Officially launched at Watches & Wonders 2015, today’s stunning Pulsometer chronograph from A.Lange & Söhne may look familiar. Their 1815 chronograph on which this is based, and with which it shares the same manual-wind Calibre 951.5 movement has, since its introduction, become something of an emblematic watch for the brand, its movement a photographic star in particular. That the back of a watch ends up being photographed as much as its front, as the 1815 is (although this perhaps extends to quite a wide range of Lange’s pieces) is a testament to the beauty of their movements and finishing.
This new 18 carat white gold watch, honouring 200 years since the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, features a solid silver argenté-coloured dial as per the 1815. As mentioned above, the key new distinguishing feature on the new piece is the presence of a pulsometer on the raised inner flage.
What is a pulsometer? It is where an activated chronograph, used in combination with the pulsometric scale, can measure a patient’s heart rate. You start the chronograph timer and count the (pulse) beats until you get to the number for which the scale is calibrated, in this instance, thirty pulsations. Stop the chronograph and read the heart rate in beats per minute – on the pulsometer scale, the chronograph sweep-seconds hand provides a direct reading of the number of beats per minute.
The hours and minutes hands are rhodiumed-gold. The chronograph sweep-seconds, minute counter and subsidiary seconds hands are blued steel. This is in contrast to the regular 1815 of just blued steel. In fact the liberal use of blue with the new dial and colour combination is vintage-inspired but seems to give it more lift and vibrancy than the regular production model.
Now to the column-wheel chronograph movement, visible through the open caseback. The 306-part Calibre L951.5 is hand-decorated, with plates and bridges made of untreated German silver, and a hand-engraved balance cock. It beats at 18,000VPH and has a power reserve of sixty hours.
In 39.5mm sized case and coming on a hand-stitched dark blue alligator strap with matching white gold buckle, this is a very good looking watch, well-sized, and beautifully made. For those who asked us about our personal highlights from Watches & Wonders 2015, we both rated this one amongst our favourites and a watch that we would wear – these two things don’t necessarily always co-exist.
Unfortunately as a boutique-only model most of us will have to hunt one down; you can find the locations of the existing sixteen Lange boutiques at this link. The RRP is 49,000 EUR (including VAT).
[Horologium attended Watches & Wonders 2015 at the invitation of Richemont Australia]