The world lost a watchmaking icon this week. Walter Lange, Honorary Chairman of A. Lange & Söhne, died on Monday in Germany at the age of 92.
While the storied German manufacture was first founded by his great-grandfather Ferdinand Aldoph Lange back in 1845, it was the younger Lange who really revitalised the brand and shaped it into the watchmaking name it is today. Having enjoyed much success in its early years, A. Lange & Söhne’s operations came to a halt in 1948, when the post-World II Soviet administration confiscated the company’s property.
It was only later on, with the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 that Lange saw an opportunity to revive the brand built by his ancestor. With the help of his his business partner and friend, Günter Blümlein, Lange set out to rebuild the company from scratch and restore his family’s watchmaking legacy to its former glory. On October 25, 1994, this dream eventually came to fruition. A. Lange & Söhne presented to the public its first collection of wristwatches in decades at the Dresden residential palace, marking the start of a new era for the manufacture.
Now some two decades later, the name A. Lange & Söhne has once again become synonymous with watchmaking quality and excellence, having been recognised with over 250 international awards over the years. For Lange’s personal contributions to the field of fine watchmaking, he was also awarded the Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony in 1998 and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015.