Not all chronographs are made equal. Then again, not all chronographs are made by A. Lange & Söhne. The German watchmaker is regarded as one of the best when it comes to making chronographs, as evidenced by the 1815 Chronograph, a watch so key to the brand it was named after the birth year of its founder, Mr. Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
Two hundred years later, A. Lange & Söhne presented us with a new limited edition, available in boutiques only, and it brings back a much-loved feature of 20th-century chronographs: the pulsation scale.
Used by doctors to measure a patient’s heart rate, it later grew a cult-like following among collectors for its unique look. Vacheron Constantin brought this ‘vintage’ feature back in its own collection last year in the colorful Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph.
The more conservative A. Lange & Söhne, always keen to protect and advance the reputation of German manufacturing, has instead gone for a minimalistic but wholly effective design, defined by a monochromatic blue and silver dial, and a raised inner flange.
Presented inside a white gold case, its cold accents all seem to point to the watch’s principal function: the flyback chronograph. Indeed, all of the indications echo the deep blued steel chronograph hand at the center of the dial, while the hour and minutes in rhodiumed gold almost seem to be playing second fiddle.
Powering the 1815 Chronograph Boutique Edition is a modified version of Calibre L951.5, an iconic movement developed for it’s bigger, bolder brother, the Datograph. Gone are the large date and power reserve that made its reputation, making way to a thinner manually wound movement, and a thinner case that is perhaps a little more comfortable to wear on a daily basis.
However, no compromises were made to the finishing of the caliber. The hand decorations on the German silver plates and bridges, as well as the engravings on the balance cock are second to none, and offered on full display through a sapphire case-back.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph is the brand’s entry-level chronograph, although the price of admission into one of Haute Horology’s most exclusive brands remains quite high at € 44,500. This limited edition will be available from select A. Lange & Söhne boutiques only, and is priced at € 49,000.