The Patriarch Of German Watchmaking: A. Lange & Söhne

When you think of luxury timepieces, your thoughts will most likely go to anything of the Swiss variety. Sure, the Swiss are recognized across the globe for their magnificent watches, which have evolved into daily fashion items as well as excellent timekeepers.

A.Lange & Söhne, however, is a German luxury watchmaker that more than holds its own in the face of the Swiss invasion. Founded in 1845 in Glashütte, Germany by Ferdinand Adolph Lange – the first watchmaker to establish himself in the area, laying the path for it to become Germany’s watchmaking center – but nationalized in 1948, the high-end watch brand made a successful comeback in 1990.

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1

A. Lange & Söhne, a German watch manufacturer, released its first four new models on October 24, 1994, four years after the firm reopened in Glashütte following Germany’sGermany’s reunification in 1990. 

The objective was to re-establish Germany as a premium watchmaking powerhouse. The Lange 1, with an off-center hour and minute display, tiny seconds, a big date, and a power-reserve indication, was one of these four watches.

 Perhaps an odd design, yet the watch is nevertheless an emblem of horology and a symbol of rebirth twenty-three years later. It’sIt’s no wonder, therefore, that the Lange 1 was by far the most famous watch on Instagram.

1. A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down

The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down -or “Dato”- has become a grail for watch collectors despite being on the market since 1999. In 2012, when the Glashütte team felt it was time for an overhaul, they had to be careful not to jeopardize its cult status. 

The Roman numerals were replaced with baton hour markers, the dial was enlarged from 39 to 41 mm, and the watch had 60 hours of autonomy when ultimately wound. An eye-catching piece to wear on the wrist and one that you’ll want to flaunt on Instagram.

The chronograph movement is one of the most complicated mechanical movements to design and implement: it may be as complex as a tourbillon when completely integrated, especially when it has a flyback and an instantaneous leaping minute counter.

2. A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Decimal Strike

The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is the third in a series of watches with an acoustic time indicator. After the 2011 release of the Zeitwerk Striking Time and the 2015 release of the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater. 

The  Zeitwerk  Decimal  Strike,  instead  of  chiming  hours,  quarter  hours,  and 

minutes like a  minute repeater,  chimes hours, ten minutes,  and minutes.

While the A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” was one of the SIHH 2017 highlights, the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is the world’s first watch with mechanical leaping numerals and a decimal minute repeater. It’sIt’s no surprise that it was the talk of the internet.

3. A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon is named after Ferdinand A. Lange, who founded the company in Glashütte in 1845 and was born in the year 1815. 1815 has a stunning depth because of its basic form and clear display, which are reminiscent of Lange’sLange’s pocket watches. The introduction of rail transport, a key advance, affected the design of the 1815 model, which was scaled down to resemble a railway track.

This watch is a remarkable piece of technology with precision at its core, thanks to the incorporation of stop-seconds and a zero-reset mechanism. Through the multiple apertures at six o’clock, the user can see the tourbillon in motion and examine its various components.

4. A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual

A. Lange & Söhne’sSöhne’s Datograph Perpetual combines the chronograph and perpetual calendar into a single timepiece. The clock enables the exact measurement of small intervals with a fifth-of-a-second precision because of its complex and highly advanced mechanics.

 In 2100, the perpetual calendar, which includes dates, days of the week, months, and leap years, will only need to be adjusted by one day. When the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual was released in 2008, it wasn’t an instant hit, but a slight tweak in design improved demand. 

The Roman numerals were replaced with baton hour markers. At the same time, the original pink gold/white dial version was changed with a sportier, more contemporary white metal case and deep anthracite dial, giving the watch a whole new vibe.


The fact that every single movement is built twice before it reaches your wrist is what gives Lange watches their premium distinction. This technique is what has earned the German watchmaker such a prestigious reputation, and there is a lot of method behind it. According to the firm, the initial assembly is when all of the complicated pieces are combined and adjusted to the maximum degree of precision.

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