When it was first launched, the Datograph undoubtedly challenged the status quo with its completely in-house created movement. However, its design was not to everyone's taste. Some collectors clamoured for a more restrained and thinner version of the watch, which prompted the German manufacture to release the 1815 Chronograph in 2004. It was powered by the calibre L951.0, which is essentially a stripped-down version of the Datograph movement, where the big date mechanism has been removed. Apart from this, the calibre boasts the same technical and aesthetic characteristics as its older sibling.
The first series of the 1815 Chronograph was produced for a brief 4-year period, between 2004 and 2008. These pieces are distinguished by their intricate dials, which are constructed on four layers, with a chapter ring and a pulsometer placed in the periphery. In many ways, the first generation 1815 Chronograph is the most reminiscent of the original Datograph design, from 1999.
The reference 401.026 features an intricate dial which is subtly layered over four levels. The dial itself is constructed from solid silver, with sub-dials that are smaller and more heavily contrasted compared to pieces from later generations. The outermost section bears the A. Lange & Söhne name, in addition to a pulsometer, with this segment sloping inwards at an angle to the rest of the dial. A railroad track runs around the main section of the dial, layered under a repeating “m”-shaped hashmark pattern.
The watch makes use of the aforementioned L951.0 movement, which is very similar to the Datograph’s L951.1, except for the absence of the date complication. The minute hand of the chronograph jumps in one-minute increments rather than moving continuously, which allows for accurate reading of the timing function. The “flyback” chronograph function also allows the stopwatch to be instantaneously restarted for continuous timing, without having to stop, reset, and restart the chronograph.
The architecture of A. Lange and Söhne movements are perhaps their most distinctive feature, with a three-dimensional aspect that is truly unique. It features a column wheel, lateral clutch and flyback chronograph movement. Every bridge is ribbed, polished and chamfered, with a hand-engraved balance cock bringing an additional flourish.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph will be subject to 20% VAT.