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A tribute to Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s heritage The 1815 watch family

Portrait of Ferdinand Adolph Lange

The 1815 watch family aligns horological traditions with the expectations of modern watch connoisseurs. The origin of its name, 1815, identifies a year that not only marks a transition in the history of Europe when the borders of the continent were redrawn at the Congress of Vienna. It is also the birth year of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the founder and tireless proponent of the German precision watchmaking industry. The 1815 family salutes the historic significance of this year with its immaculate craftsmanship and the many elements that it inspired. At the same time, with its perfect legibility, rich-contrast style, and elements such as the railway-track minute scale, it stands for individualized, contemporary design.

1815 In the tradition of F. A. Lange

Display: 1815 – in the tradition of F.A. Lange. A portrait of F.A. Lange appears. It is replaced by close-ups of the back of a pocket-watch, with his name featured on the three-quarter plate. This picture gives way to the back of the 1815 UP/DOWN, with its movement reminiscent of the historical pocket-watches. Now we discover the details on the dial side – the Arabic numerals, the blued hands, the AUF/AB (UP/DOWN) power-reserve indicator and the railtrack minute-circle. In a new shot, we fly around the tourbillon of the 1815 Tourbillon for a close-up view. We home in on the diamond cap-jewel. Now we hover over the complicated movement of the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar and finally explore the details of the watch dial.

An extraordinary personality


Ferdinand Adolph Lange was born in Dresden on 18 February 1815. His extraordinary personality revealed itself very early on. During his journeyman’s years in the ateliers of the world’s best watchmakers, he patiently and painstakingly recorded his insights. To this very day, his famous journey- and workbook is a living account of his studies.


In 1845, he showed genuine entrepreneurial courage when he established a watchmaking company in the Saxon town of Glashütte in the Ore Mountains. He had access neither to trained personnel nor to an intact infrastructure, but he created jobs in the then-distressed region and helped it flourish again.


From the very beginning, his ambition was to craft timepieces characterized by consistently high quality and dependability. For this purpose, he had to fundamentally reform watch-making. Within a short period of time – encouraged by his quest for perfection –, he developed new precision measuring instruments, new production techniques, and inno-vative mechanisms. As a forward-looking individual, he encouraged his employees to specialist in certain work processes and become independent suppliers; this decision re-mains pivotal for the prosperity of the entire region.


But modesty is the character trait that best defines Ferdinand Adolph Lange. When
offered a title of nobility for his merits as a watchmaker, entrepreneur, mayor, and politician, he politely declined it and commented: “A worthy man ennobles himself”.


Black-and-white image of watchmakers at work in the A. Lange & Söhne manufactory

The A. Lange & Söhne manufactory in Glashütte, ca. 1890.

Principled like its role model 


The traits of this exceptional person are distilled in the 1815 watch family: Meticulousness and precision, foresight and a penchant for perfection, courage and modesty. In line with Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s character, the dial design is subtle yet rich in detail. The no doubt most prominent feature of the 1815 is the railway-track minute scale. The watch thus builds a bridge into the era of nascent rail travel, at a time when pocket watches became ever more important, and when Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded his company in Glashütte. The readily legible Arabic numerals as well as the blued-steel hands are also reminiscent of that epoch.

1815 in pink gold with blued hands


Pink gold

The sapphire-crystal casebook reveals the character of the 1815. It shows a meticulously finished, precisely running movement, often with traditionally implemented classic complications that only few watchmakers today are capable of adjusting. Since an interest in self-winding watches only emerged at the dawn of the 20th century, all models of the 1815 are manually wound. Then again, bold combinations can be found, for example in the 1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR, which features two classic complications. The mechanism for determining stopped or lap times is controlled by two column wheels. The 1815 CHRONOGRAPH, with subsidiary dials that are shifted slightly downward, showcases its classic origins as well. Fifth-of-a-second stop times, the precisely jumping minute counter, and the flyback function are hallmarks of innovative precision. Additionally, the models of the 1815 watch family feature elements that were typically found in Lange’s historic pocket watches: the sturdy three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, screws that are blued at 300°C, screwed gold chains, and the hand-engraved balance cock.

1815 CHRONOGRAPH in white gold with a black dial

Tradition and innovation: The 1815 CHRONOGRAPH unites proven traditional elements with progressive technology.

1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR in pink gold with moon-phase display

Bold combinations: The 1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR is endowed with two classic complications.

Calibre of the 1815 UP/DOWN

As perfect as the pocket watches: The movement of the 1815 UP/DOWN incorporates traditional elements: a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, blued screws, screwed gold chains, and a hand-engraved balance cock.

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