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A. Lange *& Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch.
If you are a regular reader of ATimelyPerspective, you know that I have tremendous respect and affinity for German watch brand A. Lange & Sohne. This brand experienced its rebirth around the time I was just starting in the watch industry, so I have witnessed its tremendous growth and success. Each year, the brand surprises me with new timepieces that either offer pioneering technology or stunning classic aesthetics. Now, the brand once again delights us with the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Tourbillon with Enamel Dial that is as classically beautiful as they come.
A. Lange *& Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch is powered by the L102.1 caliber with two patented mechanisms.
The special edition of A. Lange & Söhne’s first tourbillon watch is now equipped with stop seconds and ZERO-RESET mechanisms. The caliber L102.1 features a large aperture at 6 o’clock to reveal the tourbillon escapement suspended beneath a black polished bridge in addition to the mechanisms. The patented Zero-Reset mechanism was first introduced in 1997 with the Langematik model. It interacts with the stop-seconds mechanism (that was first unveiled by the brand for the tourbillon and patented in 2008) to assure one-second accuracy when stopping and setting the timepiece. This new edition of 100 pieces with white enamel dial pays tribute to the precision that the brand is recognized for. The movement is meticulously finished and visible via a sapphire caseback.
A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch is powered by the L102.1 caliber with two patented mechanisms that include zero-reset and stop-seconds.
The 39.5mm watch is crafted in platinum and each piece is numbered. The white enamel dial requires more than 30 steps to create and is an incredibly time-consuming process. With red “12” fired on, and stylized black numerals, the watch is finished with a railway minute track and blued steel hands for a rendition reminiscent of the finest pocket watches of the 19th and 20th centuries. It retails for $197,200.
Anthony de Haas, Director Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne, answers questions on the new 1815 Tourbillon with enamel dial:
What has inspired you to equip the 1815 TOURBILLON with an enamel dial and what is the message that A. Lange & Söhne is sending with this watch?
“In a way, the 1815 TOURBILLON is one of the most quintessential A. Lange & Söhne timepieces because it offers a well-balanced blend of the brand’s traditional aspects and pioneering inventions of the new era. The large tourbillon is combined with two patents, the ZERO RESET and the stop-seconds feature for the tourbillon. These intricate mechanisms are characteristic of our understated approach to fine watchmaking. They work behind the scenes like “hidden heroes” with the single purpose of enhancing the accuracy and the functional performance of the watch. The enamel dial accentuates the classic design, which is adapted from Lange’s pocket watches with their Arabic numerals, “chemin de fer” minute scale and blued steel hands. The basic idea was to build a credible bridge from the origins of watchmaking to the present.”
What is behind the decision to print the 12 in red?
“The red 12 is a design statement with a nod to the history of fine watchmaking. It brought liveliness to the dial of a pocket watch – and does it still today. Lange’s dedication to historic authenticity comes at a price: The red 12 has to be separately imprinted and stoved.”
What is the biggest challenge in making the enamel dial of the new 1815 TOURBILLON model?
“Enamel is capricious and can’t be hurried. The process takes several days, during which the various steps have to be repeated over and over again. Absolute cleanliness is paramount because the inclusion of even the smallest particle of dust or dirt would mar the flawless surface.”
Why does the watch have a different case height compared to the standard version?
“Compared to the standard version with a case height of 11.1 millimeters, the new model is 0.2 millimeters higher. The applied enamel results in a slightly thicker dial than the standard dial made of solid silver.”
What is so special about the patented stop-seconds mechanism and how does it interact with the ZERO-RESET function?
“While a stop-seconds mechanism is quite common in a modern wristwatch, it was for a long time not to be found in a tourbillon movement. The reason is that it was considered to be impossible to stop the oscillating balance wheel inside the rotating tourbillon cage. Lange overcame this problem with a stop lever featuring a hinged V-shaped braking spring. It reliably stops the balance wheel, even if one arm of the spring is resting against one of the three cage posts. By interacting with the added ZERO-RESET system, the tourbillon cage stops instantaneously and the seconds hand jumps to the zero position, much like in a chronograph. That makes it easy to synchronize the watch to the second.”