On an icy winter’s day, 175 years ago, 30-year-old entrepreneur Ferdinand Adolph Lange laid the cornerstone of his pocket watch workshop in the small town of Glashütte, Saxony. To celebrate this milestone in Lange’s watchmaking saga, A. Lange & Söhne presents the 1815 Thin Honeygold “Homage to F.A. Lange”. A straightforward two-hand watch in a limited edition of 175 pieces, the case is made from Lange’s exclusive Honeygold alloy and comes with a glossy white enamel dial and special finishes on the movement.
Because of the importance the brand has invested in this anniversary, there will be a trilogy of special timepieces bearing the “Homage to F.A. Lange” appellation: the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold, the Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold and this 1815 Thin Honeygold. All three models hail from the 1815 family, a collection of watches that celebrate the birth year of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
7 December 1845
When Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded his pocket watch workshop on 7 December 1845 in Glashütte, he also laid the foundations of Germany’s venerable precision watchmaking industry. His entrepreneurial project of bringing an unheard-of industry to an impoverished region close to Dresden was a gamble. The mountains of Glashütte, once a source of iron ore, were depleted and unemployment was rampant. With no trained watchmakers, F.A. Lange’s gamble paid off thanks to his incorporation of novel production techniques, new precision measuring instruments and his obsession with consistent high quality. Instead of entrusting one pocket watch to one watchmaker, he got his employees to specialise in different processes (division of labour) creating a veritable production line.
1815 family traits
This homage version is, in fact, the simplest, most straightforward member of the 1815 family. Unlike the existing 1815 time-only model in the family, this 1815 Thin Honeygold watch dispenses with the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock and exalts the bare essentials. Pristine and legible, two qualities the founder would have admired, the latest 1815 comes with a glossy white enamel dial. Other hallmark features of the 1815 family are the railway-track minutes scale and the large dark-grey printed Arabic numerals, design features that hark back to the founder’s elegant pocket watches.
With a diameter of 38mm and a case height of just 6.3mm, this homage version boasts the slimmest case height of all current 1815 watches in the collection. Another differentiating factor is the use of Honeygold, a top-secret 18k gold alloy developed for Lange in 2010 with a unique colour comparable to that of honey. Harder than other gold alloys and platinum, and therefore much harder to shape and finish, Honeygold is reserved for Lange’s most exclusive timepieces.
Ultra-thin movement L093.1
Calibre L093.1 is Lange’s ultra-thin manual-winding movement with a height of just 2.9mm and used for Saxonia Thin models, the flattest watches in ALS’s repertoire to date. With 167 movement parts, 21 rubies, 3 gold chatons with blued screws and a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, the movement can store up to 72 hours of power.
Manually assembled (twice) and decorated with traditional artisanal techniques, the German silver three-quarter plate is not decorated with the hallmark Glashütte ribbing but displays a granular surface texture like that found on some of Lange’s historic pocket watches. The crown and ratchet wheels are integrated into the train bridge and decorated with circular graining. Naturally, the freehand floral engraving on the balance cock, a feature of all Lange manufacture movements, is present.
Availability & Price
The 1815 Thin Honeygold “Homage to F.A. Lange” comes with a hand-stitched dark brown leather strap and a prong buckled in 18k Honeygold. It is a limited edition of 175 watches and will retail for EUR 33,000 – a rather steep price explained by the limitation, the enamel dial and the Honeygold case.
For more information, please visit alange-soehne.com.