The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is a watch that turns 10 years old this year, and the Glashütte-based manufacture is celebrating with a new version in 18k white gold with a pink-gold dial. There are two other versions (no images for those yet) that feature a platinum argenté and pink gold-argenté case-dial combination.

The 1815 does away with the Lange 1’s cunning triangular dial layout in favor of a rather more conventional style, nicely complementing that Lange staple. Having a clean dial to start with is essential if one is to lay upon it all the indications of a perpetual calendar as well as those of a split-seconds (or rattrapante) chronograph. The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar watch indicates the time in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds, the elapsed time in up to two intervals with a split-second chronograph that relies on two center-mounted hands that can be split or merged at the press of a button, as well as the date, day of the week, month, moon phase, leap year, and remaining power reserve. What’s quite special is that despite the familiar four-subdial layout, the perpetual calendar’s displays, save for the moonphase, take up only two of them, those at 3 and 9 o’clock. It is rare for indications like the date and day or leap year and month to be presented using co-axial hands.

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All this is performed by the Lange maufacture caliber L101.1 — it’s fun to see how a number that is commonly used for the absolute most basic things, i.e., “101,” can be applied to a 631-part movement that carries some of the more challenging complications in mechanical watchmaking. The L101.1 incorporates four screwed gold chatons, 43 jewels, and a “superior quality balance spring produced in-house.” The bridges, naturally for an A. Lange & Söhne watch, are crafted from untreated German silver, a delicate material that poses its own challenges during manufacturing and servicing — touching it with bare skin can stain or damage the material. Over time, German silver develops a golden patina that protects its surface.

Excessive care and caution are required twice over, as the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar, like every A. Lange & Söhne watch movement, is assembled not once, but twice. The brand calls this “twofold assembly.” The movement is first assembled to test that everything fits, meshes, and functions properly. Once confirmed, it is disassembled for various parts to receive their final finish — surface decorations that could in high probability get damaged during the adjusting-testing phase — and reassembled once again, this time not with so-called jig screws but brand new, thermally blued screws. Up to some 50 oil sinks may need to be lubricated using up to eight different greases and oils.

Fans of A. Lange & Söhne tend to agree that Lange movements, more than anything from its competitors, resemble little mechanical cities. Although it is, naturally, just an arrangement of wheels, bridges, plates, and cams, when seen in person, one does feel like jumping on a microscopic helicopter and going on a sightseeing tour between the many different layers of the movement. The official images, however gorgeous, don’t do this effect justice, so checking out a Lange at an AD or used watch dealer at your location is strongly advised.

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Being near the top as far as highly complicated Lange watches are concerned, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar watch you can expect to be priced over $200,000, but the exact amount the brand wants not to disclose. It is limited to 100 individually numbered pieces. You can learn more at the brand’s website.

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