A Deep Dive into A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Kalenderwoche
I have a special affinity towards A. Lange & Söhne’s early special editions. They are, with the true meaning of the word, special. Indeed, back in the days, the attraction of a special edition was not coming just from a case material or dial color change; but creating whole new watches that are launched to celebrate a worthy occassion – such as Lange 1A, 1815 Cuvette or Emil Lange. This one here is one of the last in line: 1815 Kalenderwoche (Calendar Week) a special edition made for Huber of Munich on the event of the retailer’s 150th anniversary.
1815 Kalenderwoche was launched in 2006 in three different metals: yellow gold (245.021), pink gold (245.032) and platinum (245.025), each metal is limited to 50 pieces and carries an argenté dial. Measuring at a beautiful 38.4 mms in diameter and 9.8 mms in thickness with a lug width of 20 mms, the 1815 Kalenderwoche is a joy to wear.
The case houses two pushers on the right hand-side, reminding a chronograph, though could not be further from it. The pusher at 2 o’clock is for the day and 4 o’clock for the week indication at the periphery of the dial. Constructed as the typical A. Lange & Söhne case structure, it is built on three levels, featuring alternating polished and brushed finishing. The lugs are notched and mirror polished at the base and screwed into the case; seamlessly separating from the case and flourishing towards the strap.
Lange’s 1815 design is an extremely strong template. Any 1815 edition simply fascinates me, because every single touch, inscription or color addition elevates the design towards the right direction and the 1815 Kalenderwoche is not an exception. Built on the familiar 1815 template, Kalenderwoche smoothly departures from its traditional roots without alienating itself. The week indication at the periphery of the dial gives some sort of a pulsometer feeling and makes the watch slightly crowded, though I am perfectly fine with it.
1815 Kalenderwoche carries all the hallmarks of an 1815 watch: Railway minute track, thick Arabic numerals, three-dots on each 15 minutes markers and a recessed sub-dial. Of course, the brand’s custom typography blends with the arrangement just perfectly. The time hands are made of blued-steel for yellow and pink gold versions and rhodium plated gold for the platinum version.
The outer ring of the dial carries the week of the year indication and the subdial days and running seconds. Knowing that in 2006, the 1815 collection was offered in 36 mms, it can be said that the week indication contributes as much as 2.4 mms. Moreover, the watch has some real-life benefits in the German Speaking business world as most projects are done on a weekly basis. It is also a nice memento – reminding you how long have passed since and how much we got in a year. Though, a date addition would’ve been nicer and very much in favor of the wearer.
Though 1815 Kalenderwoche’s usability would be much better if there was a date indication somewhere, perhaps around the seconds sub dial instead of the day of the week.
This special edition carries the workhorse caliber L045.1, which is based on the caliber l941.1 of many 1815 and Saxonia pieces for more than 20 years. A characteristic and very well-finished movement from A. Lange & Söhne, caliber l045.1 houses 45 hours of power reserve and beats at a traditional 3 Hz. However, the movement measures at a mere 25 mms; hence, it is a bit small for the case. Still, that does not steal neither from the beauty of the movement nor the watch overall.
The movement features additional golden lettered engravings in the middle “ANDREAS HUBER MÜNCHEN 1856-2006”. The three-quarter plate is beautifully striped, the click is exposed and the color harmony formed by blued screws, gold chatons and the hue of the German Silver is a delight as usual. Free hand-engraved balance cock proudly sits next to the striped plate and accompanied by the flat polished escape wheel cap.
Buying an 1815 Kalenderwoche
When launched in 2006, the price for the 1815 Kalenderwoche was €20k for the gold versions and €32k for the platinum version.
1815 Kalenderwoche mostly appears at auctions and sells in the ballpark of its retail price. The last time it was sold at Sotheby’s for $20k in 2019. However, the best chance to acquire one of these splendid rarities is to check the German market and its auctions.
Overall, this is a splendid watch to have in every aspect. It is beautifully crafted and a very rare piece from A. Lange & Söhne with a special meaning as the brand rarely does retail editions. It is even rarer when they launch a completely new watch. Indeed, a worthy piece for the long time partnership between now gone Huber and A. Lange & Söhne.