Last week A. Lange & Söhne unveiled the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar in a new classic aesthetic design. The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar houses arguably three of the most sophisticated complications in the world of watchmaking. This classic timepiece is now being presented in a limited edition salmon dial!
The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar was first released back in 2013, which marked a clear milestone in A. Lange & Söhne’s history. Before the release of this model, A. Lange & Söhne had made only 7 chronograph calibers. A specially developed movement was required so that the three complications can be adopted onto the watch whilst maintaining the elegant design of the brand’s 1815 line.
So what exactly are these sophisticated functions? The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar has set the standard for both short-time measurement and display of calendar periods. Alongside the standard chronograph function, this movement, the “Rattrapante” movement as A. Lange & Söhne states “is capable of measuring intermediate times and comparative times as well as determining minimum and maximum values in the course of one minute. Since the balance wheel of the manufacture caliber L101.1 beats with six semi-oscillations per second, the stopped times can be recorded with an accuracy of one-sixth of a second. High-precision readings are assured thanks to the additional graduation on the peripheral minute scale.”
The perpetual calendar indications can be found through the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock subdials. The 3 o’clock subdial shows the date and day of the week, while the 9 o’clock subdial shows the month and leap year indications. At 6 o’clock, the moon-phase indicator is shown with its display of vivid colours. Finally, the 12 o’clock subdial shows the power reserve indicator, with the shorter gold hand within the subdial indicating when the watch needs to be wound again.
The complex mechanism that is the perpetual calendar ensures that the date, day of the week, and month are all correctly displayed. The accuracy of the perpetual calendar is that all of these indications are displayed correctly every single day for decades, taking leap years into account as well. The only time the calendar indications must be corrected is the 1st of March 2100, according to the rules of the Gregorian calendar, in which the leap year will then be skipped.
This is super helpful with the timepiece being a manual wound. The Lange manufacture calibre L101.1 movement that encapsulates all this is composed of an impressive 631 parts. The perpetual calendar alone requires 211 parts, while the rattrappante chronograph mechanism requires 206 components. The movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 (VpH), and can give out a power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound.
Director of Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne, Anthony de Haas, states in regards to this movement that “With three classic complications, the manufacture calibre L101.1 is one of our most complex movements. Each one in itself already constitutes a technical feat; when combined, they represent a far greater challenge. For our designers and our watchmakers in equal measure, since the tweaking and tuning process of all mechanisms requires an exceptionally high degree
of dexterity and technical expertise.”
This latest rendition of the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is presented in a 41.9mm 18-carat white gold case, with a solid pink gold dial. The dial features a layered structure, where the subdials are the lowest layer, followed by the main dial then the “minute track” dial. The hands for the dial and subdials are a combination of rhodium steel and blue steel, which visually is a beautiful sight as it works really well against the pink-gold background. All the indications and inscriptions are done in black, with blue used (along with the three-dot marks) for the quarterly minute markers.
The beauty of this timepiece, however, doesn’t stop at the dial. As we know, A. Lange & Söhne makes some of the most beautiful movements in the watchmaking industry. The case back of the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is one of the best testaments to this, showing that signature Lange finishing techniques. This case back shows blued screws, screwed gold chatons, an elaborate whiplash precision index adjuster, upper surfaces of all moving parts decorated with straight graining, and polished peripheral chamfers, just to name a few of the finishing techniques involved.
There are quite a few brands out there that are able to put complex mechanism’s into their timepieces, but only a few can design them as beautiful as this. The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar when it was originally released was already an impressive timepiece, but now with its new pink gold dial and perfectly complimenting 18k white gold case, this classic colour combo is bound to make this a head-turner. With this timepiece also being limited to 100 pieces worldwide, all of this does come at a price, which can only be found upon request through A. Lange & Söhne’s e-commerce.
- Case: 41.90 mm
- Case Material: 18-carat white gold
- Dial: Solid pink-gold
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
- Case Back: 18-carat white gold & transparent case back.
- Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L101.1
- Power reserve: 42 Hours
- Bracelet: Hand-stitched alligator leather, dark brown with deployant buckle in 18-carat white gold.