A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down
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  1. #1
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    A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down

    Hello guys.
    I am a big fan of A. Lange and a long time lurker of this forum.

    The A. Lange 1815is my grail wstch and I want to start saving up for it.
    The only problem: I cant decide for which one. I like both the normal 1815 and Up/Down.

    What I like about the "plain" 1815 is the simplicity and classiness and lack of additional functions. But sometimes the dial appears to plain and boring to me.

    The dial of the Up/Down seems to be more interesting, but is the Gangreserve function useful? I dont like complications that I dont use.

    Another question is regarding size: I have a 6.5 wrists. Should I aim for the older 36 mm version?

  2. #2
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    I was in a similar situation for years. Fell in love with the 1815 the first time I saw it in the metal. Like you, I have skinny wrists. Mine are 6.25”.

    Unlike you, I never debated between the Up/Down and the regular 1815. It was always the Up/Down for me. It adds just enough sportiness to the dial that I feel I can wear it in less formal situations, even in the rose gold (which I love, even if it’s less versatile than the white gold). After three years of saving up I bought the Up/Down and do not regret it.

    As to size, I got the current 39mm and am very happy with the proportions. The older model seems just a bit too small to me, though I’ll admit that’s a personal thing and you will have to try it on yourself if you can find one nearby. I will mention that the new model has a much more attractive movement since you get extra jewels and chatons and you can see a bit of the winding train not just the balance cock. If you spend any time looking at the back of your watches, get the current version Up/Down over either the older model or the current 1815.

    As to the usefulness of a power reserve... It is an under appreciated complication, and mine gets used frequently. It may be less compelling than a perpetual calendar or an equation of time, but there’s no question it’s practical.

    The Up/Down is my favorite watch of all those I have owned. Clean design, incredibly legible, right mix of elegant and just a little “sportiness”, and the watchmaking on display is unsurpassed. Only downsides? I would have preferred a 38mm due to my slim wrists (though I think 36mm is just a bit too small in this model). I also preferred the brushed/polished case sides from a couple years ago vs the all polished current version. Finally, I will mention that the Up/Down does not represent the best value in the Lange lineup. It’s a bit overpriced in my view (especially compared to a Salonia Thin), but that didn’t prevent my getting one.
    CFR and Wolfy1909 like this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwillson View Post
    I was in a similar situation for years. Fell in love with the 1815 the first time I saw it in the metal. Like you, I have skinny wrists. Mine are 6.25”.

    Unlike you, I never debated between the Up/Down and the regular 1815. It was always the Up/Down for me. It adds just enough sportiness to the dial that I feel I can wear it in less formal situations, even in the rose gold (which I love, even if it’s less versatile than the white gold). After three years of saving up I bought the Up/Down and do not regret it.

    As to size, I got the current 39mm and am very happy with the proportions. The older model seems just a bit too small to me, though I’ll admit that’s a personal thing and you will have to try it on yourself if you can find one nearby. I will mention that the new model has a much more attractive movement since you get extra jewels and chatons and you can see a bit of the winding train not just the balance cock. If you spend any time looking at the back of your watches, get the current version Up/Down over either the older model or the current 1815.

    As to the usefulness of a power reserve... It is an under appreciated complication, and mine gets used frequently. It may be less compelling than a perpetual calendar or an equation of time, but there’s no question it’s practical.

    The Up/Down is my favorite watch of all those I have owned. Clean design, incredibly legible, right mix of elegant and just a little “sportiness”, and the watchmaking on display is unsurpassed. Only downsides? I would have preferred a 38mm due to my slim wrists (though I think 36mm is just a bit too small in this model). I also preferred the brushed/polished case sides from a couple years ago vs the all polished current version. Finally, I will mention that the Up/Down does not represent the best value in the Lange lineup. It’s a bit overpriced in my view (especially compared to a Salonia Thin), but that didn’t prevent my getting one.
    Thank you for such a detailed answer!
    If the powerreserve complication us practical, it makes sense.

