Katherine S. Cunanan

1815 Tourbillon, Perfection in Enamel

A. Lange & Söhne’s first tourbillon watch with stop seconds and Zero-Reset.

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon is an exquisite timepiece. It combined two patented mechanisms when it was released four years ago – the stop-seconds mechanism, and the ZERO-RESET feature. These two mechanisms meant that the watch could be stopped then set with one-second accuracy. Precision is critical in a timepiece, and A. Lange & Söhne gave us precision in a very pretty package.

They have upped the ante this year by giving us the 1815 Tourbillon with a white enamel dial, in a limited edition of only 100 pieces. The recent offering pairs the past with the present wonderfully. The traditional craftsmanship evidenced by the enamel workmanship is enhanced by the modern micromechanics of the mechanisms.  As Anthony de Haas, Director Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne explains, “We wanted to build a bridge from the origins of watchmaking to the present.”

Enamel Process
The enameling process is a complex one. Traditional watch dials are made from a disc of metal. The simple disc goes through a series of techniques that take it from the purely functional to the outstandingly beautiful and functional. There are some horologists though who prefer a different approach to elegance, and that approach begins with dust.

Yes, dust. Silica dust, to be exact, that is fired so hot it fuses together to create a clear enamel. And one layer is not enough – truly precious enamel is layer upon layer of glass dust, heated and perfected to create a surface that is so perfect you might hesitate to use it. But that would be a waste of beauty.

The Tourbillon
While you might gaze longingly at the perfectly smooth enamel surface, you eyes will surely be drawn to the other amazing feature of this watch – the tourbillon. Appearing at the 6 o’clock is the one-minute tourbillon aperture. Typical tourbillons offset gravity (indeed, that is the reason the tourbillon was created), but the A. Lange & Söhne tourbillon takes it a step (or a second) further. A. Lange & Söhne has added two patented mechanisms that assure one-second accuracy.

The watch is beautiful to look at  — the enamel, the tourbillon, and the special design aspects in the blued hands and the red 12. The red 12 required its own printing and firing too. The platinum case is partnered with a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap.

A. Lange & Söhne continues to improve on watches that we already thought were perfect. What will they think of next? While we’re waiting, get yourself to A. Lange & Söhne – the 1815 Tourbillon is a limited edition of only 100 pieces.