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The Battle of High-End Annual Calendars Part 1 – A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar

The Battle of High-End Annual Calendars Part 1 – A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar


The 1815 Annual Calendar is the second complication of this sort in A. Lange & Söhne ‘s current line-up. Following the launch of the Saxonia Annual Calendar in 2010 with an automatic development and outsized date window, Lange came out with the 1815 manual-winding/analog date Annual Calendar at the start of 2017. Two years may have passed, however there’s no becoming weary of this classic beauty. Released in pink and white gold, we had the more understated white gold model for our hands-on session. 

Editor’s note: this survey of the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar is part of a progression of three articles where we will compare two of the best high-end, hand-wound Annual Calendar watches right now on the market. Two watches with the same idea, however two distinct flavors. The third article, which will be distributed after our two separate reviews, will pit them side-by-side.

Evoking the author, attracting another customer base

You won’t discover any of the features we so often associate with Lange watches – off-focused dials and the outsize date window – on this particular model or for that matter in the 1815 family. For that, there is the Saxonia Annual Calendar . The 1815 Annual Calendar embraces an alternate, more classic esthetic with regards to the plan ethos of the 1815 watch family. Presented in 1996 as an accolade for the year Ferdinand Adolph Lange was conceived, the plan of the 1815 assortment summons details of F.A. Lange’s exactness pocket watches and can be recognized from the other four Lange families by the characteristic railway track minute scale, the Arabic numerals and, as a rule, the blued hands.

Ranging from straightforward time-just models to rattrappante chronographs , from perpetual calendars and tourbillons to the superlatively complex Grand Complication , there was room in the 1815 assortment for a mid-range complication like an annual calendar. Promoted as the “entry-level complication watch” of the brand, the 1815 Annual Calendar retails for EUR 38,300 – that’s EUR 7,600 not exactly the automatic Saxonia Annual Calendar in white gold. Not a bargain in any way shape or form, yet this is Lange after all and is certainly a sticker price that may appeal to someone on the chase for his/her first high-end watch with a satisfying sprinkling of complications and high-wearability factor.

A traditional case with a pragmatic pusher

The case measures 40mm in diameter and has that reassuring weight that solitary a gold watch can offer. I can understand why so many watch fans are entranced by ultra-slight, ultra-light watches, however I like to feel the presence of my watch on my wrist. I also understand that 40mm may not exactly cut it with idealists, yet the short carries and relatively dainty waistline of 10.1mm attenuate the diameter. For my wrist, 40mm may be pushing it sizewise, yet I was astonished by how comfortable the watch wears. And as you can see, the watch looks consummately proportioned on Frank’s 18.5cm wrist (on the photos).

The completes, as with all Lange watches, are impeccable with cleaned surfaces (bezel and top of carries) and a contrasting brushed caseband. And then there is the understated appeal of white gold and that special brilliance that lone this metal can conjure.

Given the Saxon penchant for practicality, adjusting the capacities is dead straightforward. The rectangular pusher at 2 o’clock allows you to advance all the indications simultaneously, a helpful gadget in the event that you have neglected to wind the watch. You can also advance the date separately utilizing a recessed push-piece, the first run through this alternative has at any point been available in a Lange calendar model, while three additional recessed push pieces also allow for the separate rectifications of the day, month and moon phase, respectively.

Circles inside circles

The layout of the components on the silvered dial shapes an inconspicuous pattern of circles inside circles. Everything is the place where it ought to be and everything is legible… And there is a great deal of composing on this dial! The railway track minute scale, a common denominator of the 1815 family, gives a visual extension to F.A. Lange’s accuracy pocket watches, hot commodities in the early days of rail travel for stationmasters and travelers alike.

Above each hour numeral is a small black speck and the size of the “track” lodging the dab is extended to accommodate the tallness of the numeral. In the event that you take a gander at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, you’ll see a small high pitch shaped plan composed of three little specks and a small stick. Perusing the A. Lange & Söhne The Watchmakers of Dresden book, I recognized some early 20th-century J. Assmann pocket watches with this same plan feature, as well as several Lange pocket watches with complications like the handsome gold tracker with quarter repeater (no.60104) of 1908. I wager there is even a technical word for these minuscule high pitches, does anybody out there understand what that term may be?

The large Arabic numerals are an immediate throwback to take watch dials. They are so polished and full, you may speculate that the paint is as yet wet! I love the artisanal rendition of these printed numerals and the way they stand out against the matte silvered dial. And, as much as I love the numerals, I have to admit that there is one small plan decision that bugs me: the way the numbers 3, 6 and 9 have been truncated by the sub-dials.

Annual Calendar

An annual calendar is perhaps the most practical calendar complications with day, date and month capacities. Not exactly as sophisticated as a perpetual calendar and usually easier on the pocket, an annual calendar requires only one adjustment a year; the mechanism of this model treats February as a 30-day month requiring one manual amendment on 1 March. Although the annual calendar is a relatively ongoing newcomer on the complication scene (created by Patek in 1996), the layout of the 1815 Lange is traditional to the core.

A unobtrusive recessed circle in the focal point of the dial has the two calendar sub-dials and the running seconds with moon-phase indicator at 6 o’clock. The two calendar counters are aligned horizontally on a central axis – on the left, days and date (analog), on the right, months. All the engravings on the dial are black, save for the primary day of the month signaled in red. What is also visually arresting is the way the three sub-dials push out past the limits of the central area invading the hour markers. They are, after all the protagonists and are comfortably seated allowing a liberal perspective on the snailing in their insides. Like the central area, they are also recessed adding profundity and interest to the dial.

Echoing the railway minute track, the small seconds counter also features a black railway seconds track. In it its inside, the moon transits through its various phases against a blue star-spangled sky with traces of the Milky Way. The exactness of the waxing and waning of our celestial neighbor is great and will remain accurate for 122.6 years. The hands of the sub-dials are made from white gold and plated with rhodium, while the central hour and moment hands are blued steel in the exact same tone as the sky of the moon-phase indicator. The attention to detail is exceptional and to give as clear a view as conceivable on the night sky, the stabilizer of the small seconds hand is openworked.

Manual-winding caliber L051.3

The incorporation of a manual-winding development was the brand’s way of regarding F.A. Lange’s crown winder, patented in the USA in 1866 and intended to replace key-operated winding works. In any case, on the off chance that you consider the helpfulness and practicality of an annual calendar, the decision of a manual-twisting development over an automatic is somewhat peculiar, almost anachronistic with regards to the traditional fundamentals of the 1815 family. In fact, on the off chance that you glance around, most annual calendar watches are automatic so that makes this Lange model considerably more special.

The hallmark German silver three-quarter plate with Glashütte stripes dominates a large portion of the landscape on the caseback complete with the signature hand-engraved balance cockerel and the bits of shading furnished by the screwed gold chatons with rubies and blued screws. What is unusual here is that the ratchet and crown wheels have been integrated into the upper portion of the 3/4 plate and are on full view. Caliber L051.3, based on L051.1 development of the three-hand 1815 model, is fitted with a ultra-meager 1.4mm high annual calendar module. With a stature of simply 5.7mm, the development gives a force save of 72 hours, all that anyone could need to get you through the weekend.

Price and Availability

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar comes on a black hand-sewed alligator strap with a white gold pin clasp. The watch is at present under creation and subsequently available at Lange shops and retailers. The retail cost is EUR 38,300 (incl. taxes). More on .

Tomorrow we’ll be investigating another annual calendar with a totally different temperament and then, we’ll simulate a battle between the two models and articulate our decision on the champ. Stay tuned.