    I noticed that the Up/Down is much more popular than the normal 1815.
    I guess it has a more unique look.

    Is the Up/Down more versatile/casual than the 1815?

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  5. #4
    Member UnfortunateDateWindow's Avatar
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    Re: A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down

    I've owned both, so hopefully I can share useful perspective.

    First of all, they're both fantastic, and you can't really go wrong. The only differences, besides the presence of the power-reserve subdial:

    • The regular 1815 is 38.5mm, while the Up/Down is 39mm. In practice, this is hard to notice, but if you're right on the edge sizing-wise, the regular one is a slightly safer choice. Make sure you're looking at the current 1815, though (235.026) -- the older 40mm model (233.026) is often listed in used sales.
    • The regular 1815 dial cuts the 6 in half, which some people don't like. The Up/Down doesn't cut any numerals, although the 5 and 7 have a bit shaved off the top.
    • The Up/Down has a neat little movement trick: when it runs out of power, the seconds hand always stops at 0. It also has two visible gears on the back that turn while winding. The regular 1815 lacks these features.
    • Minor correction to jwillson above: both the regular 1815 and Up/Down have brushed casebands in the white-gold models. It's only fully polished in red gold.


    Compared to the older 36-37mm versions, besides the size difference, the older cases are simpler, lacking the extra little ridge on the polished bezel as you go down, before the brushed area begins. The 36-37mm ones also have noticeably narrower hands than the current models, which I don't care for.

    Wrist sizing is hard to generalize (since shape matters as well as circumference), but I'm around 6.75" and the current 38.5mm looks perfect on me. You'd probably be fine with it, and the 36mm one would probably look small. (The 37mm version is the automatic Sax-0-Mat model with zero-reset — 303.025 and 303.032 — which is really cool in its own right, but expensive and pretty rare.)

    Now, finally, Up/Down vs. regular 1815 in practice:

    I got the Up/Down first, but ended up selling it for the regular 1815 instead.

    I didn't care for how busy the Up/Down dial was during the "bottom" half of each hour. It looks fantastic at 1:50 and 10:10, but I didn't like how often I saw a mess of hands and subdials crossing each other.

    It also introduces a lot of asymmetry to the dial, especially with the red "empty" zone, and the very different hand lengths between the two subdials.

    Finally, I didn't find the power-reserve to be a very useful complication in practice. If I'm wearing it every day, I'm winding it every day regardless; if I'm not wearing it every day, it's going to unwind between most consecutive uses anyway, so who cares?

    Ultimately, I'm happier with the regular 1815. It's slightly less mechanically interesting, but I much prefer the simpler, more pure dial design, and I don't miss the power reserve at all.
    DRAGUI99 likes this.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnfortunateDateWindow View Post
    I've owned both, so hopefully I can share useful perspective.

    First of all, they're both fantastic, and you can't really go wrong. The only differences, besides the presence of the power-reserve subdial:


    • The regular 1815 is 38.5mm, while the Up/Down is 39mm. In practice, this is hard to notice, but if you're right on the edge sizing-wise, the regular one is a slightly safer choice. Make sure you're looking at the current 1815, though (235.026) -- the older 40mm model (233.026) is often listed in used sales.
    • The regular 1815 dial cuts the 6 in half, which some people don't like. The Up/Down doesn't cut any numerals, although the 5 and 7 have a bit shaved off the top.
    • The Up/Down has a neat little movement trick: when it runs out of power, the seconds hand always stops at 0. It also has two visible gears on the back that turn while winding. The regular 1815 lacks these features.
    • Minor correction to jwillson above: both the regular 1815 and Up/Down have brushed casebands in the white-gold models. It's only fully polished in red gold.



    Compared to the older 36-37mm versions, besides the size difference, the older cases are simpler, lacking the extra little ridge on the polished bezel as you go down, before the brushed area begins. The 36-37mm ones also have noticeably narrower hands than the current models, which I don't care for.

