A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Flyback Chronograph 401.031
A. LANGE & SOHNE 1815 CHRONOGRAPH 401.031
Pink Gold | Black with silver sub-dials
First introduced just ten years after the brand released its initial collection, the 1815 Chronograph was Lange’s answer to requests for the Glashütte based watchmaker to produce a more wearable, simplified, and affordable chronograph. See, prior to the 1815, in 1999 Lange released a follow up to the first four watches of 1994: the Datograph. This technological wonder was a true behemoth of a watch powered by a brand new movement, the L951. Both watch and movement took the industry by storm, as other watchmakers at the time were only making the most of Lemania, Valjoux and El Primero based movements. To its advantage and detriment, the Datograph was a serious heavy hitter and for those in the know who held serious coin, it was a no brainer. But Lange was still a young company, and people wanted to see something more reserved, and a little more approachable; a pure chronograph. Lange had earned its stripes with the Datograph, but the new challenge was to provide the same level of ‘wow’ in a more concise manner.
In 2004, Lange debuted their answer: the 1815 Chronograph. The watch was still powered by the L951 (minus the date complication), and naturally still provided the brand’s refreshing Germanic design language. Crucially though, the 1815 was less expensive than the Datograph coming in at $33,600 versus the Datograph’s $40,000 price tag. It seems that people voiced their wants and wishes, and Lange listened.
Since ‘04, the 1815 Chronograph has evolved through three generations with each iteration carrying discernible nuisances. Offered in yellow gold, pink gold, and white gold, the 1815 Chronograph has been fitted with black dials, white dials, and even more recently a salmon dial. However, after the second generation stopped production in 2014, the model returned a year later as a Boutique Edition. Only available through A. Lange & Söhne boutiques, this model brought back some of the design cues found on the earliest reference and since has become extremely sought after.
Often referred to as the little brother of the Datograph or "Dufourgraph", the first generation 1815 Flyback Chronograph is the perfect intersection of haute horology meets realistic, daily usability. Encased in 18-carat pink gold, this 39.5mm wide watch features signature notched lugs complete in a polished finish with accompanying beveling and a gentle downturn. The case is skillfully constructed with an overriding air of simplicity. Gracefully squared off chronograph pushers occupy the right-hand side of the case with its suitably sized, easy to operate crown to match. A rounded bezel directly plays into the hands of wearability and dynamic elegance.
This is only further enhanced by the black oxidized silver dial with sterling silvered sub-dials (each offering a unique railway-track scale) creating a contrasting design and offering perfect legibility. The dial features 18-carat rose gold alpha-style hour and minute hands, a counterweighted needle style chronograph hand, a pair of small blued hands for the 30-minute chronograph register (four o’clock), and for the running seconds register (at eight o’clock). Painted white Arabic numerals occupy the centralised surround of the dial – a hallmark for the 1815 series.
But the most distinctive design element of this delightful timepiece is the peripheral, railway-track minute scale with an outboard pulsation scale for taking pulses in conjunction with the chronograph. The dial furthermore offers a remarkable perception of depth, created by showcasing different levels: the flange, the hour-track and separate sub-dials that are sunk into the dial.
This effortlessly contemporary, appropriately unique, and coherent chronograph symbolises the epitome of Lange’s approach to German watchmaking. Another future classic Lange in the making.
The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Chronograph 401.031 houses the mechanical L951.0 caliber (the renowned in-house chronograph movement first used in 1999 in the Datograph), beating at a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (3Hz), providing a 36-hour power reserve.
This 34-jewel hand-wound movement (30,6mm) has a straight-line lever escapement, a monometallic balance adjusted to 5 positions, a self-compensating Breguet balance spring, a swan-neck micrometer regulator and an exquisitely hand-engraved balance bridge, beautifully seen through the sapphire open case-back – as are the Glashütte stripes. The flyback mechanism of the movement allows the hands to zero reset for instant new measurements.
How It Wears
The 1815 Chronograph is a proportional masterclass from A.Lange & Söhne. On paper, it delivers a sweet spot in width, height and length, and in-person these measurements translate effortlessly. The prominent lugs confirm the unequivocal Lange design language with the added bonus of wrist hugging properties. The rich blend of 18-carat rose gold with its black dial and contrasting sub-registers creates such a quintessential luxurious appearance.
Dressed up or down, this 1815 Chronograph is destined to put a smile on the face of the wearer and others around them.
This rare A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Chronograph 401.031 timepiece is in very good condition with only hairlines signs of wear and has perfect mechanical functioning. It comes complete as a full set, including inner and outer boxes and warranty papers, manual, wallet. The piece is also accompanied by an additional and original unworn Lange & Söhne watch strap and it was never polished. It was sold by Cottrills (Now Prestons) jewellers in 2008 and and is a one owner only watch. The set comes also with a purchase receipt from Prestons.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
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