For the third year in a row, German luxury watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne will be among the eclectic lineup of exhibiting brands at WatchTime New York, held this year on October 13-14. (Tickets and details here.) Among the timepieces it will showcase at the event is the new 1815 Annual Calendar, its first annual calendar watch with an analog date function.
The Saxon manufacture’s first timepiece endowed with an annual calendar complication debuted in its Saxonia family in 2010 (For our in-depth test of that watch, click here). Whereas that watch featured a self-winding movement and an outsize date, this one is powered by a manually wound movement (Caliber L051.3) and indicates the date in an elegant, analog style, on two horizontally aligned subdials. According to A. Lange & Söhne, the watch’s manual winding is “a subtle homage” to the company’s founder and namesake, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who in 1866 obtained a U.S. patent for the “crown winder” he invented that would eventually come to replace the key-operated winding-and-setting system that was commonplace at the time for watches.
The watch’s case (in white gold or rose gold) measures 40 mm in diameter and 10.1 mm thick. The argenté-colored dial, made of solid silver, features blued-steel hands, black Arabic numerals, and a peripheral railway-track minute scale. The aforementioned two subdials, precisely aligned with the horizontal center axis, use golden hands to indicate the day and date at 9 o’clock, and the month at 3 o’clock. Meanwhile, a third subdial at 6 o’clock hosts the moon-phase display — calculated to remain accurate for 122.6 years — as well as the running seconds counter. From March to January, the length of each month is accurately indicated and requires no manual adjustment; only February, which is calibrated as a 30-day month, needs a correction of two days to reach March 1. In the event the watch has stood still for a lengthy period and run out of power, a button at 2 o’clock allows the owner to advance all the calendar indications at the same time. The day, month, and moon-phase, and date (the latter for the first time in a Lange calendar watch) can also each be corrected individually by three recessed push pieces.
Caliber L051.3, made in-house at Lange’s manufacture in Glashütte, Germany, and visible through a sapphire exhibition caseback, is a slender 5.7 mm thick (and 30.6 mm in diameter), which includes a calendar module only 1.4 millimeters in height. Fully wound, the manual-wound movement carries a power reserve of 72 hours. Among the many visual highlights on display: ratchet and crown wheels visibly integrated into the German-silver three-quarters plate and decorated with solarization, a visual tipoff to the manual winding system, along with the screwed gold chatons, screw balance, whiplash spring and hand-engraved balance cock, and other elements typical of traditional Saxon watchmaking.
The A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Annual Calendar comes on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap (reddish brown for the rose-gold model, black for the white-gold) and fastens with pronged bucles in the same gold as the cases. If you’d like the rare opportunity to see how this watch — launched at SIHH earlier this year and new to the U.S. — looks and feel on your own wrist, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York 2017.