A. Lange & Sohne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ Watch Hands-On

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ Watch Hands-On

Exclusively for the genuine watch collector, perhaps the most compelling watches (as I would see it) appeared at SIHH 2018 is the  1815 “Homage To Walter Lange” (originally appeared on aBlogtoWatch here) delivered by Glashutte, Germany-based A. Lange & Sohne . The A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Homage to Walter Lange presents a particular complication in an exceptionally restricted version of watches meant to respect Mr. Walter Lange, who passed away in early 2017. The actual complication was originally created by A. Lange & Sohne’s namesake and original originator Mr. Ferdinand Adolph Lange during the nineteenth century, and is alluded to as a “jumping seconds” indicator. More on how it functions below.

Walter Lange’s greatest achievement was in resuscitating the A. Lange & Sohne brand in the early 1990s, transforming it into a force to be reckoned with of German extravagance, assisting with restoring the village of Glashutte, and obviously eventually being part of its eventual sale to the Richemont Group. Walter Lange and Gunter Blumlein restored A. Lange & Sohne almost immediately after the Soviet Union fell. For what reason does that matter? It matters because Saxony (where both Dresden and the village of Glashutte are located) were in previous East Germany under GDR control. This was a Soviet manikin state and as part of communism, factories went from private proprietorship to state ownership –including factories that made watches. Glashutte’s watch factories were all seized by the public authority and it started to mass-produce watches that were generally for local subsumption yet a few watches allegedly delivered to different parts of the world. Ironically, the absolute generally fashionable and eccentric watches created in Glashutte were during the communist-run period.


All images by Ariel Adams

The fall of the Soviet Union and GDR meant that company proprietors whose properties were seized after World War II could (via their beneficiaries in many instances) retake organizations that were in state hands for about 40 years. This is pretty much what I accept happened with A. Lange & Sohne, and my understanding is that a large part of the thanks goes straightforwardly to Walter Lange who was the Lange family beneficiary. I met Walter Lange on a progression of occasions and despite the fact that he didn’t speak a lot of English, he was easy to admire for his authenticity and zeal. One of my most striking recollections of him was toward the finish of his life when he was into his 90s, and seeing him traveling alone without assistance in the airport traveling from Germany to Switzerland. As far as I probably am aware he was engaged with A. Lange & Sohne up until his absolute last days.

Flash forward to 2018 and I’m at SIHH in Geneva speaking with A. Lange & Sohne CEO Wilhelm Schmid about the new assortment as well as the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watches. Mr. Schmid in his characteristically amiable manner exclaimed over the challenge it was to legitimize the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange projects. “This is certainly not a commercial piece” was the significance of his statement meaning that the bouncing second complication was totally for a particular sort of genuine collector enthusiasts and not the mainstream extravagance watch purchaser. “But you’ve made the extravagance watch equivalent of a squirm spinner,” I remarked to him. Before he could react I added that it was my favorite watch of the show to just inactively play with. “How frequently do you end up staying there winding the crown of your watch” while you are in a meeting?” I questioned him. He appeared to agree that such behavior was common, and that activating and deactivating the hopping central seconds hand on the watch was significantly more pleasurable than winding a crown. So is the 1815 Homage To Walter Lange something beyond an enthusiast watch? At about $50,000 a piece… you choose. Mr. Schmid is likely right that a great many people examining extravagance watches in a retail climate probably won’t get the “point” of the product.

To most spectators the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange (as awkward as the name is, it is still preferred sounding over “reference 297.021, 297.206, or 297.032”) watch looks like most other 1815 watches that just indicate the time. In fact, it is easy to do a twofold take to realize that something is… off on the dial. That’s right, the watch appears to have two seconds hands and a secret pusher. Is it a monopusher chronograph? All things considered, kind of. Mr. Schmid also explained to me that individuals have been asking A. Lange & Sohne to create this complication in a cutting edge watch for quite a while. Being a brand (generally) keen on practical complications (regardless of their extravagance value), a questionably-helpful “mini chronograph” doesn’t necessarily make for a compelling new item recommendation. Despite the fact that with some explanation I think you’ll agree that a bouncing seconds complication has both technical and utilitarian legitimacy. That the development looks cool certainly makes a difference. Watch the video beneath from SIHH to see the watch in real life (at about the 1:29 second mark).


