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There’s just something so incongruous about referring to a watch like this one as “entry-level.” Indeed, to use that word for anything made by A. Lange & Söhne just… doesn’t seem to work. To make an analogy to the car world, while you might call the Ghost Series II “entry-level,” (at least when compared to its big brother, the Phantom) it’s still a Rolls-Royce.
Yet when compared to the Datograph, for years Lange’s star chronograph and a watch some might argue to be the most impressive contemporary mechanical timepiece ever made, the 1815 Chronograph might strike some as a bit of an also-ran. It lacks the big date that has long been the manufacture’s trademark, and, due to that fact, bears a slightly ungainly dial design. But the 1815 Chronograph and the Datograph share the same beautifully-finished movement as a foundation, and like the Datograph, the 1815 Chronograph is a work of supreme horological loveliness—inside and out.
Like the Rolls Royce Ghost, the 1815 Chronograph also recently received a redesign. In 2015, the Ghost Series II was introduced on April 16, with a look that the President of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America said was “carefully-refreshed.” Make no mistake, the Ghost Series II still looks like a Rolls-Royce, with a heavy (though elegant) chassis, and still has the same motor as the previous model.
But the Ghost Series II was bestowed with all the “mod cons”—like LED running lights and a GPS-assisted navigation system.
That same year, the Boutique Edition of the 1815 Chronograph debuted at the Hong Kong Watches & Wonders fair. Though the movement is the same as in previous iterations (the Calibre L951.5), the 1815 Boutique Edition was given an entirely new case. Like the 1815 Up/Down Chronograph and the 1815 200th Anniversary F.A. Lange, the case of the Boutique Edition now has a tiny lip at the base of the bezel.
The Boutique Edition also brought back a feature that hadn’t been seen since the first generation model in the early 2000s: a pulsometric scale on the dial. Though it had appeared on the early pieces, which were in production from 2004 to 2008, Lange’s decision to remove it in 2010 gave the dial a cleaner (though somewhat disproportionate) look. However, bringing it back on the Boutique Edition gives a little more balance to the dial, as do touches like a narrower chapter ring and a simplified railway track.
But the Boutique Edition 1815, like the Datograph, is imbued with a care and attention to detail that is embodied in all of Lange’s pieces. Though slightly updated, slightly more contemporaneous, the Boutique Edition has the look and feel of an antique pocket watch like the kind the brand was famous for in the 19th century. This is all the more brought home by the enamel and blue print of the dial, which resembles porcelain from Meissen, a town just north of Lange’s hometown of Glashütte.
This particular example comes to us with inner and outer boxes, paperwork, and a sales receipt from the New York City Lange boutique dated March 7, 2016. Far from being an also-ran, this chronograph is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a beautiful addition to the 1815 line, and an excellent chance to get into the wonderful world of Lange with a world-class watch.
18k White gold case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown and pushers). A. Lange & Söhne Calibre L951.5 Manually-Wound Chronograph movement. Circa 2015.
Overall Condition: 18k White gold case is in excellent, like-new condition. Dial is in likewise excellent condition.
Includes one 19mm original dark blue leather Lange strap with signed deployant clasp.
Also includes inner and outer boxes, paperwork, and sales receipt dated March 7, 2016.