My pride and joy
I have more elaborate pieces but this one - the Lange 1815 Up/Down in pink gold - has remained my favourite over the years. This is the second generation model with a stepped 39mm case, slightly enlarged sub-dials and the little pop of red on the dial. I could never part with her.
I've read and watched many of the debates about the cohesion of the dial with part of the "6" missing on the simple 1815 three-hander. It has actually never worried me in the slightest: seconds sub-dials have most commonly been found at the 6-o'clock position in wristwatches - what I don't like is when they are placed too high, thus usually betraying that too small of a movement sits inside the case. However, if the fate of the "6" does trouble you on the simple 1815, then the Up/Down's dial geometry elegantly resolves it whilst also enhancing the apparent bilateral symmetry.
For me, whilst nicely balanced in their own right, the placement of the twin sub-dials also echos the 1815 Chronograph and so is particularly pleasing. And, of course, the core DNA of the 1815 dial is unimpeachable: the glistening printed numerals, the railway track and the little flourishes at the cardinals - and, most especially, those lush blued hands, here contrasting beautifully with the argenté dial and pink gold case. The flat-polished cannon pinions are an unexpected highlight on-wrist too - they reflect adjacent light and add a surprising sparkle each time it happens.
The power reserve complication has a rich provenance at Lange Uhren. Patent no. 9349 was granted to A. Lange & Söhne back in 1879 for a gangreserve in pocket watches. And, in 1940, Otto Lange earned Patent no. 732162 for an enabling planetary gearing mechanism between the plates of a pocket watch movement rather than stacking a module on top. Both are incorporated here.
And it's just a supremely useful complication amongst a collection of manually-wound watches!
The L051.2 caliber is particularly visually fetching too with its exposed winding train - that is probably the one element I have always missed on the simple 1815 as it stands in contrast to most Lange pocket watches; but it is present here (and also on the 1815 Annual Calendar). And of course, no less than seven screw-fixed gold chatons - what a delight!!
I took this photo an hour after I bought the piece - so it's mint fresh. I had just experienced curling the factory strap around my wrist and buckling it for the first time - y'all know that feeling...
Best regards, aviya.