The 1815 Tourbillon by A. Lange & Söhne is one of those watches that, at first, keeps its cards well hidden. Except for the tourbillon visible at 6 o’clock, it remains extremely discreet. However, when it was introduced four years ago, it appeared to be a watch packed with clever mechanisms. More than meets the eye, they say. This precision timekeeping instrument, which features several patented devices, is now offered in a new limited edition with a new dial that once again discreetly sets the tone. Meet the new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon with Enamel Dial.
It isn’t the first limited edition produced by A. Lange & Söhne to be based on the 1815 Tourbillon. Back in 2015, the Saxon brand introduced a “Handwerkskunst” version of this watch with tremblage dial and a superbly decorated movement. Much more flamboyant than the version that we’re presenting today. The 2018 limited edition is, in fact, visually all about discretion, but with beautiful materials – the true meaning of luxury, if you ask us. Before we move to this 1815 Tourbillon Enamel Dial in details, let’s take a closer look at the model itself.
Patented features of the 1815 Tourbillon
The 1815 Tourbillon was introduced back at the SIHH 2014. What appeared first as a simple mechanical evolution of the brand’s most classic watch – it could have just featured the addition of a tourbillon regulator – was, in fact, a much more technical creation. If visually the watch was only distinguished by its opening on the dial at 6 o’clock, it hid two very interesting patented devices, with a strong focus on precision – which is, after all, the main objective of a tourbillon watch.
Precision isn’t only about regulation here but about setting and adjusting the watch. The first of these devices is the Zero-Reset mechanism, first introduced in 1997 on the Langematik. This mechanism allows resetting the seconds hands to the zero position when pulling the crown – thus, allowing for an adjustment of the time to the closest second. The second device to be featured on this 1815 Tourbillon was the stop-seconds mechanism for the tourbillon – a device patented in 2007. Both were combined for the first time in a single watch in 2014 when ALS launched the 1815 Tourbillon.
In order to understand how these two devices work, please take a look at the video below.
The new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel Dial
This year, A. Lange & Söhne releases a new limited edition of the 1815 Tourbillon. This isn’t the first time that this watch is produced in a limited run, as we’ve seen with the “Handwerkskunst” model, as well as the platinum model reference 730.025 that is still advertised on ALS’ website (also a 100-piece production).
What’s new with the present model? Compared to the 730.025, it shares the same material, meaning that it is crafted in 950 platinum, sharing the same understated look. The case has the same finishes for its surfaces – mostly polished with a brushed caseband – and it measures the same diameter, at 39.5mm. What changes is the height of the case, that moves from 11.10mm to 11.30mm, in order to accommodate a slightly thicker dial than the standard dial made of solid silver.
The 1815 Tourbillon Reference 730.079F features a new dial made of white enamel. The applied material requires a tad more space. Such dials are complex to produce. Enamel is capricious and can’t be hurried. The process takes several days, during which the various steps have to be repeated over and over again. The inclusion of even the smallest particle of dust or dirt would mar the flawless surface and the dial would need to be produced again from scratch.
Compared to the solid silver version, apart from the obvious white colour and glossy surface, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel Dial also shows a few differences, such as the flat dial – not stepped any more – and a red 12 index – a nod to ancient pocket watches of the brand. On this model, the hands are blued steel. The one-minute tourbillon, suspended beneath a black polished bridge with superb decoration, is visible through a cut in the dial at 6 o’clock.
The movement is visible through the sapphire caseback. Apart from the technical points explained at the beginning of this article, this Calibre L102.1 is also superbly decorated with all the usual Lange features: jewels in screwed gold chatons, thin stripes on the bridges, polished bevelled angles, hand-engraved cock bridge and even a diamond endstone for the tourbillon’s axis. This hand-wound movement ticks at 21,600vph and can store up to 72 hours of energy.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel Dial is delivered on a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a deployment buckle in platinum. It will be produced in 100 pieces, individually numbered on the caseback. Price is EUR 198,000. More details on www.alange-soehne.com.