enthralled under a spell of brilliance and magic, the german makers of high quality watches, a. lange & söhne, presents four new timepieces with deep-blue dials, as well as a limited series ‘1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR HANDWERKSKUNST’. all as visions of century-old, perfected artistic craftsmanship, the watches materialize a piece of alluring astrology. although imaginably underneath its detailed decorations, their master craftsmanship is embedded throughout their timepiece composition, aiding to deliver the highest performance as well.

 

 

at an exclusive event in the enchanting city of florence, right by the passing arno river and beneath the mersmerizing azzurro sky, designboom witnessed the unveiling of a. lange & söhne’s new series of blue timepieces. totalling five designs, each one is an art like masterpiece, which is most suited to the history, talent and style of italy. translating how true virtuosity can result in grand art of many forms, we were also given an unrestricted tour and exploratory workshop inside numeroventi – a design and craftsmanship community within the city – by current resident and product designer natalia criado.


designboom editor lynn chaya (center) evolves sketches into creative pieces of metal design

 

 

numeroventi  and natalia criado‘s workshop can only be described as an utopia of contemporary craft. the microcosm builds upon its florence setting to further inspire exploratory excellence within the field art. like criado’s designs, the residency artists source influences from the evolving yet heritage-rich surroundings. similarly, at the studio we were encouraged to sketch designs referencing inputs from our setting, and then craft the work using skilled metal-forming techniques demonstrated by criado. it was a test of creativity, as well as craftsmanship, which saw raw, powerful and seemingly immovable pieces of metal being transformed into engraved pieces of art.


natalia criado (right) demonstrating her expert craftsmanship

 

 

just as we were workshop practitioners, attaining influence from the various shapes, textures and colors within the numeroventi residence, and similarly to natalia criado’s artistry and process of metal crafting, a. lange & söhne’s launch of its blue series of watches takes inspiration from its florence backdrop. the timepieces’ deep hue echoes the italian renaissance, the strive for innovation and, most fittingly, the presence of time for the centuries-old quest of the color and its reference to astronomy. in a similar sense, the watch maker’s craftsmanship also references time as they have been constantly improving their work since 1845. its ethos always imagines more and its material manufacturing delivers this dream, as exemplified with this series’ exploration of the mysteries of space.


this is the sixth ‘HANDWERKSKUNST’ model by a. lange & söhne
all images courtesy of a. lange & söhne

 

 

by capturing that deep-blue hue which once seemed unattainable by philosophers and craftsman alike, a. lange & söhne launch the ‘LANGE1’, ‘LANGE1 DAYMATIC’, ‘SAXONIA’, and ‘SAXONIA AUTOMATIC’ models – two manually wound and two self-winding – bathed in this serene color and aura. elevating to become even more captivating than before, the blue dial editions are masterpieces of classical elegance, which now combine deep-blue and solid-silver dials with exquisite white-gold cases. polished hands, as well as rhodiumed gold appliques, further accentuate this striking contrast between materials and colors.


blue enameled white gold and elaborate relief engravings signifies this limited 20-watch edition

 

 

the significant attributes of the four pieces doesn’t end there though. it showcases all lange-style quality hallmarks, most notably when witnessing the artisanal finesse of all its movement configurations, which are defined in a two-fold assembly process. furthermore, all the edges of its plates, bridges and cocks are chamfered and then polished to a mirror finish. this is completed with a hand-stitched, deep-blue alligator leather strap and its solid white-gold prong buckles.


its combines a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar with a moon-phase display

 

 

the magic, not only of the newly realized deep-blue color but of a. lange & söhne’s craftsmanship, is further exampled with the special edition ‘1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR HANDWERKSKUNST’. this follows the success and award winning release of the standard model watch, which was first launched in 2013. its predecessor challenged the watch maker’s finishers, engravers and enamel artists to once again raise their level to even higher feats, where they indulged in rarity, revived historic techniques and strived for innovation.


the watch’s deep-blue dial is as artistic as it is innovative

 

 

the resultant ‘1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR HANDWERKSKUNST’ is a world’s first to combine enamel art and engraving on its dial. here, solid white-gold engraved stars seemingly float above an ocean of blue enamel and act as a visual extension for the moon-phase display of its perpetual calendar. this mechanism presents the individual durations of each month in the course of a calendar year until 2100, including all leap years, with its moon-phase calibrated to be accurate for 122.6 years.


the hinged cuvette depicts the goddess luna, surrounded by this deep-blue hue

 

owing to the enchanting deep-blue blanketed dial, the watch’s front face is an elegant balance of contrast, as well as complement. arabic numerals circle the edges, lying flush with the enamel and harmoniously with the rhodiumed white-gold hands of the time and calendar indicators. although echoed by the lunar discs and blue steel minute counter hand, it contrasts with the four recessed subsidiary dials and chronograph hand, which glimmer in argenté-colored white-gold and gold-plated steel respectively.


the mechanical perfection of its movement is echoed in the artistic decoration of its components

 

 

limited to 20 editions, the timepiece’s artistic movement decorations reflect its ambitious technicalities. continuing with the moon theme, a hinged cuvette that protects the sapphire-crystal case back, is engraved with the image of the goddess luna. like the night sky, the medallion is surrounded by raised stars and clouds, refined by blue enamel. inside the machine, the artistry is ever present. its lever, cover and chronograph bridges, as well as rattrapante and balance cocks, showcase the stellar motif of the piece. once again completing the design, the watch includes a blue-gray alligator leather strap with a white-gold deployant buckle.


the original ‘LANGE1’ was released back in 1994 and has featured detailed modifications over the years

 


the ‘SAXONIA’  displays a well-balanced dial design that focuses on reduction

 


the ‘LANGE1 DAYMATIC’ was the mirror-image automatic version of the ‘LANGE 1’

 


the ‘SAXONIA AUTOMATIC’ is said to achieve aesthetic equilibrium

 

 

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