness that we witnessed the passing of Walter Lange on the second day of the SIHH 2017, earlier this year. I penned an article of his passing as a tribute to his enormous contribution not only to A. Lange & Söhne, but as a senior statesman to the revival of the Glashütte region for watchmaking.
Essential reading: In memoriam: Walter Lange
For SIHH 2018, Lange found it fitting to pay homage to this giant of horology. And created a new part-collection within the 1815 family of watches: the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange.
The Lange 1815 Homage to Walter Lange piece unique in stainless steel
The series will comprise a piece unique in stainless steel fitted with an in-house manufactured black enamel dial. This a fitting homage in a number of ways.
Firstly the 1815 family is a respectful nod to the birth year of Walter’s great-great-grandfather: Ferdinand Aldophe Lange.
Secondly, it is appropriate as the special unique piece will be offered in stainless steel. A metal which was offered by Lange Uhren in the early years as special editions, but ceased in 2000. Other SS Langes: Lange made some 22 or so pieces of the Lange 1 in stainless steel in at least three dial variations – the most common (approximately 12-15 pieces, including 10 pieces for NY retailer Celini) being the white dial with blue steel hands, another series of probably 4 to 6 pieces were in a blue dial with white gold hands (mostly through Singapore retailer Sincere) and a version with black dial also exist. Other stainless steel Langes are the piece unique Double Split (which was produced in 2006 as an exception and sold to a senior Richemont executive before eventually finding its way to the auction market) and the famous the piece unique Pour le Mérite Tourbillon made circa 1995, documented in the book A. Lange & Sohne: The Pour le Mérite Collection,. The 1815 was also produced in stainless steel, but not sold. It remained as Lange Uhren property and used as courtesy loan watches in the early years. Approximately 100 pieces of these were made, and the watches carried the engraving “Property of Lange Uhren” on both the case as well as the movement.
Thirdly, the watch features a jumping seconds complication, one which was a personal favourite of Walter. He often pushed the technical team to develop a jumping seconds. This dream was finally realised and announced in SIHH 2016 as the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds.
Fourthly, the dial is a black enamel dial which is developed and manufactured in Glashütte. The in-house black enamel dial first appeared in the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskundst in 2014. And is the first enamel dial to be developed in-house. Earlier enamel dials on the Langematic Anniversary were made by Donzé Cadrans.
Finally, it is fitting that the watch is offered as a piece unique, and will be for sale by auction to benefit a charity to be announced later, which befits Walter’s charitable personality.
Other interesting trivia on this new watch is that the movement is caliber L1924, a special caliber designation to denote the birth year of Walter. Lange movements are otherwise in accordance to a nomenclature where the first two digits are the year where development began, and the third digit is the serial number for movements which began development the same year.
Further the reference number of the watch is 297.078, the first 3 digits denote Walter’s birthday which falls on 29th of July. The digits following the decimal carry their usual meaning to denote case, dial and hands variations.
The watch is presented with two seconds hands: one subsidiary seconds hand at 6 o’clock which runs continuously, and a jumping central seconds hand, which can be stopped by pushing the push piece at 2 o’clock in the case side.
The gold series: 1815 Homage to Walter Lange
A further series will be offered for sale in white gold, pink gold and yellow gold. The edition will carry the same movement Caliber L1924, but will be limited to 145 pieces in white gold, 90 pieces in pink gold and 27 in yellow gold. The numbers are significant as 145 marks the number of years since 7 December 1845 to the establishment of Lange Uhren by Walter Lange in 7 December 1990. And 27 is the number of years between 1990 and 2017 when the new models are announced.
The gold editions are for sale and priced at €47,000 inclusive of German VAT.
1815 “Homage to Walter Lange”
Movement Lange manufacture calibre L1924; manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, and decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand
Movement parts 253
Screwed gold chatons 3
Escapement Lever escapement
Oscillation system Shock-resistant screw balance, balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per
hour; precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Power reserve 60 hours when fully wound
Functions Time in hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; jumping sweep seconds with start/stop function
Operating elements Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; button for starting and stopping the jumping seconds
Case dimensions Diameter: 40.5 millimetres; height: 11.0 millimetres
Movement dimensions Diameter: 31.6 millimetres; height: 6.1 millimetres
Glass and caseback Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
297.078 Case Stainless steel Limited edition 1 watch to be offered for auction to benefit a charity
Dial Black enamelled solid silver
Hands Polished steel
Strap Hand-stitched alligator leather, black
Buckle Stainless-steel prong buckle
297.021 Case Yellow gold Limited edition 27 watches
297.026 White gold Limited edition 145 watches
297.032 Pink gold Limited edition 90 watches
Movement: Caliber L1924 as above
Dial Solid silver, argenté
Hands Blued steel
Strap Hand-stitched alligator leather, middle brown
Buckle Yellow-gold prong buckle, White-gold prong buckle, Pink-gold prong buckle respectively