A Lange & Sohne Story

A Lange & Sohne Story

A. Lange & Sohne produce very precise German mechanical watches. The main features of the watches are incomparable virtuosity and highly skilled craftsmanship. Prior to World War II, a Lange pocket watch was the most desired calculagraph for one hundred years, however after the war manufacture stopped for fifty years. Through the unity of East and West Germany, Walter Lange, the great-grandson of the founder of Lange, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, immediately started production again. Today, the Lange watch factory meticulously crafts watches, and re-attains the good reputation of “made in Germany”. The every current part is as precious and unique as in past resplendant era’s.

Ferdinand Adolph Lange was born in Dresden on February 18, 1815, his father, a gunsmith, was described as a “man with backbone”. Lange’s parents divorced when he was young and he was brought up by a merchant family. This family sent him to study in a technical school in Dresden, he received the training all general engineers and technicians should have at that time. During the study, Lange became the famous palace watchmaker - Gutkaes’ apprentice. Although Lange was only 15 years old, his craft, diligence and talent attracted Gutkaes. Gutkaes assured his talent of watch-making and showed encouragement to him.

Ferdinand Adolph Lange created the first pocket watch manufacturer in Glashütte on December 7, 1845, beginning training the 15 young people form this depressed area to make them become excellent watchmakers. In order to let this venturesome action supported, he negotiated with the government of Saxony for a long time before taking that step, and he finally attained 7,820 Retaillau (former German currency) loan.

Form the beginning, he wanted to create high-quality hour hands which were consistent and highly reliable. So he put the metric system into watch-making business, which simplified the calculation of movement components. In order to cut out the components more accurately, he used the flywheel rotary lathe to replace the hand lathe which was common at that time. Besides, in order to provide stability and elasticity of movements, he invented 3/4 plywood which became a major feature of watch-making craft in Glashütte. The 3/4 plywood was one of the most important traditional elements of Lange pocket watches and was created by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1864. Its function was to carry the walking of gear train, and the plywood must aim the position of multiple spindles simultaneously during the assembly. It took firmness, caution and lots of time and efforts to make these processes complete. Compared to the traditional structure made by several slabs, the 3/4 plywood greatly improved the stability of movement. In addition, the plywood not only reduced wheelbase tolerance of the gear, but also made the movement more anti-dirt.

Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, was born on July 29, 1924, and he accepted the training from watchmaker before World War II broke out shortly. As all the young men, he was taken part in the recruitment. He returned home after getting serious injury, but the main production department of Lange watch factory was destroyed by air raid on the last day of World War II in 1945. Then, the watch factory was classified as state-owned by East German government in 1948, and the family business was confiscated as whole people’s common assets. So the trademark of Lange went up in smoke and Lange watch factory became a legend. Walter Lange seized the chance to leave East Germany and fled to West Germany and settled down, so that he could avoid the destiny to accept hard labour in the uranium mine factory.

Walter Lange couldn’t forget his home. Germany reunified on October 3, 1989 and the Berlin Wall collapsed, so he returned to Glashütte at once. The people from his hometown faced an uncertain future after the German Democratic Republic ruled by socialist fell in. This situation prompted him to give them a brand-new prospect. 145 years later when his great-grandfather created Lange with the spirit of pioneer, Walter Lange founded Lange again on December 7, 1990. The first style of Lange in the new century was displayed in Dresden in 1994 while Germany reconstructed the reputation of high-class watch.

**no guarantee about story is completely accurate and existed difference**