To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, A. Lange & Söhne has just released one of the most beautiful watches we've seen lately. The new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst ref. 730.048F is the first A. Lange & Söhne watch that combines a stop-seconds device for the tourbillon and the zero-reset mechanism. At the close of the anniversary year that commemorates the 200th birthday of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, this paragon of precision timekeeping is being presented in a limited 'Handwerkskunst' —artisanship— edition featuring extraordinary dial and movement decorations. Released in a 30-piece limited edition with an 18K rose gold case measuring 39.5 mm in diameter by 11.1 mm in thickness the new 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is the fifth watch to be released within the series of 'Handwerkskunst' watches.
The first time a 'Handwerkskunst' model was released by A.Lange & Söhne was in the year 2011 when the Richard Lange Tourbillon 'Pour le Mérite' Handwerkskunst in honey gold —limited edition of 15 pieces— made its apperance; then, in 2012 the Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst in platinum —limited edition of 30 pieces—, in 2013 the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst in platinum —limited edition of 15 watches— and lastly in 2014 the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst in platinum —limited edition of 20 watches.
'Handwerkskunst', the German word for artisanship, is an attribute of distinction that A. Lange & Söhne has been using since 2011 to identify special limited-edition watches whose dials and movements are endowed with rare finissage and engraving techniques. Yesterday, December 7th 2015, the eminent Saxon manufactory presented the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, a new model that not only stands out with exceptional decorative elements, but also unites two patented mechanisms. The zero-reset function launched in 1997 by A. Lange & Söhne is paired with the stop-seconds device for the tourbillon that was introduced in 2008. Together, these mechanisms make it possible to stop and set the timepiece with one-second accuracy. A. Lange & Söhne’s fifth 'handwerkskunst' edition is a precious homage to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the great Saxon watchmaking pioneer whose 200th birthday is being celebrated this year. The main difference versus the model presented in 2014 is the dial. It is made of black rhodiumed pink gold and decorated with elegant tremblage engraving. The engraver who uses this technique sculpts the material with a specially crafted lining burin to achieve a uniform, fine granular structure. The relief elements on the dial, including the prominent arced brand logo and the numerals, are later polished to a mirror gloss and contrast prominently against the dark background. An aperture in the dial reveals the large one-minute tourbillon. The tourbillon bridge and the upper part of the cage are black-polished: this is one of the most elaborate and time-consuming finissage techniques.
The movement powering the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst ref. 730.048Fcombines rare finishing techniques. Mechanical precision is reflected in every detail of the lavishly decorated L102.1 manufacture calibre that is composed of 262 parts, 21 jewels —one being a diamond endstone and five rubies in gold chatons— and lever escapement. The movement provides a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph.
The elegantly curved shape of the newly designed three-quarter plate is a special hallmark. Thanks to generous cut-outs, the tourbillon with the patented stop mechanism is easily visible from the movement side as well, as are the spring barrel and parts of the wheel train. The grained surface of the German silver plate is inspired by historic pocket watches. Bevel-polishing reentrant angles is a particular challenge. This task can only be performed manually with a sharp, specially designed tool. The fourth-wheel bridge is pierced to provide a better view of the tourbillon. Just like the plate and the case back, it is endowed with artistic engravings. The diamond endstone of the tourbillon vibrantly accentuates the movement decorations.
The watch is fitted with a hand-stitched reddish-brown alligator strap with deployant buckle in matching 18K rose gold.
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