At the Concours of Elegance 2022, A. Lange & Söhne recently presented a one-of-a-kind version of the 1815 CHRONOGRAPH that will be auctioned off in Geneva by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo on 6 November. The proceeds of the unique timepiece, featuring a solid-silver dial and a hand-engraved hinged cuvette, will go to The Prince’s Trust, a youth charity set up by HRH The Prince of Wales. A. Lange & Söhne has been a partner of the Concours of Elegance since 2018. This year, it took place from 2 to 4 September in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace on the outskirts of London. The high-calibre beauty pageant is a venue not only for rare automobiles but also for the exclusive mechanical timepieces crafted by A. Lange & Söhne.
For the Glashütte manufactory, the Concours of Elegance provides the ideal backdrop for introducing a very special watch: the unique version of the 1815 CHRONOGRAPH with a hinged cuvette. This exclusive timepiece will be auctioned off on 6 November 2022 at the Geneva Watch Auction XVI for the benefit of The Prince’s Trust. The charitable organisation was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976 and supports young people aged 11 to 30 to develop essential life skills, get ready for work, and access job opportunities.
An exclusive combination
Since it was introduced in 2004, the 1815 CHRONOGRAPH has stood for the alliance between classic design and progressive technology. Thus, the dial with Arabic numerals, the railway- track minute scale, and the slightly shifted subsidiary dials are reminiscent of the of A. Lange & Söhne’s historic pocket watches.
Crafted explicitly for this year’s Concours of Elegance, the 1815 CHRONOGRAPH “Hampton Court Edition” stands out with a unique combination of features: For the first time, a white-gold case meets a black dial with sandstone-coloured numerals and scales. The tachometer scale on the peripheral – which enables the calculation of average speeds – emphasises the historic connection between motor sport and time measurement.
The rhodié-coloured subsidiary dials for the small seconds and the minute counter contrast well with the black dial. Good legibility is also assured by the rhodiumed case-matched gold hands for the hours and minutes as well as by the rhodiumed steel hands for the chrono seconds, the subsidiary seconds, and the minute counter. The elegance of the concept is accentuated with a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap that is secured with a prong buckle in solid white gold.
The beauty of precision
The selection of one of the most beautiful flyback chronographs for the “Concours Edition” also builds a bridge between motor sport and time measurement. The hinged cuvette, hand- engraved with the logo of the Concours of Elegance, conceals the Lange calibre L951.5 design is fully focused on optimised legibility. With artisanal perfection and refined details, its movement launched in 2010. It is assembled twice and features a column-wheel control, a precisely jumping minute counter, and a flyback function. The manually wound calibre has a power reserve of 60 hours. A large cam-poised balance wheel driven by a freely oscillating hairspring crafted in-house assures excellent rate accuracy. With its frequency of 18,000 semi- oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz), the watch displays stopped times to an accuracy of one-fifth of a second.
The sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the lavishly hand-finished chronograph mechanism. A subtly composed choice of different materials and surface decorations emphasises the three- dimensionality of the open movement architecture. This highlights the details of the complex switching processes as well as the artistically hand-engraved balance cock with Lange’s iconic whiplash spring. Thanks to its floral motif, this small but magnificently decorated part of the movement makes every Lange timepiece recognisable – the engraver’s personal signature also makes the 1815 CHRONOGRAPH a unique piece.
About A. Lange & Söhne
Dresden watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry when he established his manufactory in 1845. His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted among collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated after the Second World War, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly vanished. But in 1990, Walter Lange, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson, ventured to start over again. Today, Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches, mainly in gold or platinum, per year. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and twice assembled by hand. With 69 manufacture calibres developed since 1990,
A. Lange & Söhne has secured a top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands. Its greatest successes include brand icons such as the LANGE 1, the first regularly produced wristwatch with an outsize date, and the ZEITWERK, with its precisely jumping numerals. Extraordinary complications such as the ZEITWERK MINUTE REPEATER, the TRIPLE SPLIT and the so far most complicated model, the GRAND COMPLICATION, introduced in 2013 in a limited edition of six, represent what the manufactory always strives for: to drive the traditional art of watchmaking to ever-new heights. The sporty yet elegant ODYSSEUS, introduced in 2019, marked the start of a new chapter for A. Lange & Söhne.