The 1815 Chronograph by A. Lange & Söhne might just be the best definition of a chronograph, in its purest form. While the icon remains the Datograph Up/Down, it features several additional complications, such as the large date and the power reserve. The 1815 is as pure as you can imagine. Back in 2015, the German manufacture updated the model slightly, with the addition (or the comeback) of a pulsometer scale on the stunning boutique edition. It is this same edition that is today presented in a very Monochrome-style, with the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial.
For those of you who only have eyes for the iconic Datograph, we must inform you that the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph is not a poor’s man substitute. Far, very far from that. In fact, it combines many great elements. Of course, before the 2015 boutique edition, we could have argued a bit about a certain moroseness of the dial (the very first edition, launched in 2004, featured a pulsometer dial until a facelift removed it in 2010, ending in a rather pure / empty dial – depending on your point of view…) However, with the boutique edition, the model gained back some desirability with the relatively simple return of the pulsometer scale on the periphery, putting the model back on scene as a real contender.
In addition to this, compared to the Datograph, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph benefits from 1. a slimmer case – a reduction of 1.5mm, which is quite something on the wrist), due to the absence of the date and power reserve and a smaller diameter (39.5mm vs. 41mm) 2. the exact same base movement (and what a movement it is) 3. a much more accessible price, given that it is crafted in white gold and not platinum, and also a bit simpler on the mechanical side 4. a slender look, with its clean dial and monochromatic color scheme. Yet, the view from the back is the same as a Datograph, and that is quite a compliment. So to say, there was a lot to love about the 1815 Chronograph, however only for those who love white dials… until now, as the “entry-level” chronograph is now available with a black dial.
So, for 2017, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph receives a new visual treatment, composed of a 18k white gold case – still measuring a superbly balanced 39.5mm and a reasonable 11mm in height, which is very decent for a chronograph – combined with a fully black dial, with matching sub-counters. For the rest, we find back the exact same display and style as the 2015 boutique edition, with the pulsometer scale on the periphery, slightly raised, and in the center the usual small second and 30-minute counters, positioned slightly lower than the central axle. The indexes are still large Arabic numerals, stylized with the traditional Lange font, and the hands are all crafted in white gold – so to say, a very black-and-white attire.
Why does this black dial change it all? Well, to be honest, this choice of color aligns the watch with the rest of the chronographs from the brand, which are, for the most part, based on a black dial, with silvered accents. Without saying that it makes this watch a simpler Datograph, at least it gives the 1815 Chronograph a bit of the look of the icon and a slightly sportier, more casual style.
What doesn’t change – thankfully – on this new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial is the stunning movement found inside the case. As said, it is the same base calibre as the Datograph, meaning that since 2010 and the facelift of the watch, it also benefits from the longer power reserve of 60 hours (compared to 36 hours on the first edition). The back of this flyback, column-wheel chronograph is a feast for the eyes: deep, complex, superbly finished, exquisitely decorated… Certainly one of the most satisfying chronograph movements available on the market (and for a lower price than the competition – think Patek 5170 or Vacheron Harmony).
This new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Black Pulsometer Dial, unlike the white / blue dial version, won’t be a boutique exclusive, meaning that it will be available at any A. Lange & Söhne retailer, and for the same price, EUR 49,000. More details with the in-depth review we did about the watch and its movement here, as well as on www.alange-soehne.com.
Technical Specifications – A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Black dial
- Case: 18k white gold – Diameter: 39.5 millimeters; height: 11.0 millimeters – sapphire crystal on both sides – 30m water resistant
- Dial: all hands in rhodiumed white gold
- Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; flyback chronograph with precisely jumping minute counter; pulsometer scale
- Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L951.5; 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; 306 parts; 34 jewels (including 4 in screwed gold chatons); lever escapement; Shock-resistant balance wheel with eccentric poising weights; balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat-adjustment system with lateral set screw and whiplash spring; power reserve of 60 hours; Diameter: 30.6 millimeters; height: 6.1 millimeters;
- Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, white-gold prong buckle
- Reference: 414.028
- Price: € 49,000 Euro (incl. taxes)