A. Lange & Söhne: Ultimate Time Machine

by Susanah Cheok

Handsome, sophisticated, highly complex, and perpetually well-timed – the new limited edition 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is the One.

A Lange & Sohne’s new 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar has been hailed both “rare and ambitious” because of its unique combination of a split-second chronograph (aka rattrapante), with a perpetual calendar. While its overall look is classic, its new guise in an 18-carat white- gold case, pink-gold dial, and subtle croco-leather strap, makes it ultra-sophisticated.

Unsurpassed Engineering

The Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is a horological achievement that is poised to go down in watch history. Conventional chronograph functions aside, this cutting-edge complication is capable of measuring intermediate times and comparative times, as well as determining minimum and maximum values in the course of one minute. In other words, it can measure not just seconds, but fractions of seconds precisely.

Since the balance wheel of the manufacture calibre L101.1 beats with six semi-oscillations per second, the stopped times can be recorded with an accuracy of one sixth of a second. High-precision readings are assured, thanks to the additional graduation on the peripheral minute scale. That’s how accurate this time machine is. 

With three classic complications, the manufacture calibre L101.1 is one of our most complex. Each one in itself already constitutes a technical feat. When combined, they represent a far greater challenge for our designers and our watchmakers in equal measure, since the tweaking and tuning process of all mechanisms requires an exceptionally high degree of dexterity and technical expertise,

Anthony de Haas, Director of Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne.

As is typical for A. Lange & Söhne, technical intricacy is coupled with a high degree of artisanship. The beauty and poetry of it is that the precisely orchestrated proceedings within the movement can be observed through the sapphire-crystal case-back.

Eternal Calendar

While the rattrapante chronograph is capable of measuring different time intervals to a fraction of a second, the marvellous technical feat of the perpetual calendar lies in its “long-term memory”. The complex and prescient mechanism ensures that the date, day of the week and month are correctly displayed ‒ every single day, through decades, even leap years. The high-precision moon-phase display so closely emulates the duration of the synodic orbit of the earth’s satellite that it would take 122.6 years for the display to be off by one day. So, not until 1 March 2100 do the calendar indications need to be corrected, and only by a day.

Harmonious Aesthetics

The Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar’s design also makes perfect sense for the wearer. Its technical displays are well-placed on its rosy 18-carat gold dial, which contrasts stylishly with the cool white-gold case. Its other distinctive design features include a traditional railway-track minute scale, Arabic numerals and the concordant arrangement of the four subsidiary dials, all of which make its dial aesthetic an impeccable embodiment of the essence of the watch family, 1815, named for the birth year of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, watch-maker and founder of the Glashütte watch industry. The manifold displays of the perpetual calendar and the rattrapante chronograph, with its subtle old-world charm and vintage charisma, also reaffirm the timeless appearance of the Lange pocket watches of yore.

Three Precious Combinations

Fans of the standout model will be pleased to know that the dimensions of the new 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar remain: with a case diameter of 41.9 millimetres and a height of 14.7 millimetres. Besides the new 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar in white gold with a pink-gold dial that’s limited to 100 pieces, the timepiece also comes in a platinum/silver and pink-gold/silver case/dial combination.

Images courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

A. Lange & Söhne: Splitting Time

A. Lange & Söhne: Zeitwerk Powers Up

A. Lange & Söhne: The Odysseus Continues

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