A. Lange & Söhne
|Fate||Nationalised 1948, reformed 1990|
|Founded||1845; relaunched 1990|
|Founder||Ferdinand Adolph Lange|
|Wilhelm Schmid (CEO)|
|Products||Pocket and wrist watches|
Number of employees
Lange was founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in the town of Glashütte, near Dresden, in the state of Saxony. Under Ferdinand, and then, following his death, his sons Emil and Richard, Lange produced quality pocket watches, the company's very best products generally being given the "1A" designation. Under subsequent generations of the Lange family, the company continued to produce pocket watches and, like many German watchmakers, produced oversized wristwatches for use by German airmen in World War II.
In 1948, the postwar Soviet administration nationalised the company's property, and the Lange brand ceased to exist. However, in December 1990, following German reunification, the founder's great-grandson Walter Lange, together with watch industry executive Günter Blümlein, restored the company with the assistance of several Swiss watch manufacturers, including IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The refounded Lange, again operating from Glashütte, presented its first range of wristwatches in 1994. Today, A. Lange & Söhne (litt. A. Lange & Sons) wrist watches are sold globally and Lange, like IWC, is a member of the Richemont group.
All Lange watches contain mechanical rather than quartz movements, and, with the exception of a very few special edition watches, Lange watch cases are made of yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or platinum. Lange movements are developed, produced, and assembled by Lange itself. Lange's movement design and decoration is distinctively Glashütte in appearance, eschewing typically Swiss features, such as multiple bridges and cocks, or pearlage, "Glashütte stripes", hand-engraved balance cocks and screwed gold chatons. Lange movements are made from a metal known as German silver, as opposed to the plated brass typically used for Swiss movements. Lange watches tend to have a distinctive appearance. For example, the "Lange 1" model features an asymmetric layout with no overlap among its key indicators: a dial displaying the hours and minutes, a smaller subsidiary dial displaying seconds, an oversized double window date display, and a power reserve indicator. Lange's watches are often described as more "austere" or "Teutonic" in appearance than watches produced by comparable Swiss firms.
At the SIHH 2012 show A.Lange & Sohne unveiled new watches including a take on the classic Lange 1. The Lange 1 watch family is to be headed by the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, with two large complications and a new type of instantaneously jumping month ring.
Pronunciation and spelling
A. Lange & Söhne is approximately pronounced [ah LAHNG-eh unt SURN-neh]. Where the Umlaut "ö" is not available, it is rendered as a digraph by German convention ("Soehne"), but often as "Sohne" internationally (even though that would imply a different pronunciation in German).
- "Wilhelm Schmid: Petrolhead drives the Richemont treasure". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "At Home With A. Lange & Söhne". The New York Times. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "When passion and precision meet in watchmaking". dna. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Vintage watches with real pedigree". Mail Online. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- sz-online (24 May 2016). "SZ-Online: Verdienstorden für Walter Lange". SZ-Online. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Christoph Eisenring; Glashütte (3 October 2015). "25 Jahre deutsche Einheit: Kleines Wirtschaftswunder nach der Wende". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- McGrane, Sally. "Saxon craftsmanship before its time". The Local. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Forster, Jack (6 September 2008). "It's About Time". Forbes. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "History of the Lange 1".
- SIHH 2012 show
- Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar
- Grand Lange 1
- Lange 1 Time Zone in white gold
- Lange, Walter, Als die Zeit nach Hause kam, Erinnerungen, Econ/Ullstein, Berlin, Germany, 2004. ISBN 3-430-15976-8
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