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Wound or unwound The UP/DOWN power-reserve indicator

Close-up of UP/DOWN function

Linked with the name A. Lange & Söhne, the UP/DOWN display has a long-standing tradition. In 1879, Lange received Imperial Patent No. 9349 for the development of this indication, which was implemented in historic pocket watches and marine chronometers. The subject was a “device in pocket watches for recognising whether the watch is wound or unwound and for indicating how much time remains before it reaches the totally unwound state.” This was the official moment of birth of Lange’s characteristic UP/DOWN power-reserve indicator.

Image of a patent application for a power-reserve display


The power-reserve indicator was useful especially for precision watches that were relied on for navigational purposes and other scientific applications. It indicates the state of wind and reminds the owner to rewind the watch before it stops running. In the display, the “AUF” (UP) denotes the fully wound and “AB” (DOWN) the fully unwound state of the mainspring. It is a traditional hallmark of A. Lange & Söhne watches.



The power-reserve indicator

Display: Staying focused on power. The power-reserve indicator. Under a transparent representation of the LANGE 1 the power-reserve display mechanism is shown and correctly positioned. After removal of the watch outlines, the functioning of the mechanism during winding of the watch is shown. In the process, the power-reserve indication moves upwards from AB (DOWN) towards AUF (UP) At the end, the individual parts of the mechanism are named.

The 1815 UP/DOWN features a special mechanical implementation of the display. It is no longer a modular addition to an existing movement but instead is integrated directly into the confined space of the movement with a specially designed planetary gearing. The result is a thinner silhouette and more elegant proportions. The compact ensemble is based on a 1940 patent granted to Otto Lange, a grandson of the manufactory’s founder.

The dial of the 1815 UP/DOWN in pink gold

 The 1815 UP/DOWN in pink gold with the characteristic Lange UP/DOWN power-reserve indicator. It is located on the left-hand subsidiary dial.

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