A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down - 221.025 - Full set
A. LANGE & SOHNE 1815 UP/DOWN
Platinum | Silver dial
Ferdinand Adolph Lange, son of a gunsmith, founded A. Lange & Söhne in 1845 in Glashütte, establishing a fine watchmaking culture in the small German village and challenging the status of its Swiss contenders ever since. Although the history of the brand has not been without endeavour: the company’s main manufacture was destroyed during a bombing on the last night of war in 1945.
A few years later, in 1948, the brand disappeared during the occupation by the Soviet Union. But the legendary watchmaker’s spirit did not pass on: a mere 40 years later – when Germany celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall – great-grandson Walter Lange re-established the brand as one of the greatest haute horlogerie names, known for the world’s finest complicated pocket watches (including Grande Sonnerie watches, tourbillons and Grande Complications).
In 1995, Walter Lange released the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815-collection in honour of the founder’s birthday almost two centuries earlier – yet it was already in the making for over a year, initially in the shadow of the famed Tourbillon Pour le Mérite.
In the virtue of the legendary founder, the collection (of which the first-generation was in production until 2007) breathes tradition infused with timeless modernity. Having a striking classical appearance, the Lange 1815 stood out by character amongst the early models of the new A. Lange & Söhne era, such as the idiosyncratic Arkade, Saxonia and the legendary Lange 1.
No other A. Lange & Söhne model references in an equal manner to its heritage, making ‘the 1815’ the signature collection according to Lange connoisseurs. One timepiece in particular stands out: the 1815 Up/Down, with every watch detail paying homage to the extraordinary pocket watches made by F.A. Lange and his sons.
The original 1815 Up/Down-collection was in production from 1997 until 2008. A. Lange & Söhne introduced a modernized re-edition in 2013 (without a platinum version in the latest generation) – yet the early, first-generation models like the one here at hand that are highly sought after today.
This rare first-generation A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Up/Down reference 221.025 is one of the first models manufactured in the nineties, further embroidering on one of Lange’s earliest patents (nr. 9349, Gangreserve indicator, acquired more than a century before the 1815 Up/Down came to life, in 1879).
The crafting privilege of this patent stretched to a device on pocket watches ‘to detect whether the watch is wound up or wound down, or how long it has to run until it is completely out of time’. Its very existent has been interwoven through A. Lange & Söhne heritage – making the original 1815 Up/Down a collector’s essential in which past and future merge into a contemporary dress watch with a stunning and rare platinum case.
Instilling artisanal perfection, this 35,9 mm watch (42,7 mm lug to lug with 7,9 mm in thickness) combines traditional measurements, technical complications and a clean modern aesthetic with a slim profile.
The platinum case has a three-step construction, doomed bezel, case band and back with intersperse finishing, accentuating its characteristic structure: simple yet defining. While the case top and back are polished, the band is delightfully satin brushed, offering a staggering contrast with its mirror polished and notched lugs (with a 19 mm spacing between them).
The harmonious design of this the 1815 Up/Down is further enhanced by the black oxidized silver dial with rail-way minute track – including the 15-minute three-dots marker reminiscing the Saxon Floral patterns on the famous porcelains of the region – with sterling silvered small seconds sub-dials at 4 and 8 (each offering a unique railway-track scale as well), indicating the power reserve (Auf wound / Ab empty) on the left and the running seconds on the right.
The timepiece breathes traditional serenity yet dictates no-nonsense elegance. It is highly legible, with blued alpha-style hour and minute hands and equally blued power reserve and seconds’ hand on the lowered sub-dials, distinctly present in an abundance of argenté white. The dial is embellished with thick printed black Arabic numerals – a hallmark for the Lange 1815-series. The center and sub-dials are somewhat recessed, offering a stunning perception of depth.
The refined hand-finishing of the German watchmaker is reflected in the branded crown, signed case and dial – the eminent arc brand signature referring to its cradle underneath: Glashütte i/SA (‘in Saxony’) – and platinum A. Lange & Söhne pin buckle.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Up/Down 221.025 houses the mechanical L942.1 manual movement, celebrated for its outstanding functionality and avant-garde precision, beating at a traditional frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3Hz), providing a 45-hour power reserve.
This hand-wound movement (developed, produced and assembled in-house) hints to a miniaturized pocket watch movement, with astonishing executed details in every inch. The three-quarter signature plate with hacking seconds mechanism features flame-blued screws, gold chatons and red rubies (27 jewels) adorning the warm German silver, and is further embellished by an exquisitely hand-engraving on the balance cock, screwed balance wheel and escape wheel cap, beautifully seen through the sapphire open case-back – as are the Glashütte stripes, the artisanal bevels and black polish finish.
This discontinued and rare platinum A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Up/Down first generation 221.025 timepiece is in good condition and has perfect mechanical functioning. The case has never been polished before. It is one of the first models that have left the Lange manufacture, as manifested by serial number of the 1815-timepiece at hand, signing off with 1 1 X X X (Lange started their serial numbers in 1994 with 1 1 0 0 0 0).
It comes as a full set, including original box, original manual and authentic papers from 1999, making it an absolute collectors set.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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|Size (Case)||35,9 mm|