All eyes are on A. Lange & Söhne this year, as the brand gets ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1. Way back at SIHH 2014, Lange unveiled one of our favourites from the show – the simple – Lange 1815, which has been downsized from the time-only 40mm Lange 1815 to 38.5mm. It otherwise retains its aesthetically pleasing dial and L051.1 movement but the brand has decided to slightly modify the model’s case. Below is a hands-on look at the new 38.5mm Lange 1815.
By and large the new Lange 1815 is very similar to the current Lange 1815. The only major difference is the size of the case, and the new 38.5-millimetre case diameter will address the preference of many watch connoisseurs. With its two-tier design, first seen on the 1815 Up/Down last year, and the subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock, the solid-silver dial is reminiscent of Lange’s historic pocket watches.
Though most Lange watches have a bezel that sits flush with the case, the stepped bezel of the 1815 breaks up the vertical lines of the case, giving it a slimmer look but also adding some subtle depth to its appearance. This look is emphasized by a gently contoured bezel and slender lugs. A railway-track minute scale, black Arabic numerals and blued-steel hands accentuate the classic appearance of the watch and enhance the legibility of its argenté-coloured face.
With a power reserve of 55 hours and its lavishly hand-decorated movement parts, the manually wound calibre L051.1 epitomises Lange’s acclaimed watchmaking artistry and though it may appear to look very simple, it is this very same simplicity that is celebrated in Lange’s traditional German movements.
Many traditional Lange hallmarks are visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback: the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, a hand-engraved balance cock, a screw balance, a whiplash spring, screwed gold chatons, and thermally blued screws are manifestations of haute horlogerie at its very finest. The escapement is a lever escapement and the balance beats at 21,600 vph (3 Hz); there is a swan-neck adjustor for the balance.
“Less is more”, as the saying goes, and although you are getting a smaller case – this definitely lends to the sophistication of this new Lange 1815. With a trend of watchmakers downsizing their timepieces and harking back to the more traditional watch size of yesteryear, there is no doubt this timepiece will be welcomed by Lange collectors and those looking for the perfect classical dress watch.
And even though it leans more towards being a true dress watch, its styling somehow still works with a casual, smart/casual attire. On the wrist it felt just perfect on its supple, black leather alligator strap with a pin buckle that matches the case.
Though some may find 38.5mm a bit small, I urge you to give one a try. I think you’ll be surprised just how big it actually wears. This is due to the fact that although it shrunk by 1.5mm in diameter, it is only 0.1mm thinner than its bigger brother. But as mentioned before the 40mm version is still in production if you fancy the 1815 in a larger version.
The new 1815 will be available in yellow and pink gold and will retail at a price of $24,800 while the white gold version will retail at a price of $26,000.
Photo Credit: Christopher Beccan. For more information on the new Lange 1815, please visit the official A. Lange & Söhne website.