Last month, Lange, a famous German watchmaking brand, officially launched in China, and opened its first Asia-Pacific concept store in Beijing WEMPE. For WEMPE, an important German watch and jewelry dealer, this is their first branch in Asia. For Lange, it finally ‘meets’ with its world-famous family WEMPE in Beijing.
The benchmark of the German watch industry
To see German watches, you must first look at Lange, and to understand Lange, you must understand the history of Lange. From the grand history of the first century to the disappearance of nearly half a century after World War II, to the ‘resurrection’ of the 1990s, this is a brand that has experienced many ups and downs with the modern history of Germany.
Today at the Glashütte Museum in eastern Germany, you can see photos of Langer founder Ferdinando Adolf Lange being placed in the area that introduced the origin of German precision watchmaking. At that time, Glashütte was just a The humble eastern German town was depleted of mineral resources, and people’s lives fell into poverty. Mr. Lange and several colleagues proposed to the Saxony government to develop the watch industry here and was allowed. Therefore, in 1845, the watch brand Langer was established. The supporting companies needed for the movement, watch case, parts and other industries in small towns were quickly established and developed into a completely independent production chain with multiple factories. Later generations often said that Adolf Lange laid the cornerstone for Saxony’s watchmaking industry. In the next century, Adolf Lange and his descendants forge ahead, making Lange a famous brand in the German watchmaking industry.
Inheriting the traditional ‘resurrection’
Adolf Lange introduced the metric system for the watchmaking process to accurately calculate and manufacture the movement parts, and invented the three-quarters of the plywood that was later widely used by the German watch industry. His son Richard Lange was in the German Empire. The Lange’s golden age started, and the famous large and complex pocket watch No. 42500 was born during this time. Richard Lange also modified his balance spring to make the travel more accurate and reliable.
Interestingly, when Richard Lange started to become a company partner, Adolf Lange changed the brand name to ‘A. Lange & Shne’, ‘Shne’ means ‘sons’, you can see This shows the very human side of the Germans’ rigor and rationality.
During World War II, due to its expertise in making precision instruments, Glashütte became one of the R & D and production bases of German military equipment. On the last day of World War II, it was bombed by the Soviet Union, and many precision watchmaking instruments and equipment were removed. Naturally Lange was not spared and the headquarters was blown up. Subsequently, the East German government simply merged and nationalized all the surviving independent companies and brands, and Lange no longer existed.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the fourth generation of Lange’s successor, Walter Lange, was determined to revitalize the family brand, so there was the unforgettable Lange product conference in the Dresden Palace in 1994. The four series led by the watch brought this almost legendary brand back to the contemporary stage.
Lange’s iconic design
Large calendar: appeared on LANGE 1 in 1994 and quickly became its iconic design, magnifying the traditional calendar window four times. Adolf Lange helped produce the five-minute digital clock of the Semper Opera House in 1841, from which Lange’s big calendar was inspired. The ten digits and single digits of the big calendar are on two separate digital dials.
Three-quarter splint: In 1864 Adolf Lange invented the three-quarter splint to protect the inside of the movement, revealing only the part of the balance system. In this way, the stability of the movement is improved, and it has become a paradigm that many German watch brands have followed.
The most representative series
At SIHH 2013, Lange’s Global Communications Director said: ‘If you ask me which series best represents Lange? No doubt it is LANGE 1, which brings Lange back to the pinnacle of precision watchmaking; which series best represents Lange’s tradition? Then the 1815 series, the watch design of this series continues to pay tribute to our era of pocket watches. ‘
LANGE 1: The ‘eccentric dial large calendar’ makes it unique. Since its birth in 1994, no matter the dial is left or right, it is the unique appearance of LANGE 1. And no matter what kind of complicated function models, the dial can still keep the simplicity, reflecting the low-key personality and practical pursuit.
1815 series: 1815 is the year that Lange founder Adolf Lange was born, so named so deeply, following the spirit of continuous exploration of the leader of German precision watchmaking industry, paying tribute to the outstanding works of the early pocket watch era with complex technology watches. . The launch of GRAND COMPLICATION this year reminds people of the big complicated pocket watch No. 42500 of 1902.
The pursuit of innovation but not fashion watches
Franck Giacobini Managing Director, Lange Asia Pacific
Q: Taking Lange as an example, what is the biggest difference between a German watch and a Swiss watch?
Franck Giacobini: In the past, it was easy to distinguish between German and Swiss watches, because some characteristics and elements were only reflected in German watches. For example, three-quarters of the splint. Many Swiss watches now use three-quarters of the splint, but for Lange, we spend a lot of time and energy on the most classic elements of German watches. Another example is the use of blue steel screws, and the balance splint under the fine adjustment of the gooseneck also insists on hand-carved patterns. The watches we make have a lot of connections and associations with early pocket watches.
Q: Why are Lange’s products so easily recognized in many watches?
Franck Giacobini: The whole style is still based on traditional German watches. The shape is very traditional and classic, but we are creative in it. For example, the large calendar of LANGE 1 now looks very classic, but at the time it was very avant-garde, and even made the calendar window so large. Later, the word jump on both sides of the LANGE ZEITWERK was inspired by the five-minute digital clock of the Semper Opera House, but it was very special on the watch. It won many design awards including the red dot award. But in pursuit of innovation, we are definitely not a fashion watch, but a serious watch brand.
Q: German industrial design emphasizes simplicity and practicality. In what respects does Lange attach importance to user experience?
Franck Giacobini: The German is a natural engineer, very talented in construction machinery, functional and practical, and Lange also has these characteristics. For example, in the early stage of design, we will consider the convenience of the wearer, such as LANGE ZEITWERK, you see the dial surface is very simple, very simple, and easy to use, but in fact the movement is very complicated, we took the difficult part Hidden in the watch, so that consumers will not find it difficult to navigate.
Q: At present, the Chinese people have a very limited understanding of Lange. In what aspects do you most hope the Chinese market starts to understand the Lange brand?
Franck Giacobini: Watchmaking technology is at the core of ours. I hope everyone starts to know Lange from our most precious things. For example, a 500-person factory produces about 6,000 watches each year, and each watch takes 4 months to a year to manufacture. Lange is more focused on watchmaking itself, letting consumers discern what a good brand is.
Q: ‘Watches and Miracles’ to be held in Hong Kong in September, how will Lange present itself as a participating brand?
Franck Giacobini: We will bring ‘a small part’ of Germany over! In Saxony’s cultural and historical background, key figures from the watchmaking production department, such as engravers and watchmakers, will also come and exhibit special models that were not exhibited in 2013 SIHH. The layout of the exhibition hall will follow the form of 2013 SIHH, such as the GRAND COMPLICATION huge model appearing on SIHH, more can not be revealed.
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