The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar, presented in January 2013 at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) for the first time, was and is a remarkable timekeeping instrument. It was the ideal starting point for a limited 20-watch "Handwerkskunst" (= craftsmanship) edition. It is the sixth A. Lange & Söhne model with the "Handwerkskunst" attribute that stands for the particularly artistic decoration of the movement, dial and case.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst confronted the finishers, engravers and enamel artists in Glashütte / Saxony / Germany with an exciting challenge: to raise the decorative opulence for which the manufactory is known to the next level with rare and in some cases revived techniques as well as innovative ideas.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst is limited to 20 pieces and will be sold for 290.000 Euro including 19 % VAT each.
Craftsmanship at its best
This is the first A. Lange & Söhne model to combine enamel art and engraving on its dial. Solid white gold is the substrate for the deep-blue enamel beneath which the sculpted contours of the relief-engraved stars appear to be a visual extension of the moon-phase display. The Arabic numerals are flush with the enamel and harmonise perfectly with the rhodiumed white-gold hands of the time and calendar indications as well as of the power-reserve indicator.
The colour of the enamel is echoed by the lunar disc as well as the blued-steel minute-counter hand. These elements contrast exquisitely with the four recessed subsidiary dials in argenté-coloured white gold. The chronograph hand offers an especially distinctive colour accent: it is crafted from gold-plated steel. The dial is framed by an argenté-coloured flange ring with a traditional railway-track minute scale.
The moon theme recurs on the hinged cuvette that protects the sapphire-crystal caseback. It depicts the goddess Luna, the ancient mythological personification of the moon, executed in relief and tremblage engraving. The medallion shows her with her characteristic attributes: a billowing veil, a crescent moon diadem and a torch with which she lights up the darkness. The medallion is surrounded by a raised star and cloud relief in blue enamel.
A. Lange & Söhne calibre L101.1
Artistic movement decorations reflect the technically ambitious multiple-complication timepiece. The German-silver train bridge is finished with a granular texture often found in the movements of historic pocket watches. Relief and tremblage engravings on the operating-lever, cover and chronograph bridges as well as on the rattrapante and balance cocks reflect the stellar motif of the dial. In all other respects, the finissage of the 631-part manufacture A. Lange & Söhne calibre L101.1 complies with the strictest Lange standards.
Split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar
The split-seconds chronograph allows the measurement of lap times and consecutive times. It is controlled by two column wheels – one for the chronograph and one for the readily visible rattrapante mechanism which is activated by a pusher at 10 o'clock.
The perpetual calendar mechanism correctly displays the individual durations of each month in the course of a calendar year, including all leap years until 2100.
Integrated in the subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o'clock, the moon-phase display is calibrated to remain accurate for 122.6 years. The manually wound movement has a maximum power reserve of 42 hours. A power-reserve indicator reminds the owner when it is time to rewind the watch.
The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst comes in a 41.9 millimetre white-gold case with an edition engraving. It is worn on a blue-grey alligator leather strap secured with a white-gold deployant buckle.