Does anyone here remember perfect fake A. Lange & Söhne?
Okay, I’ll admit that’s a moderately outrageous and intentionally provocative statement. For those “in the know,” and especially for the tight group of collectors whose assortments can be fairly described as “indies plus Lange,” the brand and its products never went anywhere.
That said, for a while the Glashütte concern did seem to be treading water a bit with big (and large) halo pieces like the Terraluna seeming a bit much to comprehend, the rest of the line consisting of modest tweaks to old favorites, and A. Lange & Söhne largely absent from the buzz surrounding other notable brands.
More recently, though, high quality replica A. Lange & Söhne has been on a roll. For me, the roots of this “recent” success reach back to late 2017 with the introduction of the deeply emotion-driven 1815 Homage to Walter Lange.
The next big jump, and perhaps the one most visible to the watch enthusiast community as a whole, was in late 2019 with the Odysseus in steel. And now A. Lange & Söhne is very much a brand of the moment with astronomical recent auction results for a pair of first-generation Pour le Mérite Tourbillons and rave reviews for their 2021 Watches and Wonders launches.
Along the way, in September 2020 Lange made another splash with three limited edition pieces in the brand’s proprietary Honeygold in commemoration of the 175th anniversary of Glashütte watchmaking: the 1815 Thin Honeygold Homage to F.A. Lange; a Honeygold version of 2017’s Tourbograph Perpetual Calendar; and a watch that immediately captured my eye and wallet: the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold replica with black dial.
I consider myself fortunate to own a yellow gold example of Walter Lange’s daily wearer, the Pour le Mérite Tourbillon. But otherwise it’s been the firm’s chronographs that have been front and center with me, including a first-generation Datograph in pink gold, first-generation Datograph Perpetual Calendar in white gold, a platinum example of the reference that I dubbed the “mighty” Double Split, and now the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold.
While I’d certainly been aware of A. Lange & Söhne’s other references with seconds-only rattrapantes, the Tourbographs and Rattrapante Perpetual were just not for me given both their heft and price. But when I saw the announcement of the new 1815 Rattrapante reference in a wearable 41.2 mm size and with both a Honeygold case and that incredibly tasty black-and-gold dial treatment, I was on the horn to my rep at the A. Lange & Söhne boutique faster than you can say “twofold assembly.”
From a portfolio perspective, this one is most definitely in the “foundational” category: a watch of enduring horological value that can serve as a cornerstone piece in any collection. And it serves as a great companion piece to the other high-end A. Lange & Söhne copy watches in my current assortment, as well as a Teutonic counterpoint to the enamel-dialed Patek Philippe Reference 5370P rattrapante to which I’ll surely be comparing it in these pages sometime soon.