About the time this article is publishing, A. Lange & Söhne will be putting the final touches on their special celebration event in Dresden and Glashutte, Germany, for the 200th anniversary of the birth of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange. To commemorate, they are launching the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” watch. This is among the first (and probably not the last) limited edition timepieces produced in honor of that event, and it is quite lovely as a version of their basic 1815 watch in an 18k honey gold case.
It was back in 2010 that I originally discussed the then-new honey gold alloy exclusive to A. Lange & Söhne here. Since its debut, Lange has kept honey gold mostly reserved for its more exclusive models, and I personally find it to be a very appealing hue of gold. The color is closer to the yellow of standard 18k gold versus anything red or rose, but softer, as though it had platinum, or something else, to mellow the tone. Actually, the alloy contains gold, zinc, and manganese, and it happens to be stronger than standard gold from a scratch-resistance perspective. In your hands, you feel the warmth of the honey color, and that it is obviously gold… but also something different. In any event, I think that a lot of people will fall in love with honey gold as I have.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” watch is a wonderful example of a modern A. Lange & Söhne timepiece that, nevertheless, has a unique twist in being a limited edition – and at 40mm wide, this dress-style timepiece is also sized with modern tastes in mind. I am not the type of person to wear dress watches very often, but something like this feels, first and foremost, like a utilitarian item and then like something refined and decorated (which it most certainly is).
Matched to the honey gold case is a solid silver dial with printed Arabic numerals in that classic A. Lange & Söhne 1815 style with a subsidiary seconds hand. Even though the color of the silver and that of the honey gold hands isn’t terribly different, legibility is promoted because the dial has a matte texture, while the hands are softly polished (the key to not having them be overly reflective).
Inside the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” watch is an in-house-made A. Lange & Söhne caliber L051.1 manually wound movement produced from 188 parts and visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Produced from German Silver (which, when it patinas, will actually look similar to honey gold), the movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) and has a power reserve of 55 hours. The movement further makes use of gold chatons and blued-steel screws. Made with hand polishing and a hand-engraved balance cock, even though the L051.1 movement is among the more simple movements produced by A. Lange & Söhne, it gets the same decorative treatment and attention to detail as all the rest that they produce.
Attached to the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” watch is a matching brown alligator strap – making for a strikingly nice, yet conservative, fine German timepiece. Look out for more special A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” watches soon. The price for the reference 236.050 A. Lange & Söhne 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” is $33,900. alange-soehne.com