By John Galt
A.Lange & Söhne have released a limited edition LANGE 1 tourbillon Handwerkskunst and it comes with a gorgeous black enamelled dial and tourbillon.
The art of enamelling is dying out apart from a few very skilled experts trained in the art as the procedure is highly complicated and very time consuming. Let alone making sure for the several days it takes to make guaranteeing absolute cleanliness to prevent any small particles of dirt or dust getting into the dial and rendering it useless. The dial on the Lange 1 is a lovely deep black which contrasts perfectly with the highly polished markers and plated gold hands but this review is not about the piece but in fact to explain the procedure to make a perfect A.Lange & Söhne enamel dial.
First, the raw material, a special sort of glass, is placed into a mortar and crushed and rubbed into tiny microscopic pieces by a pestle which enables it to be sieved.
The back of the dial is counter enamelled which is a must for the dial side of the piece to be able to cope with the day to day stresses of use, I’m not sure if this would be worn everyday but it helps to prevent distortion.
Very fine brushes are used to carefully fill in the small sections between the letters and numbers.
The fine microscopic enamel powder is then sieved evenly over the dial with the fine dust collected on aluminium foil so as not to waste a single bit and then fired in a special kiln at over 300’c briefly.
After each firing the dial is left to cool and dry slowly, once dry the dial is cleaned and the process is repeated again and again over many days until it looks perfect.
The finished deep black dial is then very carefully hollowed out for the contours of the date window, sub-dial and beautiful tourbillon. A full review of this piece will follow soon.
Personally I have great admiration for artisans and their work especially watch enamelers; their pain staking work and dedication for many days to produce these exquisite dials is impeccable and I love the finished look with it’s deep rich blacks coupled with the luxurious polished chamfer. This is one truly stunning dial. For more info, please visit alange-soehne.com
John Galt – Contributing Editor
John Galt caught the horology bug 4 years ago on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.