A lange & söhne 1815 rattrapante

A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph Debuts Unique Dial Layout

With the release of the 1815 Rattrapante A. Lange & Söhne continues its quest to turn the big three of haute horlogerie into the big four. We’ve long said that the German high-end luxury brand is up there with the Swiss trio of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, and this stunning chronograph could be the watch to cement its place.

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A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph

Image: A. Lange & Söhne

The 1815 Rattrapante is a complex piece that boasts a completely new dial layout and features one of watchmaking’s most challenging complications – a split-second chronograph. The production of such a difficult complication is worn as a badge of honour with only a handful of manufacturers ever releasing a split-second model. So of course, they’re rare and highly desirable.

But what makes a rattrapante chronograph so captivating? For many, the sheer complexity of the movement is part of the appeal, or in the brand’s words a “micromechanical fusion of the arts”.

A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph

Image: A. Lange & Söhne

And what does a rattrapante watch do? Simply put, this watch has two chronograph hands. This allows the wearer to record two things that start at the same time but finish separately. Timing laps for example.

If you know anything about mechanical chronographs you’ll appreciate the skill required to pull this off. To build the layers of workings is a feat in itself (there are 365 parts in the L101.2 calibre movement). To then manually assemble the movement from untreated German silver, gold chatons and 36 jewels is even more impressive. And then the brand also has its own ethos to live by, “perfection down to the smallest detail”. They mean that literally with each piece of the 1815 Rattrapante’s movement being hand finished. And that’s just the watch’s engine, we haven’t even discussed the aesthetics yet.

A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph

Image: A. Lange & Söhne

The newly redesigned dial is also a work of art. It’s still a classic interpretation of a split-second chronograph and it has the recognisable elements of the 1815 collection that we’d expect. But A. Lange & Söhne has rearranged the sub-dials in a vertical display rather than its previous horizontal layout, a move that many watch aficionados will love. It’s a well-balanced and symmetrical design that features an argente-coloured dial, blue hands and a railway-track minute scale.

The specs are outstanding too. The case is forged from platinum and the dial from solid silver suggesting that the 1815 Rattrapante is A. Lange & Söhne’s warning to the big three that they may need an extra seat at the table.

Check it out

A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph

Image: A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Chronograph Ref 425.025

Diameter: 41.2mm
Height: 12.6mm
Strap: Hand-stitched Alligator Leather
Case: 950 Platinum
Movement: Lange Manufacture Calibre L101.2
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Price: On Request

CONTRIBUTOR

Lee Smith

Lee Smith lives in Tynemouth, England. Having graduated with a BA(Hons) from Sheffield University (1996) he spent several years at a FTSE 100 software company. He left to pursue his love of literature and opened a bookstore. As well as exhibiting books at events around the UK, he also became manager of the annual Alnwick Bookfair. In 2016 Lee switched to his other passion - watches. He began retailing niche brands and launched his own microbrand. He then used his extensive knowledge of watches to write a popular blog. Since 2020 he's written about watches full time.