    Wrist sizing is hard to generalize (since shape matters as well as circumference), but I'm around 6.75" and the current 38.5mm looks perfect on me. You'd probably be fine with it, and the 36mm one would probably look small. (The 37mm version is the automatic Sax-0-Mat model with zero-reset — 303.025 and 303.032 — which is really cool in its own right, but expensive and pretty rare.)

    Now, finally, Up/Down vs. regular 1815 in practice:

    I got the Up/Down first, but ended up selling it for the regular 1815 instead.

    I didn't care for how busy the Up/Down dial was during the "bottom" half of each hour. It looks fantastic at 1:50 and 10:10, but I didn't like how often I saw a mess of hands and subdials crossing each other.

    It also introduces a lot of asymmetry to the dial, especially with the red "empty" zone, and the very different hand lengths between the two subdials.

    Finally, I didn't find the power-reserve to be a very useful complication in practice. If I'm wearing it every day, I'm winding it every day regardless; if I'm not wearing it every day, it's going to unwind between most consecutive uses anyway, so who cares?

    Ultimately, I'm happier with the regular 1815. It's slightly less mechanically interesting, but I much prefer the simpler, more pure dial design, and I don't miss the power reserve at all.
    Thanks!
    Thats a very interesting point you bringing up regarding the asymetry.
    I didnt think about it, that the dial might look to messy, since the power reserve hand is always in a different position.

    After reading your post, I am leaning towards the normal 1815. 🙂

  7. #6
    CFR
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    Re: A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down

    Both models have a classic look, reminiscent of an old pocket watch. I find that I enjoy the power reserve feature on the Up/Down, but I can also live without it. My wrist is 6" and either version fits fine. The older 36mm version, which I prefer, would look fine on your wrist and perhaps better than the larger version (but you'd need to try them on). This is a 37.5mm Up/Down on a 6" wrist.

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    Techniec and Wolfy1909 like this.

  8. #7
    Member wintershade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFR View Post
    Both models have a classic look, reminiscent of an old pocket watch. I find that I enjoy the power reserve feature on the Up/Down, but I can also live without it. My wrist is 6" and either version fits fine. The older 36mm version, which I prefer, would look fine on your wrist and perhaps better than the larger version (but you'd need to try them on). This is a 37.5mm Up/Down on a 6" wrist.

    Name:  lange_1815UpDownWalterLange_wrist.jpg
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    Some great advise here from owners of both no less! That’s hard to find.

    Sounds like you’re early in your search/saving and have time to decide. I’d suggest you try on as many of the various references as you can while saving to decide. They all wear a bit differently.

    CFR’s Walter Lange limited edition 1815 U/D is the ultimate in my opinion. I agree 36mm is a touch small, the modern 39mm the dial seems a bit overly expansive though it does look nice on larger wrists and the touch of red and bezel are nice. The 37.5 LE is truly perfect. CFR, if you ever decide to sell that watch, please PM me. Seriously.....

  9. #8
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    As you can tell from the different responses, tastes vary a bit. What to me comes across as a more interesting dial—the added sub register of the power reserve—to someone else seems busy and makes the watch seem less balanced. Just goes to show you how important it is to see these watches in person. One of them is bound to jump out at you as, “the one.” Also, with a smaller wrist like yours or mine it is always important to try the watch on. What seems “just right” on one person can look like a dinner plate on another.

  10. #9
    Member dantan's Avatar
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    Re: A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down

    Both are lovely.

    Only you can decide which one is the better for you.
    Dan.
    A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Up/Down
    H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds
    Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds
    Officine Panerai Radiomir PAM 720
    Rolex Submariner 114060 (No Date)
    Cartier Santos WSSA0010
    Apple Watch Series 4 Nike+
    Seiko SKX007
    Seiko SKX009
    Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400-1
    Casio G-Shock GA-700
    Casio G-Shock DW-5600E
    And others (not really worth mentioning)

  11. #10
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    Re: A. Lange 1815 vs 1815 Up/Down

    You are right. Both are nice watches



    Quote Originally Posted by dantan View Post
    Both are lovely.

    Only you can decide which one is the better for you.

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