In the year 1815, the world saw the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange (F. A. Lange) in Dresden. Born into a life of poverty as the son of a gunsmith, one could not imagine that he would one day grow to be the founder of Saxon precision watchmaking! 200 years later, in 2015, A. Lange & Söhne pays tribute to the man with whom their journey began.
The life of F. A. Lange
F. A. Lange was raised by a foster family who made it possible for him to receive a good education, at the time reserved for engineers and technicians. While studying at the Dresden Polytechnic, at the age of 16, he apprenticed with Johann Christian Friedrich Gitkaes, the Saxon court watchmaker, from whom he began to learn his craft. The following years saw his journeyman days taking him to France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to perfect his knowledge and skills.
Steadily building a name for himself, Lange was offered opportunities in these cities but he chose to return to Saxony to continue his work, and partnered his now-father-in-law Gitkaes in his firm. In 1844, in a bid to increase the fortunes of the town of Glashütte where he later moved, Lange and his brother founded the watch manufacturer "A. Lange, Dresden", and began training his first 15 apprentices. The passing years saw Lange passing on trade learnings and skills to his sons, Richard and Emil, who then passed it onto theirs as they joined the family business. In 1868, Lange and his oldest son Richard teamed up and renamed the house "A. Lange & Söhne".
Although Lange died in 1875, at the age of 60, his dreams for Glashütte were eventually realized, courtesy of the inception of the German School of Watchmaking in 1878 by his friend Moris Grossmann, which led to the town becoming the center of German precision watchmaking. In 1895, Glashütte built a monument in Lange's honor.
A. Lange & Söhne pays tribute to F. A. Lange
In honor of their founder's 200th birthday, A. Lange & Söhne have released a 200-piece limited edition of the "200th Anniversary F. A. Lange". Housed in a platinum case, this watch is graced with the traditional style elements – a solid silver dial with a recessed central segment, Arabic numerals, and the well-known railway track. It is a tremendous tribute to Lange's watchmaking heritage.
A slender number, this watch (model 236.049) is 40mm in size and 8.8mm thick and has a black dial bearing rhodium gold hours and minutes hand with a subsidiary seconds dial. Powered by mechanical movement, Lange manufacture calibre L051.1, it has a power reserve of 55 hours, when fully wound.
1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” (236.049)
So, this year, as you appreciate all that fine watches have to offer, raise your glass (and your watch) to one of the men who made it possible – Ferdinand Adolph Lange.