Holding the legendary watch mechanism, tourbillon, 1815 Tourbillon by A. Lange & Söhne is housed in a classic full 18k pink gold casing. Pink gold case is highly machined and polished with German engineering. Sized at 39.5mm wide and 11.1mm thick, this watch should suit professional settings well. However, compare to conventional dress watches, this watch is still noticeably thicker due to the tourbillon cage, able to withstand 3Bar under-water.
Coming to the back side, we are greeted with pink gold rim with 6 screws and some engravings. Starting from the left and going counter-clock wise is the A. Lange & Söhne branding with Au750 marking that indicates 18k pink gold casing. Next are the serial number and Glashütte I/SA that represents town of Glashütte in the state of Saxony, place where the brand was found in. In the middle is the clear glass back that reveals its German engineering. In side is decorated with various gold branding with blued screws. Also there exists 3 gold chatons, circular piece of metal surrounding ruby. Lastly, the back glass reveals the glimpse of the tourbillon with the hand-engraved tourbillon bridge in untreated German silver.
III. Dial, Bezel, and Crown
Dial of 1815 Tourbillon is solid silver that has what A. Lange & Söhne calls the argenté color way. Again is the A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte I/SA logo on the dial with Arabic number indexes. Arabic numeral dial allows for a better legibility and the classic railway-track scale is reminiscent of A. Lange & Söhne’s historic pocket watches. However, 5, 6, and 7 o’clock indexes are taken up by the tourbillon movement and “MADE IN GERMANY” writing. 1815 Tourbillon features the blue hour, minute, and second hands with second hands operating small-second window over the tourbillon. Bezel and crown of this watch are plain 18k rose gold with A. Lange & Söhne written in circle on the crown. Last but not least is the tourbillon window on 6 o’clock. This combination of silver dial and Arabic indexes are simple yet professional. However, the plain and professional look highlights the blued steel hands and the tourbillon adds sense of sophistication to it.
Going with the classic and professional look of the watch is the leather strap. To be more specific, it is dark-brown crocodile leather strap with slight hint of red on it. This color of strap is very subtle yet screams elegance. In side has the A. Lange & Söhne logo embossed on it. Lastly, this watch utilizes classic 18k rose gold tang buckle with “Lange” engraved on it.
Movement used in this watch is the A. Lange & Söhne’s in-house movement Calibre L102.1. This is the master movement that houses tourbillon for accuracy. However, this watch has extra features that makes this tourbillon stand out from the competition. Introduced in 2008 by A. Lange & Söhne, patented stop-seconds solution stops the second hands and tourbillon when crown is pulled out to adjust the time. Also, introduced in 1997, the ZERO-RESET functionality resets the small seconds to 0 position making for the owner of 1815 Tourbillon to easily set more accurate time. Next, this movement is consisted of 262 parts with 20 jewels using conventional lever escapement. With those parts, 1815 Tourbillon achieves 21,600 VPH and 72 hours of power reserve. Unfortunately, this is a manual winding mechanical movement that needs constant attention.
Tourbillon is the movement developed by a French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1795. In short, tourbillon aims to counter the effects of gravity by placing the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage. In theory, balance wheel has to be balanced with perfect weight distribution to keep the time precisely. However, In reality, balance wheel is heavier or lighter in different spots, causing unbalance. What tourbillon does is that the tourbillon cage turns the escapement and balance wheel around its own axis 360 degrees in 1 minute to average all the positional error caused by the gravity.
VI. Conclusion and Pricing
To sum up, A. Lange & Söhne’s 1815 TOURBILLON is a magnificent time piece. Compare to most of the other high-end watch manufacturers that originated from Switzerland, A. Lange & Söhne was able to utilize Germany’s notorious engineering skills to be widely accepted as one of the top five watch brands. Even though this watch costs 164,100 USD, A. Lange & Söhne was able to create a master of a watch that reflects upon its price tag.