In 1830 Ferdinand Adolph Lange was apprenticed to renowned master clockmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes who later became his father-in-law. In 1837 once he had completed his apprenticeship he became a “journeyman” which was the practice at the time of going on a working trip often for around 3 years between completing an apprenticeship and becoming a master. He travelled via Switzerland to France and honed his skills working with great Parisian master clockmaker’s.
He returned from his journeyman years in 1841 to partner with his old master and married his daughter. In 1845 the Royal Saxon Ministry of interior was asking for men to go to the impoverished region of the Ore mountains and introduce new trades to boost employment and would offer government grants to anyone willing. So Ferdinand accepted the challenge and moved from the capital Dresden, and earmarked the government grant to hire 15 apprentices and necessary tools. A. Lange & Söhne Lange was founded on 7th December 1845 by Ferdinand A. Lange in the town of Glashütte in the Ore mountains, in the eastern state of Saxony, and more importantly this marks the date of the beginning of the entire Glashütte watch industry.
Under Ferdinand, and then, following his death, his sons Emil and Richard, Lange produced quality pocket watches. Under subsequent generations of the Lange family the company continued to produce pocket watches and, like many German watch makers, produced over-sized wrist watches for use by German airmen in World War II.
In 1948, the post-war Soviet administration expropriated the company’s property, and the Lange brand ceased to exist. However, in 1990, following the collapse of the East German government, the founder’s great-grandson, Walter Lange, together with watch industry executive Günter Blümlein, restored the company with the assistance of several Swiss watch manufacturers, including IWC and Jaeger Le Coultre. There can be no underestimating the strength and will of Walter Lange in his efforts to re-launch Lange, an accomplishment he once only dreamed possible. The re-founded Lange, again operating from Glashütte, presented its first range of wrist watches in 1994. Today, A. Lange & Söhne wrist watches are sold globally and Lange is a member of the Richemont group.
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