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Press Release: A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

A new horological piece of art in blue
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on September 27, 2017

A. Lange & Söhne’s Handwerkskunst timepieces raise the horological craftsmanship to the rank of art. Started in 2011, the Handwerkskunst Collection features the most exquisite finishes available. The watches possess not only the marvellous brand-specific decorations but much more than that – supreme finissage using almost forgotten traditional techniques. A. Lange & Söhne chose Florence, Italy as the location for this year’s release of the Handwerkskunst where the German watch brand presented the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst is a marvellous watch manufactured with traditional watchmaking techniques. The beautiful finishes of Glashütte’s brand are enriched with excellently executed engravings and a lavishing blue enamel.

 

A. Lange & Söhne’s Handwerkskunst (literal translation is hand-made art) is the brand’s superlative collection. We reviewed Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, released at the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1. This year’s top of the range is represented by the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst. Even if we would see it from the simplest point of view, a rattrapante perpetual calendar is a complicated watch. Keeping in mind the brand’s usual élaboré decorating style and technique, what we expected the Glashütte maison to present a watch which is amazing. And by all means, the 2017’s Handwerkskunst is an example of pure horological art.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst back

Opening the full hunter case-back, the calibre L101.1 is revealed. The movement features his own set of enriched decorations

 

Wrist art as a daily useful tool watch?

Launched at SIHH 2013, the 1815 Perpetual Calendar Rattrapante was a magnificent appearance. The wrist marvel was well received, winning the Grand Complication category and the Public’s Choice Award at GPHG in 2013. We can only salute A. Lange & Söhne’s choice for a new Handwerkskunst.

The new watch comes in an 18K white gold case with a size of 41.9mm diameter and 15.8mm thickness. Considering the complexity of the movement inside, the case is decent in size. The execution is flawless, typical for Lange. A classic shape with crown and pushers perfectly balanced in size and position.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

The back case is covered by a hinged cuvette astonishingly decorated with the ancient mythological personification of the moon – Luna

 

Turning the watch, we are welcomed by a hinged cuvette astonishingly decorated. A delicate engraving with the Moon goddess – Luna is surrounded by a light blue enamel work. The blue ring is filled with multiple heights of stars and clouds en relief (embossed) engraved.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst luna engraving

The sculptural engraving creates a multi-depth surface. The enamel work surrounding the Moon goddess is an example of brand’s expertise.

 

The full hunter case back hides another incredible work, the calibre L101.1 More about it later in the article.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

The dial is manufactured using six-part, blue enamelled white gold with relief engraving. The argenté-coloured flange ring with railway-track minute scale offer great legibility.

 

Looking back to the front of the watch, the dial is unusually crowded for a Lange piece. But we find the decoration to be quite handsome and the dial to have a lovely presence. The rattrapante chrono features white and yellow gold-plated steel central seconds hands completed by a 30-minute totalizer at 12 o’clock. This sub-dial also displays the power reserve indicator with the “Auf/Ab” German indication.

 

Six-part, blue enamelled white gold with relief engraving; argenté-coloured flange ring with railway-track minute scale

The sub-dials are perfectly balanced in form and function. The horizontal line is used for the perpetual calendar display, while the vertical line is used for the chronograph and moon phase.

 

The full perpetual calendar sub-dials are in argenté-coloured white gold. Symmetrically placed, the dials at 3 and 9 o’clock show the month and leap year with the day of the week and date coaxially. The moon phase is accompanied by the running seconds. The minutes and seconds’ register offers an excellent legibility.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst moonphase

The power reserve and small seconds are additional functions available on the vertical line. The moon phase indication is fascinating finished. The printed indexes, the numerals and the railway scales offer a great legibility.

 

The background decoration conquers the view with engraved stars in a beautiful enamel background. As the substrate for this decoration, a piece of solid gold was used. The hours’ numerals are part of the sky-themed decoration being surrounded by enamel and embossed stars.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst detail of the lower dial

The Handwerkskunst use a combination of rhodium plated gold hands, yellow gold-plated steel, rhodium plated steel and blued steel. The contrast and legibility on the blue enamelled dial are magnificent.

 

For the first time, Lange combines engraving and enamel decoration, and with a dazzling result. Moreover, the legibility is not being compromised by the decoration.

If you can untie your eyes from the dial and turn the watch, A. Lange & Söhne prepared another surprise on the back of the watch. Raising the Luna decorated hinge, a view to the calibre L101.1 reveals other marvels.

 

Another face of the Calibre L101.1

For the Handwerkskunst edition, the German maison took special time to enrich the purist decorations usually found on Glashütte’s movements. The multi-complications calibre is artistically decorated in the same starry night theme.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst Calibre L101.1 detail

The operating-lever, the cover and the chronograph bridges as well as the rattrapante and the balance cocks are engraved by hand with tremblage technique. The movement is an eye-catching piece of horological art.

 

The manually wound L101.1 has 631 components, including 43 jewels and four screwed gold chatons. The now traditional well finished German silver plates and bridges feature in the Handwerkskunst extra decoration. Traditionally found in pocket watches, a granular finish can be observed on the train bridge. This is obtained by hammering, a technique rarely used in modern watchmaking. The cover and chronograph bridges have embossed stars and tremblage engravings.  Of course, anglage is met everywhere. More details about this decorating techniques can be read in our reportage about the Lange Akademie.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst calibre L101.1

Calibre L101.1 features not only the usual well executed Lange finishes but also additional stars engravings. The plates and bridges are made of untreated German silver that will develop a nice patina over time.

 

The dual column wheels, the scissors jaws of the split-second arresting mechanism are all flawlessly designed and beautifully executed and finished.

It’s incredible how an already perfect movement can be enriched in a cosmic manner.

 

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst Specification and price

Reference 421.048FE is limited to 20 pieces and has a retail price of EUR290,000.

 

Movement: Calibre L101.1

Type: mechanical self-winding movement, 631 parts

Dimensions: 32.6mm x 9.1mm

Jewels: 43

Frequency: 3 Hz

Power reserve: 42 hours

Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, moon-phase, perpetual calendar, rattrapante chronograph (split seconds), power reserve.

 

Case

Material: 18k White gold

Dimensions of the case: 41.9mm x 15.8mm

Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating

Crown: with gold

Caseback: white gold hinged cuvette with engravings and blue enamel, see-through sapphire

 

Strap

Material: Hand-stitched alligator leather, blue-grey with grey seam

Buckle: white gold deployant clasp

 

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