After 1945, Saxony disappeared behind the Iron Curtain, and the name A. Lange & Soehne vanished. But in 1990, Lange’s great-grandson Walter re-founded the business. Now, A. Lange & Soehne is known for producing fine in-house movements with a distinctive feel. The brand’s luxury watches are iconic once again.
1990. The Berlin Wall has fallen. Walter Lange and Walter Blumlein (a watch company manager) have recreated the A. Lange & Söhne brand. For four years, they work on four prototypes, which will announce the rebirth of the Saxon luxury watch manufactory. In October 1994, these prototypes are debuted to a rapturous response.
Three contain a new patent - the A. Lange & Söhne outsize date window at 12 ‘o’ clock. The fourth watch is the brand’s piece de resistance: the Tourbillon ‘Pour le Merite’. Its name, taken from Germany’s prestigious order of merit for outstanding accomplishment in the natural sciences, is a tribute to Ferdinand A. Lange.
In the first 21 years, of its post-Berlin Wall incarnation, A. Lange & Soehne created more than 40 new movements, for which it received a staggering 150 horological awards.
The Tourbillon ‘Pour le Merite’ was produced by the brand between 1994 and 1998, and remains one of its most collectable and sought-after pieces. Only 200 were ever made: 150 in gold, and 50 in platinum. Representing a completely new way to build a tourbillon wristwatch, ‘Pour le Merite’ stands as an encapsulation of the company that created it.
Precision, beauty, originality. These are the characteristics most often attributed to an A. Lange & Söhne luxury watch. Eschewing the complex ornamentation of Swiss and French design for clean lines, single bridges and unusual dial layouts, A. Lange & Söhne timepieces are true alternatives.
From limited editions to established models, the Saxon brand has repeatedly redefined the boundaries of fine watchmaking. In 1846, Ferdinand A. Lange invented the three-quarter plate, a movement design still used today. In 1931, Richard Lange created the Nivarox watch-spring alloy. In 2015, the Zeitwerk family of A. Lange & Söhne watches, an iconic line for the brand, achieved a horological milestone when they became the first luxury watch to combine jumping numerals and a minute repeater.
Zeitwerk models are inspired by the Dresden Opera House, whose mechanical clock displays hours and minutes not with sweeping or jumping hands, but with digits. Zeitwerk pieces are the spirit of A. Lange & Söhne, holding strongly to tradition whilst forging towards the future.
The unusual sheen of an A. Lange & Soehne movement is a property of its German silver - an alloy not found in Swiss luxury watches. Even the manufactory itself stands proudly apart from the geographical fashions of fine horology. In a world in which every other high end watch brand rushes to claim Swiss roots, the face of every A. Lange & Soehne watch tells a different story: ‘Made in Germany’.