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Review of A. Lange and Sohne 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange”

by Robin Lim on April 5, 2015

200 years back, a German named Ferdinand Adolph Lange was born. This was the same man behind A. Lange and Sohne, the legendary German watchmaker that created some of the most astonishing timepieces in the world of horology. To pay tribute to this wonderful gentleman, A. Lange and Sohne had specially made 200 pieces of the 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” this year.

The A. Lange and Sohne 1815 "200th Anniversary F.A. Lange".

The A. Lange and Sohne 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange”.

The A. Lange and Sohne 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange”, to many untrained eyes, may look like any other A. Lange and Sohne 1815 timepieces from their current collection. But for those in the know, A. Lange and Sohne likes to do things subtly, and hence it will require meticulous effort to tell the difference between this limited edition and the ordinary 1815s.

For a start, the 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” comes in a case with a dimension of 40mm. This is 1.5mm bigger than the latest 1815, in which we have featured in this article previously. Granted, the predecessor had a case size of 40mm, but this limited edition does have some differences from that model as well. One of it would be the presence of a step-bezel, instead of the usual rounded edge bezel that was found in the older 40mm 1815.

When we handled the watch, we felt that the difference in sized wasn’t really that pronounced. In fact, it fits pretty nicely on our wrists. Although we would have liked it to be slightly smaller (like the current 1815s at 38.5mm), we thought that it was still pretty decent and understated.

The 1815 was initially derived from the pocket watches that were made by F.A. Lange in the past.

The 1815 was initially derived from the pocket watches that were made by F.A. Lange in the past.

Another subtle but important difference between the current 1815 and this limited edition piece would be the case material. The current 1815s are available in rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold. The limited edition, however, is only available in platinum. Although the difference is rather subtle on the surface, but we like the fact that a more premium metal is reserved for this limited edition timepiece. incidentally, the use of platinum also makes this watch much more discreet and elegant. The watch feels very solid and durable, thanks to the finishing and the quality that A. Lange and Sohne had pride themselves in.

Simple, subtle, and elegant.

Simple, subtle, and elegant.

The 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” timepiece comes with the usual black dial, with railway minute tracks and a subsidiary seconds hand at the 6 o’clock position. In terms of the dial design, there is not much difference. The legibility is excellent as well, since the dial is very clean and uncluttered.

The movement that is used in this limited edition is similar to the ones on the current 1815s.

The movement that is used in this limited edition is similar to the ones on the current 1815s.

The movement that powers the 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” is similar to the other 1815s in the collection. The watch uses the L051.1 caliber that is found in the current and the predecessor models. The L051.1 caliber is a manual-winding movement that features a power reserve of approximately 55 hours. The three quarter plate is made of untreated German silver, and signature elements include the hand-engraved balance cock, the classic screw balance, the whiplash spring, the gold chatons that secure the bearing jewels, and the thermally blued screws. As per all A. Lange and Sohne timepieces, the finishing on the movement is exceptional as well.

A mandatory wristshot, with the Datograph.

A mandatory wristshot, with the Datograph.

Personally, we think that this is a nice way to pay homage to the man behind A. Lange and Sohne. The A. Lange and Sohne 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” embodies the hallmark and ethos of the brand: simple. elegant, subtle, and exceptional. What a fitting tribute to such an endearing man himself.

The A. Lange and Sohne 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” retails at €31,500, and only 200 pieces will be made available.

Specifications from Press Release

1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” Ref. 236.049

Lange manufacture calibre L051.1; manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand.

Movement
188 Movement parts
23 Jewels
5 Screwed gold chatons
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillator: Shock-resistant screw balance; Nivarox® balance spring* with a frequency 21,600 semi-oscillatiofeatuns per hour, precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Power reserve: 55 hours when fully wound
Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds
Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time
Case dimensions: Diameter: 40.0 millimetres; height: 8.8 millimetres
Movement dimensions: Diameter: 30.6 millimetres; height: 4.6 millimetres
Crystal and back: Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
Case: Platinum
Dial: Solid silver, black
Hands: Rhodiumed gold
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, black
Buckle: Platinum prong buckle

Limited edition
200 watches, engraved 001/200…200/200

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