Collector´s view: 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold „Homage to F. A. Lange”
Hands-on with A. Lange & Söhne ´1815 Rattrapante Honeygold` with real live life pictures – and a competitor on par
Before looking at the watch itself, let´s talk about some context. The 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold is a member of the distinguished yet modest ´1815 collection`, which in general suits perfectly to the DNA of the brand. Its appeal, based largely on its simple and elegant design, is reminiscent of classic Glashütte pocket watches. For some it may be conservative and for others a reason to fall for them. It´s a matter of (personal) taste and preferences. For whatever reason it´s members are quite often in the shadow of some Lange “darlings” like the Lange1 or the Datograph – good or bad.
Rattrapante – it´s a chronograph with added feature(s) to measure an interval on top of the time. Something that quite often doubles the price of a chronograph, just for one more hand – more or less. Before the late 20th century when IWC industrialized the complication it was like a high-performance super car – comparable price tags, and mainly because of this, an extremely limited target group. What looks so simple and beautiful on the outside is quite complex on the inside, to say the least. And additional pinion in the central axis, a catch-up mechanism and an additional control device: more difficult to render than tourbillons and on par with minute repeaters to properly adjust them. In case you would like to know more about the complication itself, I can recommend an article by Declann Quinn published in ´Revolution` (Volume 9, 2006). Also, its written with a good sense of humour and “fast sausage dogs” are part of it 😉
When it comes to chronographs Lange has nothing to proof, not anymore. They shacked some asses in glorious Switzerland if you allow me to say so. A “bold” first was the Datograph in 1999, followed by the “mighty” Double Split and the (1st generation) 1815 Chronograph in 2004. In 2018 Lange pushed it even further when they introduced the Triple Split, nothing less than the world´s most complicated chronograph wristwatch, which splits not only the seconds but also the minutes and hours – on request.
(Special set of three limited-editions models of the 1815 watch family in honey-gold cases, to celebrate the 175th anniversary)
It was comparatively late in 2020 Lange presented its first Rattrapante only (wristwatch), the one we are looking at right now – 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold, in celebration of 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte (Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his first workshop in 1845). Why less complicated this time you may say? Is it to reduce the price or the size? I doubt but let´s see what we have.
|1815 Rattrapante Honeygold
||Lange manufacture calibre L101.2, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates made of untreated German silver; balance cock and chrono-graph bridge engraved by hand; engravings black-rhodiumed
||Shock-resistant screw balance; balance spring crafted in-house, frequency 21600 semi-oscillations per hour; precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
||58 hours when fully wound
||Time display with hours and minutes and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; rattrapante chronograph with 30-minute-counter, tachometer scale
||Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; two chrono-graph pushers, one pusher to operate the rattrapante mechanism
||Diameter: 41.2 millimetres; height: 12.6 millimetres
||Diameter: 32.6 millimetres; height: 7.4 millimetres
||Solid silver, black
||Hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds: pink gold 30-minute-counter: white gold Chronograph sweep-seconds hand: steel, pink-gold-plated Rattrapante sweep-seconds hand: rhodiumed steel
||100 watches; special boutique edition
A honeygold (more subtle than yellow gold, almost as charming as rose gold and harder than platinum – exclusive to Lange) case, a black dial and lots of similarities to the (3rd generation) 1815 Chronograph, on the first view. The sub-dials are different to the “standard” equilateral triangle we know from Lange and adds spice without being conspicuous. I have seen similar on pocket watches, but currently no other (Chronograph Rattrapante) wristwatch comes to my mind. Together with the “wording” on the dial, it suits perfectly – very balanced and appealing to those with a soft spot for pocket watches.
It´s a pretty face and a charming one as well. Almost flat without dedicated light, never boring in the detail. Depending on the light it oscillates between understated to drama.
Simply perfect to be worn frequently, without getting too much attention from those who don´t know and don´t understand what it is all about. I like that and to me it´s a strength of the 1815 collection most of the time.
The case looks familiar to Lange connoisseurs and this is more than welcome. It´s excellent and feels solid! Honeygold is unique for Lange and we have seen it before, but only on special occasions.
As always at Lange the coating on the sapphire glass shows some blue on dark dials, depending on the angle of the light. It´s sometimes difficult to catch with a camera, but just so nice to look at when the watch is on your wrist in different settings. Even traffic jams can be nice with that kind of “eye candy” 😉
You might have seen it already. Lots of hands, almost like a ballet on the dial. It gets even more impressive yet beautiful once the hands are moving – big drama at its best.
The depth of the two-level dial turns out nicely, which is not obviously when you look at the official press pictures only.
As I said before, nothing new at the case. The height is appropriate for the complication, and it doesn´t wear too high on the wrist.
On the wrist
Judge by your own, but I liked it a lot on my (17cm) wrist. It feels solid like expected from Lange and even when the diameter is a tad on the bigger side, it still wears perfect on me – dressed up and casually, but not recommended for black-tie events.
The new L101.2 manually would calibre features everything I like so much about chronographs from Lange, no matter which one you choose. But at the same time, it looks different, almost confusing on the first view – especially on live pictures I saw on the internet.
A different (familiar yet odd) finishing in major parts of the movement and a different engraving (almost bold, at least on the official pictures) on the balance cock and the chronograph bridge, that´s all I see for now.