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The 1815 Chronograph

Lange and Söhne makes a stunning new addition to its 1815 collection for 2017, with the 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial — the first time the watchmaker has ever offered a black dial and white gold case combination in this line. 

In the world of high-end watchmaking few come close to the craftsmanship and mechanical expertise of A. Lange and Söhne. For 2017, this Glashütte-based Manufacture has updated its 1815 line with the 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial (ref. 414.028) in a white gold case. Paying tribute to the year in which the company’s founder, Ferdinand A. Lange, was born, this iteration of a series originally introduced in 2004 maintains the refined and classic look devotees have come to associate with the brand.

Comparable in design to A. Lange and Söhne’s Datograph, but with several modifications, this 1815 Chronograph will be welcomed by those in search of a monochromatic watch with darker dial. Plus, at 39.5mm in diameter (down from 41mm) and just 11mm thick, this timepiece offers a smaller case than the Datograph, which translates into a slightly more understated look on the wrist. Indeed, with its polished bezel, discreet lugs, sapphire crystal on both sides, and a simple fluted crown at 3 o’clock between rectangular pushers, this watch epitomises refined style.

The watch’s dial is made up of a single piece of solid silver in a luxurious black. This is the first time that the 1815 Chronograph is being made available with this colour combination, as it has previously been reserved for the Datograph collection. Featuring sizeable Arabic numerals painted on in a contrasting white, A. Lange and Söhne’s design for this timepiece is all about understated taste. Central to the dial are elegantly crafted, rhodium-plated white gold hour and minute hands, as well as an ultra-thin and extra long hand that sweeps across the watch face and points to the circumference-hugging pulsometer scale. Used to track a heartbeat, this function is an interesting alternative to the more commonplace tachymeter scale. Sub-dials at 9 o’clock and at 3 o’clock also draw the wearer’s attention, with the former running seconds and the latter operating as a 30-minute counter.

In keeping with the parallels to the Datograph, A. Lange and Söhne has used the same movement across both collections, however, in the 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial, the date and power reserve complications have been removed. A manually wound movement with a column wheel flyback chronograph boasting a precise jumping minute counter, the Manufacture Calibre L951.5 is entirely decorated and assembled by hand. Comprised of an impressive 306 parts with 34 jewels — including 4 held in place with the traditional method of gold chaton encasements — in addition to plates and bridges made of untreated German silver and a hand-engraved balance cock, this movement is magnificent to behold. And under a sapphire crystal caseback, it’s clear that the German Manufacture intended for the calibre to be admired first hand. Plus, with a shock-resistant balance wheel and in-house manufactured balance spring offering a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, this instrument provides a practical power reserve of 60 hours.

Paired with a sumptuous hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with large square scales and a white gold prong buckle, the 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial is the perfect partner for any formal occasion. Exclusive to Watches of Switzerland in Australia and priced at $65,800AUD this watch offers an accessible alternative to A. Lange and Söhne’s Datograph and is particularly competitive when considering the complications it offers, especially in comparison to similar pieces on the market. Haute horology collectors would do well to pay attention to this high-end watchmaker, and for those who are entirely new to A. Lange and Söhne, this could be a great first purchase.

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