This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
In a showcase of its manufacture’s skill and artistic prowess, the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst is the sixth limited-edition timepiece to bear A Lange & Söhne’s prestigious handwerkskunst (craftsmanship) designation.
Testing its artisans, A Lange & Söhne combines engraving and enameling for the first time on a dial. The white gold dial features relief-engraved stars and circles, each covered with iridescent blue enamel. For a relief engraving, artisans remove negative space, so here the stars appears to float atop a blue enamel sky—a rare and difficult
technique. On the back, a hinged half-hunter case features a medallion with a relief engraving of Luna, the goddess of the moon, on a tremblage-engraved background. Tremblage engraving creates a grained texture, visible here and on the movement. The medallion is encircled with a blue enamel star and cloud relief engraving. Underneath, the visible movement showcases A Lange & Söhne’s impeccable finishings, including more relief and tremblage engravings, granular finishings on the train bridge and a continuation of the star motif from the dial.
While its new artistry and finishings are a marvel on their own, the timepiece is technically impressive—when it was first released, it won the prestigious Grand Complication award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Combining a perpetual calendar and a split-second chronograph is uncommon, and here they work together in elegant harmony. The perpetual calendar shows month and leap year cycle at 3 o’clock, date and day of the week at 9 o’clock and has a beautiful moonphase at 6 o’clock that complements the celestial dial. The perpetual calendar will not need correcting until 2100, and the moonphase will be accurate for 122.6 years. At 12 o’clock there is the power reserve indicator and 30-minute totalizer. Surrounding the artistic decorations and recessed subdials is a flange ring with railway-minute track. Limited to 20 pieces, the 41.9mm white gold timepiece is sure to become a collector’s favorite.
Approximately $345,000, inquiries at A Lange & Söhne in New York, +1 646 828 3150, alange-soehne.com