Evergreen watches: Lange 1 from A. Lange & Söhne

Only A. Lange & Söhne hisory can explain the Lange 1 appeal…

1845. Ferdinand A. Lange founded the watchmaking company A. Lange, on Saxonia’s mountains. His sons maintained the tradition of this name, giving it a  new and higher reputation during the following Century.

1939. A. Lange & Söhne tried to protect its plant during World War Two. The Nazism era forced a change of the production in order to satisfy the military good demand, and A. Lange & Söhne produced pilot watches for the aviation. But none of this wristwatches had the Lange name on it, so as to avoid that the Allies could find the producer and destroy the plants.

1945. Cautions were not sufficient: the main production building was destroyed by a bomb on the last night of the war. After Walter Lange had taken up his studies again and completed them, the family was ready for a new beginning. But these plans were thwarted in 1948 by dispossession in the Soviet occupation zone because the factory was bombed during the last war night.

1990. One year after Berlin’s wall fall, Walter Lange defined the industrial plan to rebuild his  watch manufacture. He registered again the trademark, and launched the design and the production of the first modern A. Lange & Söhne watches… “We didn’t have much at that point,” Walter Lange recalls. “We had no watches that we could build and sell; we had no employees, no building and no machines. All we had was the vision of once again crafting the world’s best watches in Glashütte.”

1994.  After 4 years of hard work, A. Lange & Söhne introduced its first modern watches collection. Among them, there was the Lange 1: with its asymmetric, overlap-free displays and the characteristic outsize date, it has become the icon of Saxon watchmaking by A. Lange & Söhne. From the dust of Second World War, a magnificent watch came out.

2014. on October, 24th A. Lange & Söhne celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1.
The design of Lange 1 has a deep Saxon tradition:

  • The dial is inspired to Saxon ancient pocket watches. Some of them, exhibited at the Dresden Museum, have dials with asymmetric non-centered sub-dials and counters, with displays that recall the Lange 1 design;
  • The big date, between 1 and 2 o’ clock, is inspired by the first watch by Ferdinand A. Lange. Ferdinand’s clock was a big clock with digital indication, managed through two big rotating wheels, designed for the Dresden Theater (the so-called Five Minutes Clock). The Lange 1’s big date’s patent, especially developed for the Lange 1, is based on a different mechanism: two overlapped rotating discs are able to indicate, together, the day of the month.

Those two features make the Lange 1 a unique, unmistakable  watch.

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L'"orologio a cinque minuti" ispirò A. Lange & Söhne nella realizzazione del meccanismo della grande data. Qui raffigurato nel Grande Lange 1, in oro bianco con quadrante nero

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Orologio della tradizione sassone con tre sotto-quadranti eccentrici, esposto al Museo di Dresda.

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Ricostruzione dell'aspetto dell'orologio a cinque minuti dell'opera di Dresda

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Dettaglio del movimento del Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar. Dettaglio del meccanismo della "grande data"

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