With a reputation as Europe’s most prestigious and beautiful concours event, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este attracts some of the most valuable and historic collector cars from all corners of the world to the shores of Italy’s scenic Lake Como every year. German brand A. Lange & Söhne has been an official partner of the event since 2012 and presents the Best of Show winner of each year’s event with a one-of-a-kind commemorative timepiece. The 2021 event (currently scheduled for October 1, 2021 to October 3, 2021) marks the first year since the beginning of this partnership that the brand is moving away from the Lange 1 Time Zone series for its award watch in favor of the 1815 Chronograph line, creating a refined new concept with a warmly classical colorway. The new pièce unique A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition is an elegantly luxurious take on the brand’s classical chronograph formula and a fitting prize for one of the world’s most prestigious automotive events.
Measuring in at 39.5mm across, the 18k white gold case of the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition follows the brand’s handsomely classical design language, with clean vertical case sides, narrow straight lugs, rounded rectangular pushers, and a brightly polished rounded smooth bezel. The real centerpiece of this case design in images, however, is its ornate hunter caseback. The outer hinged layer features a finely hand-detailed engraving of the Villa d’Este coat of arms along with a commemorative inscription referencing the first year of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 1929. This solid layer can be swung open to reveal a sapphire display window to the intricate internal workings of the flyback chronograph movement, giving the wearer the option of both a decorated caseback and a view of the movement. A. Lange & Söhne does not specify the water-resistance of the 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition, but given its dressy nature and one-of-a-kind status, it’s unlikely this watch will ever be immersed in water.
As with the standard 1815 Chronograph, the dial of the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition is dominated by its signature off-axis chronograph subdials at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. While these distinctive elements form an immediate focal point in images, the rest of the design offers a layered and satisfyingly intricate classical layout with a wide outer tachymeter ring, a railroad seconds track, and light ornate printed serif numerals in black. The layered dial surface itself immediately sets this apart from its standard production counterparts, with a grainy matte finish in subdued pink gold. The brightly polished rhodium-plated gold alpha hands provide a strong but classical contrast with this soft warm tone, and the brand complements this warmth with striking tropical brown subdials.
Inside the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition is the in-house L951.5 hand-wound flyback chronograph movement. The L951.5 has been a staple of A. Lange & Söhne’s chronograph offerings since 2010 and features the brand’s ornately baroque hand-finishing across the German silver plates and bridges, as well as a fully hand-engraved balance cock. On the technical side, the L.951.5 boasts column-wheel chronograph actuation and a cam-poised balance wheel with a freely oscillating in-house hairspring. In terms of performance, the movement offers a 60-hour power reserve at a slow 18,00 bph beat rate. A. Lange & Söhne pairs the watch with a hand-stitched alligator leather strap in deep tobacco brown.
By debuting a new and warmer chronograph look for the brand’s Best in Show award, the one-of-a-kind A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition reinforces the German marque’s connection with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and showcases a stylish new twist on the brand’s cornerstone chronograph design. The pièce unique A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Concorso Edition will be awarded to the Best in Show winner of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy on October 3, 2021. As this is a one-off model with no plans for sale or further production, there is no MSRP for this watch. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.