On May 22, 2014, the Chinese version of ‘Lange-Exquisite Watches and Clocks from Saxony’ was held in Beijing Wempe Watch Shop. A translation of the book ‘Langer-Fine Watches from Saxony’, written by Reinhard Meis, a famous German watchmaker and expert in antique watch research, will be available soon. This book has illustrated the history of the ups and downs of the watchmaking industry in the town of Glashütte, Saxony, and is a good teacher and friend of the majority of watch enthusiasts.
As soon as we entered the Wempe watch shop, I immediately felt the strong historical atmosphere of Lange. Max wrote this highly regarded book, introducing A. Lange & Söhne, Germany’s most famous watch brand, and then revising it for up to eight years. In this book, he vividly and comprehensively introduced to readers how the Lange watch, born in 1845, has gradually grown into the representative of today’s top German watch brands.
Lange is not only exquisite, but refreshments prepared for the media are also exquisite.
The general manager of the Wempe watch shop in China wore a 19th-century gown and read to us a statement by Ferdinando Adolf Lange.
As the publisher of the Chinese version of ‘Langer-Fine Watches from Saxony’, Mr. Chen Mang, Chairman of Caesars Travel Agency, and the fourth generation of the Wempe family unveiled the new book.
The original German version of the book went on sale in December 2011, followed by the English and Italian versions in 2012. In order to make it easy for the majority of Chinese readers to read this timepiece historical and cultural masterpiece, Caesars Culture, Art and Media Co., Ltd., in conjunction with A. Lange & Söhne, facilitated the publication and distribution of the Chinese version of the book at Wuzhou Communication Publishing House. Mr. Chen Mang, Chairman of Caesars Culture, Art and Media, is an enthusiastic watch enthusiast and collector himself. He is dedicated to spreading European watch history and culture to China.
The book ‘Langer-Fine Watches from Saxony’ is divided into two volumes. The first volume ‘100 Years of the Glashütte Watch Industry’ introduces the history of the development of the watch industry in the town of Glashütte, as well as small watch manufacturers and numerous accessories suppliers. The second volume, Lange: A Watchmaking Dynasty in Dresden, shows the 100-year history of A. Lange & Söhne over three generations from 1845 to 1945.
The forthcoming Chinese translation of this book has more than 900 pages, enumerating more than 2,700 pictures and drawings, showing almost all the patents and sample collections of A. Lange & Söhne over a century, and finally introducing A. Lange & Söhne’s The latest watches cover all the products traditionally made in Glashütte since the company was re-established in 1990.
The guests took a photo with the new book.
At the scene, Mr. Chen Mang will share with you every bit of his relationship with Germany, Lange and watches, and we will also release an exclusive interview with Mr. Chen Mang, so stay tuned.
Later, Lange arranged a lively Lange, European, and German history lesson for media colleagues, telling from the formation of the ‘German First Empire’ or ‘Holy Roman Empire’ to ‘World War I’, ‘World War II’, and then from The entire historical process from the unification of Germany to Lange’s release of the first batch of watch works in October 1994 made us appreciate the tenacity and persistence of the Lange family from a macro perspective. We will tell you about this legendary history in a later column.
Part of European history is explained by Dr. Pan Dan, a doctor of history.
The history of Lange was explained by Mr. Li Na of the Lange brand. The two people’s vivid explanation seemed to bring us to that turbulent era, let us deeply feel that Lange’s glory today is really hard to come by.
On December 7, 1845, with 15 young apprentices recruited from the local and nearby impoverished areas, Adolf Lange started his business in Glashütte.
The 40 years after the birth of the Second Empire was a time of rapid economic development in Germany. The demand for luxury goods at home and abroad pushed Lange to the most successful and glorious period in history. During William II’s 50th anniversary in 1895, the grand joyous celebrations also marked Lange’s most glorious era.
Before the start of World War I, with the establishment of a new watch factory in Glashütte, mass production, mechanization and the introduction of cheap Swiss movements challenged Lange’s operations. At this moment, Lange’s pocket watches are divided into two types: the ALS quality standard that meets the highest quality requirements, and the DUF standard labeled ‘Made in Germany Watches’ on the dial. The gold case, without the gold sleeve and the engraved splint of the balance wheel, has a different quality from the ALS with five orientation correction, and the DUF has only three orientation correction.
The demand for special pocket watches for air and water navigation in the early 1940s greatly increased Lange’s production. During this period, Lange’s pocket watches for the Navy and big pilot watches for the Air Force also became current collections. According to records, by the end of the war in 1945, there were approximately 13,500 precision clocks for armament production, and these orders helped Lange weather the war.
On the last day of World War II, on May 8, 1945, Soviet fighter jets threw bombs at Glashütte to stop German troops retreating to the Czech Republic. The bomb hit Lange’s production plant and destroyed most of the instruments and device. After the war, under the supervision of the Soviet Union, Lange would use documents such as splint watches, pilot watches, navigation precision timepieces, and marine precision ship clocks to make documents and drawings so that the Soviet Union could build production workshops locally.
During the split between Germany and Germany, Walter Lange settled in Forzheim and continued his career as a watchmaker there. During this period he made some attempts to restore the Lange table. For example, he used to work with his wife and brothers to assemble watches with the “Lange, vorm. Glashütte” logo in his kitchen, and also worked with IWC to make pocket watches with IWC movements, but none of these attempts were successful. The reason is very simple. It is not the real Lange watch if it is separated from its native land.
Lange finally released the first watches in October 1994, including Lange 1, Saxonia, Arcade and Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ watches. This marked Lange’s return to the peak of world watchmaking before World War II.
Knowing the entire history, there will be an indescribable feeling when you look at Lange’s works. These pocket watches are so beautiful. Friends who like Lange must not miss this good book. I will publish the book information below: Wuzhou Communication Publishing House, priced at 1999 yuan (Euro price: 249 Euro), ISBN: 978-7-5085-2609-6.