Today we’ll have another review of a supremely elegant and refined watch by German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne. And it is a rather special model that we have here, a highly understated watch, which is somehow the essential Lange. While we have already video reviewed the most complex watch introduced for the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte, the impressive Tourbograph Perpetual, it is time now to look at this deceptively simple two-hand watch, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Thin Honeygold. And if it looks minimalistic, it hides many surprises, as you’ll see in the video on top of this article.
This 1815 Thin is part of the trilogy of timepieces released to celebrate the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte. Indeed, in 1845, Ferdinand Adolph Lange inaugurated a manufacture in the town of Glashütte, which will become the centre of precision watchmaking in Germany (insert images pocket watch and old manufacture). This was a true entrepreneurial project that will give birth to countless other brands, and of course to A. Lange & Söhne.
To celebrate the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte, the brand released 3 watches, including the impressive Tourbograph Perpetual that we’ve already video reviewed, and the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the simple, yet superbly finished 1815 Thin in Honeygold that we’ll discover today. But simple isn’t a bad thing, specifically at Lange, where making something simple can be complex.
The 1815 is a collection that pays tribute to the founder of the brand, and represents the essence of a Lange watch. It is recognizable to its very clean lines and dial that echoes old precision pocket watches, with refined Arabic numerals and a peripheral railway-track minute scale. But if this limited edition looks familiar, it actually is a brand new model, different from the other time-only watches that featured another in-house movement and a small seconds.
The case of this new 1815 Thin is, as you can expect with its name, very slender. With a diameter of 38mm and a height of just 6.3mm, making it the slimmest watch in the 1815 collection. These lean proportions also make this 1815 Thin Honeygold the dressiest of dress watches, with a very restrained and classic look. The other important thing with this watch is its material. Named Honeygold, this special 18-carat alloy has a pale and very subtle colour and is harder than other gold alloys and platinum. It is reserved for Lange’s most exclusive timepieces. In the metal, the tone of the case is simply splendid and has a very discreet yet luxurious touch.
To remind watches from the past, the 1815 Thin is fitted with a dial crafted from enamel. With its glossy surface and its milky-white colour, it works beautifully with the subtle colour of the case. It also provides a high level of contrast to the dark-grey printed Arabic numerals and minutes scale. The central part of the enamel dial is slightly recessed, adding depth to the dial. Matching the case material, the hour and minute hands are made of Honeygold. Altogether, a very clean but very refined dial.
Inside the case is the calibre L093.1, Lange’s ultra-thin hand-wound movement, first developed for the Saxonia Thin watch. It is used for the first time in the 1815 collection. The calibre has a height of just 2.9mm, it beats at a 3-hertz frequency and it can store up to 72 hours of power. It also has a very appealing decoration, specific to the 175th anniversary collection. For instance, the traditional stripes on the German silver bridges have been replaced by a matte, grained surface that was used on historic Lange pocket watches. There’s also a new floral pattern engraved by hand on the balance cock. And of course, all the parts are beautifully finished, as always with Lange watches.
The 1815 Thin Honeygold is worn on a hand-stitched dark brown alligator strap with a buckle in 18-carat Honeygold. It is a limited edition of 175 watches and it retails for EUR 33,000.
For more details, please consult the video review on top of this article and www.alange-soehne.com.