Günter Blümlein passed away on 1 October 2001, 20 years ago, aged only 58. He ranks among the great renewers of the luxury watch industry. With the restoration of several Swiss watch brands as well as the establishment of A. Lange & Söhne, he made major contributions to the renaissance of the mechanical watch after the quartz crisis in the 1970s.
His early death meant the loss of the visionary co-founder of A. Lange & Söhne and the demise of a charismatic entrepreneur and strategist for the world. His vision and enthusiasm outlast his passing away. What remains is his quest for outmost precision, his interpretation of form and quality, his perception of the bigger picture and his awareness of subtle differences. They are still embedded in every watch that leaves our manufactory.
“Without Günter Blümlein, A. Lange & Söhne would no longer exist – and Glashütte would not again be the centre of German precision watchmaking today.”
- Walter Lange, founder of Lange Uhren GmbH
“A Lange watch is a fusion of the arts. It melds the passion of watchmakers for mechanical solutions and craftsmanship with the inimitable style of the manufactory and its venerable history.”
- Günter Blümlein
Without Günter Blümlein, Glashütte would not again be the centre of the German watchmaking industry today. With systematic and sustainable investments in the site and in training, he created important prerequisites for restoring the city of Glashütte’s status as a centre of international precision watchmaking.
One of Günter Blümlein’s greatest achievements was the revival of the A. Lange & Söhne brand, essentially from scratch. Together with Walter Lange, he developed an integrated corporate, product and marketing concept that propelled the name A. Lange & Söhne back to the pinnacle of precision watchmaking where the brand stood prior to its involuntary hiatus of 40 years. No watch underscores this ambitious venture better than the TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”. Among the four watches of the first collection, it dominates the domain of horological complications. Its most precious feature is the fusée-and-chain transmission, a refined mechanism that equalises the waning force of the mainspring and that had never before been integrated in a wristwatch.
The innovative designs and mechanical inventions created under his guidance still reverberate today. Key developments at A. Lange & Söhne included the LANGE 1 with its new off-centre dial architecture and the first outsize date in a regularly produced wristwatch, as well as the first chronograph calibre crafted in-house for the DATOGRAPH.
“The fine watch, the luxury watch, the best watch no longer comes only from Switzerland – it now also comes from Saxony again. And as we meanwhile say self-confidently but respectfully in our advertising: The Swiss craft the world’s best watches – so do the Saxons!”
THE FIRST LANGE CHRONOGRAPH
The manufactory’s first chronograph movement, created under the guidance of Günter Blümlein, still constitutes the basis of several current chronograph models crafted by A. Lange & Söhne.