A. Lange & Söhne Debuts the 1815 Rattrapante in Platinum (with Hands-On Photos)

Just released by A. Lange & Söhne is a new platinum iteration of the 1815 Rattrapante, which debuted back in 2020. You’ll recall the original came in Lange’s proprietary Honeygold and was, more importantly, the brand’s first rattrapante chronograph aka split-seconds watch. Well… kind of.

For those of you not steeped in the catalog of horologically significant releases from Glashütte-based Lange, they have already created the world’s first double-split and triple-split rattrapante mechanisms in 2004 and 2018, respectively. These were what the kids today would call a “flex.” As a quick refresher, a rattrapante or split-seconds chronograph has two overlaid chronograph seconds hands that can be used to record time intervals for events that begin simultaneously but end at different times. To put it simply, it’s a lap-timer for intervals up to sixty-seconds. While it sounds simple, this is one of the most complex and difficult to produce complications in mechanical watchmaking. Period. 

In 2004, Lange launched the Double Split which was the world’s first (and I believe, to this, day, the only) double rattrapante chronograph that could measure split time in both seconds and minutes for up to half an hour. Without hyperbole, this was a big deal in watchmaking, especially so for the generally lackluster segment of mechanical chronograph innovation. Fast forward to 2018 and we see the release of the Triple Split which takes this even further, allowing the measurement of split time in seconds, minutes, and hours. The Triple-Split upped the maximum interval time from thirty minutes to twelve hours while only being marginally thicker. Even so, while the Double and Triple Split are horological giants, they themselves are somewhat gigantic when it comes to case size as well at 43mm wide by 5.3mm thick and 43mm wide by15.6mm thick, respectively.

It was in 2020, two years after the Triple Split , that A. Lange Söhne released their first-ever “simple” rattrapante chronograph with the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold. After having proved to Switzerland and the world what German watchmaking is capable of, the 1815 Rattrapante marked 175 years of German watchmaking as an “Homage to F. A . Lange.” 

These days, Lange is up there with the Pateks and Vacherons of the world and — having proven themselves to be exceptionally ambitious and talented watchmakers — can release a more “casual” Split Seconds chronograph that doesn’t need to extend into minutes or hours. The biggest benefit in exchange for a “simpler” rattrapante movement? Case size, naturally. Measuring a near-universally wearable 41.2mm wide and 12.6mm thick, the 1815 Rattrapante lands squarely in the Goldilocks zone. 

The calibre L101.2 was debuted for the first iteration of the 1815 Rattrapante and is based off the calibre L101.1 which was a Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar. Contrary to what you may assume, its architecture is not similar to the Double or Triple Split which also had flyback functionality unlike the L101.2. Still, we have what looks to be a beautiful movement that is finished to the quality and standards expected from a six-figure Lange. The manual-wind movement is comprised of 365 components with 36 jewels, operates at 21,600 vph, and has a 58-hour power reserve. The wonderfully warm-toned German silver plates, hand engraving throughout, blued screws, and all the other finishing touches are pure Lange. You can read more about Lange finishing, here.
This 1815 Rattrapante is housed in a platinum case with a solid silver dial done in a light argenté finish (their darker finished silver dials are usually classified as rhodie). All the hands are done in blued steel with the exception of the rhodiumed steel chronograph hand. It has an unusual and attractive dial layout with the sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock rather than the more typical 3 and 9 o’clock. Really it’s difficult to find much to dislike or criticize about it. 

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante in platinum is limited to 200 pieces and price is available on request.

To learn more, visit A. Lange & Söhne, here.

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