SIHH 2010: A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase (Ref. 212.050) German

The new A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase (Ref. 212.050) hand-wound wristwatch is presented in a signature “honey gold” color courtesy of an especially hard to scratch 18-carat gold alloy. Developed by A. Lange & Sohne, the gorgeous alloy sports a Vickers hardness rating between 300 and 320HV (on average, that is twice as high as that of white gold, which is usually considered to be the hardest among “standard” gold alloys.) The new member of the 1815 collection features a beautifully executed moon-phase complication, which is not only pleasant to look, but is also so accurate that it takes whole 1058 years for the watch to miss a day from the lunar month.

Among the other models that were presented last week during SIHH 2010 trade show by A. Lange & Sohne, there was also a small group of limited edition watches that stood out from the brand’s exposition with their intricately decorated movements, finely guilloched dials, and, of course, amber-colored gold cases that were not only extremely discreet with their somehow subdued, deliciously warm inner glow, but also a lot harder to scratch compared to more common alloys. Yes, this is still gold and it is still softer than even bronze, but it is still nice to know that the expensive timekeepers won’t collect fine scratches as readily as watches crafted from a lot softer rose gold.

Among the products that were offered in “honey gold” was the gorgeous A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon with stop seconds, a unique A. Lange & Sohne Tourbograph Pour le Merite and a more simple when it comes to the mechanical part A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase model, which is reviewed here.

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase hand-wound watch in gold (Ref. 212.050)

While we plan to publish brief “initial impressions” reviews of all models listed above, let us start with the most affordable hand-wound watch featuring a moon-phase complication (I think, the more expensive members of the family require more meditation time to understand the feelings that they impress on yours truly.)

The 1815 Moonphase comes equipped with the gorgeous Lange L943.2 hand-wound caliber, which, as usual, is made totally in-house, precision-adjusted in five positions and decorated by hand so thoroughly and tastefully, that it probably makes such established Swiss watchmakers as, say, Breguet wanting to eat its own heart out.

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase (Ref. 212.050, sapphire back)

The movement’s three-quarter plate is made of German silver with sunburst pattern and its balance cock is made in the same amber-colored as the case and is also decorated by hand.

The watch features a perfect dial layout where the moon-phase display balances the small second hand counter, while the two are visually united with the engine-turned guilloche pattern. Large Arabic numerals and heat-blued hour and minute hands provide for contrasting, highly-legible dial layout.

The watch will be produced in a limited lot of only 265 pieces and will command a relatively low (at least, for such an exquisitely decorated piece) suggested price of $25,000 USD.

WWR Verdict

Originality 5/5
Build Quality: 5/5
Usability: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

See also: A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Referenzuhr

Photos: A. Lange & Sohne

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Moonphase (Ref. 212.050) watch specification

Price range: $25,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Lange L943.2, 220 parts, 26 jewels, 21,600 vph, in-house, 3.9 mm high, 37.4 mm in diameter, Made in Germany
Winding: Hand-wound (manual)
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, moonphase, stop seconds
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case material: Honey-colored gold
Bezel material: Honey-colored gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire crystal caseback
Case size: 37.40 mm
Case height: 8.90 mm
Dial: Solid silver, guilloched
Numerals: Arabic
Hands: Blued steel
Strap: Hand-stitched, red-brown crocodile strap, Lange prong buckle in solid gold
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflection coated
Water resistance: 30 meters

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