Let me explain the bouncing seconds complication. The pusher located above the crown is utilized to start and stop the movement of the central bouncing seconds hand. There is no reset or anything like that. The hand starts and stops where it was along its normal clockwise course. The bouncing part of the name alludes to the fact that the central seconds hand “ticks.” This is usually known as a “dead-beat” seconds hand, however that term isn’t favored because marketing individuals don’t like it. They also regularly don’t like it because a dead-beat seconds hand also happens to seem as though the movement of a ticking seconds hand on most quartz watches. All things considered, the dial of the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange has a broad seconds hand –in the subsidiary dial.

The value of the hopping seconds hand is in having the option to measure short augmentations of time where knowing the exact number of seconds is helpful. What happens “under the hood” of the watch in the development to make this framework work is actually rather complicated. Despite the fact that the hopping seconds complication is easier than a traditional chronograph, assembling each one is the hard part, and a watchmaker compared the assembly complexity to that of a brief instant chronograph.

To understand this complexity one need just flip the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch over and examine the in-house made A. Lange & Sohne caliber L1924 development. Anyone who understands what they are seeing will immediately tell there is something here that most different watches don’t have. Note that the “L1924” name of the development is in direct relationship to the year 1924 when Walter Lange was conceived. Delivered from 253 parts in generally German silver, the perfect development clearly has certain pieces that look as however they are from a chronograph (generally in the pusher framework and segment wheel transmission), yet in addition something different which A. Lange & Sohne calls a “flirt and star” framework. Fortunate for them they were pretty much able to duplicate the mechanism concocted by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1867. The tease and star framework diverts constant force from the development into beats for each subsequent that move the bouncing hand in exact one-second augmentations. There have been different means to achieve a dead-beat seconds action, and this is one of them. Such frameworks are interesting to the point that I can’t comment on their durability or need for administration over the long haul. For what reason do I by any chance notice this? Because I know beyond all doubt that most all proprietors of 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watches will be tinkering with the bouncing seconds complication constantly.

A. Lange & Sohne’s caliber L1924 manually twisted mechanical development operates at a recurrence of 3Hz (21,600bph) and has a really respectable force hold of 60 hours (unclear if that is with or without the bouncing seconds hand operating). The development is 31.6mm wide and 6.1mm thick –and obviously displays the brand’s legendary undeniable degree of cleaning and completing on the development surfaces. A. Lange & Sohne will create four renditions of the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch –the elements of each are 40.5mm wide and 10.7mm thick. There is strangely no water resistance rating on the back of the watch or in A. Lange & Sohne’s materials (so I’m getting it is water resistant to 30m…or less).


One of the four adaptations of the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange is a piece remarkable in steel. A. Lange & Sohne claims it will be auctioned off some time in 2018. In general that isn’t a serious deal, however Lange doesn’t make much in steel, and as far as I probably am aware there are no creation watches in steel. The steel model is a rather gimmicky move, however it is the lone model with a black dial. The other three forms are in gold with the reference 297.021 in 18k yellow gold (restricted to 27 watches), the 297.026 in 18k white gold (restricted to 145 watches), and the 297.032 in 18k pink gold (restricted to 90 watches). The final part of the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch’s story is what those restricted version numbers mean (they are obscura if there was anything that fit the term). “145” alludes to the quantity of years between when Ferdinand Adolph Lange established the company in 1845 and the year 1990 when it was restored. “90” alludes to “1990” (because clearly that volume of watches basically wouldn’t accomplish for Lange restricted watches), which is the year when the brand was restored. “27” alludes to the quantity of years among 1990 and late 2017, when the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Homage to Walter Lange watch was appeared. At least there is an odd harmony to the numbers. Retail cost for all the gold variants of the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” watch is €47,000. alange-soehne.com