From time to time the watch world sees a new special watch from A.Lange & Söhne that has been given some extra thought.
Not many people would argue with me that A. Lange & Söhne is the best manufacture in the world. And they have an exclusive series of Handwerkskunst watches. These are in reality watches, already in production, that they give something extra of everything. Basically A. Lange & Söhne likes to show off what their artists and craftsmen can possibly do with these handcrafted artisanal watches.
This is the sixth model that A. Lange & Söhne give a particularly artistic decoration of the movement, dial and case. It is always exciting when A. Lange & Söhne give their in-house finishers, engravers and enamel artists an artistic challenge.
Launched at the Geneva Salon back in 2013, the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar attracted considerable attention. Housing a perpetual calendar and a double chronograph this watch was initially appreciated for both the classic complications and the pleasing aestethics. At the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève that same year it won the Grand Complications category. As an added bonus it also won the Public’s Choice Award.
The new Handwerkskunst
A classic beauty was exactly what A. Lange & Söhne released in Florence a couple of days ago. I was there to witness the grand unveiling of the new addition to the Handwerkskunst series. It was an event that really showcased the appreciation A. Lange & Söhne have for craftsmanship, or Handwerkskunst if you will.
This is the first model to combine enamel art and engraving on its dial. The craftsmen and women of A. Lange & Söhne have really given us their best with this watch. I find it to be especially desirable that the blue enamel and relief engraved stars on the dial seem to extend the moon phase display onto the dial.
To give an impression of a deep blue dial with light blue stars, a solid white gold dial has been engraved with stars and numerals of different heights. The numerals go flush with the enamel and keep their silver colour. This dial is simply stunning.
On the back of the watch there is a cuvette cover that protects the sapphire-crystal caseback. It depicts Luna, the Roman goddes and embodiement of the moon.
Below the sapphire-crystal the engraved stars also come back. This time on the movement. Now done with a mix of relief and tremblage technique that give a quite special surface to the engraved parts. Relief engraving is what bring out the stars, and tremblage engraving is what gives the granular texture to the german silver.
In my opinion this new Handwerkskunst is extraordinary. I like the classic look done in an over-the-top finish and with truly masterful craft. Set in a 41,9 mm case it also sits fairly comfortable on the wrist. According to A. Lange & Söhne themselves it is already selling at 290.000 EUR, but it will surely become a collectors dream as it will only be made 20 pieces.