There’s no doubt that modern watchmaking and indeed A. Lange & Söhne owes a lot to Walter Lange, who today turns 90-years old. On December 7, 1990 although already a retiree with 66 years under his belt, Walter Lange along with Gunter Blumlein undertook to begin restoring the brand that Mr. Lange’s great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, laid down 145 years earlier. The brand disappeared from existence when communist authorities in East Germany took over Mr. Lange’s family watchmaking business in 1948.
Rebuilding a brand that has been absent from the world for several decades is no easy feat, and indeed the early days of the re-launched A. Lange & Söhne were fraught with obstacles. Thankfully Walter Lange and his partner persevered, and four years on, a then 70-year old Walter Lange showed the first four commercial pieces of the reborn brand.
Today, A. Lange & Söhne is highly regarded as one of the best manufacturers of high-end mechanical watches, and continues to innovate with utterly stunning creations that push boundaries in the world of fine watch making. At SIHH earlier this year A. Lange & Söhne unveiled several elegant yet wonderfully complicated timepieces including the 1815 Tourbillon with stop-seconds mechanism, and the incredible Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna.
Last year the brand made headlines with the outing of its US $2.6 million Grand Complication, sporting a perpetual calendar with moonphase, a split-seconds chronograph with flying seconds, and a grande and petite sonnerie with minute repeater. Although this was a limited edition concept piece that would only be offered to certain collectors, the watch was an important milestone for the brand, as it demonstrated their expertise in producing in-house complications that will likely see the light of day on future models. We. Can’t. Wait.
Happy 90th birthday Walter Lange, we offer you our thanks for your commitment to fine watch making and wish you well.
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