Originally presented in 1999, 9 years after A. Lange & Söhne was re-launched in 1990, the Lange & Söhne 1815 is the physical embodiment of the refined dress watch aesthetic on which the Saxon watchmaker has established their modern identity. With its clean utilitarian design and no-frills execution, the 1815 collection lends from the design choices afforded to pocket watches during the time of Lange & Söhne's founder, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who was born in the collection's eponymous year of 1815.
With a simple silver dial design, the 1815 ref. 235.026 that I have here features a railroad minutes track along its periphery as a subtle hint at its design origin. Fitted with faceted blued steel hands and black painted Arabic numerals, the 1815 combines the collection's historical inspiration with a legible design that is incredibly functional for a truly timeless aesthetic. The silver dial is also tiered with a stepped midsection and running seconds subdial at 6 o'clock to provide yet another understated hint to the careful considerations made when designing this beautiful watch.
In keeping with its classical dial design, the 1815 ref. 235.026 uses an elegant 38.5mm white gold case with an entirely polished exterior to house its refined silver dial and incredible movement. Just 8.8mm thick, the 1815 ref. 235.026's white gold case impressively houses its manual-wind cal. L051.1 movement with 55 hours of power reserve and 188 individual parts. On display behind an exhibition caseback, the cal. L051.1 is crafted from German silver and has a traditional three-quarter plate with a host of high-level finishes and a hand-engraved balance cock to contrast the uniformity of the three-quarter plate. A sight to behold, as all Lange fans know, the cal. L051.1 is a marvelous movement befitting of a watch as beautiful as the 1815 ref. 235.026, with its refined design matching that of the watch's entire spirit as a watch paying homage to the pocket watches of yesteryear.