The history of A. Lange & Söhne
Black-and-white photo of the first A. Lange & Söhne watchmaking atelier.

Our origins

The eventful history of A. Lange & Söhne in words and pictures.

LANGE 1 in white gold with solid-silver dial

From 1924 Walter Lange – A. Lange & Söhne is reborn

Walter Lange attends the renowned watchmaking school in Karlstein. The main production building of A. Lange & Söhne is destroyed in a bombing on the last night of the war in 1945. The company is expropriated in the Soviet-occupied zone. The A. Lange & Söhne brand disappears. The fall of the Berlin Wall takes place in November 1989. Walter Lange and the successful watch manager Günter Blümlein turn a dream into reality.

Black-and-white photo of brothers Richard and Emil Lange.

1868 – 1930 Richard and Emil Lange – rise and global renown

Richard and Emil Lange become partners. The so-called “tourbillon of the century” attracts attention. The Sultan receives a watch as a gift. Ludwig II orders a timepiece for his favourite Wagner opera singer from the Lange manufactory. The GRAND COMPLICATION no. 42500 is created for Heinrich Schäfer. A. Lange & Söhne develops timepieces for the first German expedition to the South Pole. Richard Lange develops a new spring alloy.

Drawing of Dresden and Saxony, black-and-white photo of F.A. Lange.

1796 – 1875 Ferdinand Adolph Lange – early years, travel and success

Ferdinand Adolph Lange trains with the master watchmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. The five-minute clock for the Semperoper opera house is commissioned. Ferdinand Adolph Lange spends years travelling before returning to Dresden. Railways change the conception of time. Ferdinand Adolph Lange marries Gutkaes’ daughter Antonia. He enjoys great success as a partner in his teacher and father-in-law’s business. The vision of establishing a new industry for the impoverished people of the Erzgebirge grows. The Royal Saxon Ministry of the Interior agrees to structural support.

Coloured etching of the Dresden Frauenkirche.

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Photo: Hans-Peter Klut)

1694 – 1783 Saxony shines under Augustus the Strong

Augustus the Strong presents himself as the absolute ruler. As a passionate art lover, his support for the arts and crafts trade includes splendid parties. The Renaissance city of Dresden becomes an impressive baroque stronghold. With the help of a pendulum clock he made himself, the astronomer, meteorologist and mechanic Johann Gottfried Köhler sets up the first-ever time service for the observatory in the Zwinger palace. The official local time for the city is always measured at noon.

The discovery of silver ore brings affluence to Saxony

Photo: SZ/Lemmel

1168 – 1648 Saxony before watchmaking

The unearthing of silver ore brings wealth to Saxony. The Erzgebirge becomes a hub of the European mining industry. Elector Augustus promotes the economic upturn with reforms. The wealth melts away with the Thirty Years War. New earthly treasures and the first specialised manufactories herald a new beginning. The beginnings of watchmaking can be traced back to this point.