1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst: Blue brilliance as a tribute to artistic craftsmanship
With an exclusive Handwerkskunst edition, A. Lange & Söhne demonstrates how artisanal virtuosity becomes truly grand art. The dial and the hinged cuvette of the new 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst consist of blue enamelled white gold with elaborate relief engravings. Ennobled with special decorative techniques, the movement stands out with the rare and fascinating combination of a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar with a moon-phase display.
In its launch year, the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar attracted considerable attention in two respects: in January 2013 at the Geneva Salon, it was enthusiastically received by the horological community as a technically and aesthetically convincing union of classic complications that rank among the most sophisticated mechanical ensembles in precision watchmaking. At the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in that same year, the watch was not only the winner in the Grand Complications category but also won the Public’s Choice Award.
This timekeeping instrument was the ideal starting point for a limited 20-watch Handwerkskunstedition. It is the sixth A. Lange & Söhne model with this attribute that stands for the particularly artistic decoration ofthe movement, dial and case. The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst confronted the finishers, engravers and enamel artists 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. This is the first 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 reliefengraved 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 whitegold 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 minutecounter 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 goddess Luna
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. 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 calibre L101.1 complies with the strictest Lange standards.
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.
1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst Ref. 421.048FE • Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L101.1, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; train bridge with granular surface; operating-lever, cover and chronograph bridges as well as rattrapante and balance cocks engraved by hand with tremblage technique • Movement parts: 631 • Jewels: 43 • Screwed gold chatons: 4 • Escapement: Lever escapement • Oscillation system: Shock-resistant screw balance, balance spring manufactured inhouse with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour; precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring • Power reserve: 42 hours when fully wound • Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds; splitseconds chronograph with minute counter; perpetual calendar with date, day of week, month, moon phase and leap year; powerreserve indicator • Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; two chronograph buttons, one button to operate the rattrapante mechanism; separate correctors for adjusting the date, day, month and moon phase • Case diameter: 41.9 millimetres; case height: 15.8 millimetres • Movement diameter: 32.6 millimetres; movement height: 9.1 millimetres • Glass and caseback Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9) • Case: White gold; hinged cuvette in blue enamelled white gold with relief and tremblage engraving • Dial: Six-part, blue enamelled white gold with relief engraving; argenté-coloured flange ring with railway-track minute scale Hands Rhodiumed gold; chronograph hand: gold-plated steel; rattrapante hand: rhodiumed steel, minute-counter hand: blued steel • Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather, blue-grey with grey seam • Buckle: Lange deployant buckle in white gold • Limited edition: 20 watches