A. Lange & Söhne today honors company founder Walter Lange, who passed away this past January, with an 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” that features a jumping seconds hand, a complication initially devised 150 years ago by Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The complication is said to have been a favorite of Walter Lange’s, who said it “embodies the puristic notion of precision watchmaking,” according to the Glashütte-based watchmaker.
A. Lange & Söhne will make the 40.5mm watch in yellow gold, white gold and pink gold, with one single steel model made to auction off in 2018 for charity.
As one of Germany’s first patents in 1877, F.A. Lange’s “one-second movement with a jumping hand” was implemented for the first time in a watch created by his second son, Emil, who was Walter Lange’s grandfather. The company went on to create more than 300 pocket watches with this function, all endowed with a separate seconds subdial.
The seconds subdial on the new watch features a small hand that ticks as expected from a movement delivering a frequency of 21,600 bph, (moving six small steps from second to second). But the longer blued seconds hand performs the precise jumps from second to second that characterize the watch’s ‘jump second’ complication. The hand can be allowed to run continuously or can be stopped if desired by activating the pusher at 2 o’clock, which starts and stops it.
A. Lange & Söhne will place a black enamel dial only on the one-off steel piece, while all the gold models feature a silvered dial, each with traditional railway-track minute scale. The newly developed movement has a special caliber designation: L1924, which refers to Walter Lange’s birth year. Additionally, the first three digits of the reference number 297.078 recall his date of birth, July 29th.
A. Lange & Söhne will make the 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” in three editions: 145 watches in white gold, 90 in pink gold and 27 in yellow gold. Apropos of the significance of this tribute watch, A. Lange & Söhne and imbued these numbers with extra significance: From December 7, 1845, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange originally established the company, exactly 145 years elapsed until December 7, 1990, when Walter Lange registered Lange Uhren GmbH. In addition, 27 years will have passed between this date and today, December 7, 2017, when this new model is being unveiled. All three gold models will be priced at 47,000 Euros, or about $55,400.
Specifications: A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’
Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L1924; manually wound, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand, Shock-resistant screw balance, balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, 60-hour power reserve
Case: 40.5mm X 10.7mm pink, white or yellow gold; unique piece in steel
Dial: Solid silver, or black enamel (steel version)
Functions: Time in hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; jumping sweep seconds with start/stop function, crown for winding the watch and setting the time; button for starting and stopping the jumping seconds
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather, middle brown with gold buckle to match case.