Handwerkskunst, the German word for “artisanship”, is an attribute of distinction that A. Lange & Söhne has been using since 2011 to identify special limited-edition watches whose dials and movements are endowed with rare finissage and engraving techniques. On 7 December 2015, the eminent Saxon manufactory is presenting the 1815
Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, a new model that not only stands out with exceptional decorative elements, but also unites two patented mechanisms. The ZERORESET function launched in 1997 by A. Lange & Söhne is paired with the stop-seconds device for the tourbillon that was introduced in 2008. Together, these mechanisms make it possible to stop and set the timepiece with one-second accuracy.
Limited to 30 watches, the special-edition model is available in a pink-gold case with a diameter of 39.5 millimetres. A. Lange & Söhne’s fifth HANDWERKSKUNST edition is a precious homage to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the great Saxon watchmaking pioneer whose 200th birthday is being memorialised this year.
The main difference versus the model presented in 2014 is the dial. It is made of blackrhodiumed pink gold and decorated with elegant tremblage engraving. The engraver who uses this technique sculpts the material with a specially crafted lining burin to achieve a uniform, fine granular structure. The relief elements on the dial, including the prominent arced brand logo and the numerals, are later polished to a mirror gloss and contrast prominently against the dark background. An aperture in the dial reveals the large oneminute tourbillon. The tourbillon bridge and the upper part of the cage are black-polished: this is one of the most elaborate and time-consuming finissage techniques.
Mechanical precision is reflected in every detail of the lavishly decorated L102.1 manufacture calibre. The elegantly curved shape of the newly designed three-quarter plate is a special hallmark. Thanks to generous cut-outs, the tourbillon with the patented stop mechanism is easily visible from the movement side as well, as are the spring barrel and parts of the wheel train. The grained surface of the German silver plate is inspired by historic pocket watches. Bevel-polishing reentrant angles is a particular challenge. This task can only be performed manually with a sharp, specially designed tool. The fourthwheel bridge is pierced to provide a better view of the tourbillon. Just like the plate and the caseback, it is endowed with artistic engravings. The diamond endstone of the tourbillon vibrantly accentuates the movement decorations.
About A. Lange & Söhne
When Ferdinand Adolph Lange, a Dresden watchmaker, established his watch manufactory in 1845, he laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking. His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted among collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated after World War II, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly fell into oblivion. In 1990, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson Walter Lange had the courage to relaunch the brand. Today, Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled by hand. In a period of little more than 20 years, A. Lange & Söhne developed 51 manufacture calibres and secured a top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands. Its greatest successes include innovative time-keeping instruments such as the LANGE 1 with the first outsize date in a series produced wristwatch as well as the ZEITWERK with its supremely legible, precisely jumping numerals. In the meantime, both models have become icons of a brand rich in tradition.