Lange & Söhne
Lange & Söhne (1845 – 1948 & 1994 – ) On 24 October 2014, the company celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its launch of the Lange 1 watch collection. The company states, “[the collection] epitomized the core and the identity of the re-born A. Lange & Söhne brand.”
Beginning with its first creations in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in Glashütte, a German town near Dresden, the company created unique timepieces. After Ferdinand’s death, his sons Emil and Richard produced quality pocket watches.
A generations old company business, the Lange family company produced their watches and, like many other German watchmaking firms in Germany, added production of oversized wrist watches that German airmen used during World War II.
Dresden lies in what, for decades, was part of East Germany, the area occupied by the Soviet Union after the war ended. In 1948, the Soviets seized the company’s property and the Lange brand ceased to exist.
In 1990, after the East German government fell, the founder’s great-grandson, Walter Lange, together with watch industry executive Günter Blümlein, re-launched the brand with the help of several Swiss watch manufacturers, including IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre. The re-established company, again operating in Glashütte, presented its new collection of watches in 1994. Today, A. Lange & Söhne makes high-quality wrist watches sold globally and again regarded as one of the world’s best high-end watch manufacturers.
The Wikipedia entry for the company describes the company’s products as follows:
“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 gold or platinum. Lange movements are developed, produced, and assembled by Lange itself. Lange’s movement design and decoration [depart from] typically Swiss features, such as multiple bridges and cocks (or) Geneva wave decoration in favor of three-quarter plates, ‘Glashütte stripes,’ hand-engraved balance cocks and screwed gold chatons. Lange movements are made from metal known as “German silver,” an alloy of copper and nickel, as opposed to the plated brass typically used for Swiss movements. [This gives] Lange movements an unusual color and sheen.
“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 [Swiss] watches…”
The company also produces more complicated watches that include chronographs and split-second chronographs, perpetual calendars, world-timers, tourbillons and minute repeaters.