April 2, 2023

Walter Lange On A Lange Sohnes Renaissance

The octogenarian ambassador for A. Lange & Sohne walks into the room with bandages covering half of his forehead. He fell the day before – and, no, you may not ask him what happened – but the 90-year-old who resurrected the manufacture post German re-unification wouldn’t miss this, the 20th anniversary of the relaunched brand’s first collection. Spry and sharp, but increasingly confronted with his frailty, the great-grandson of the watchmaker’s first founder sits down to share his thoughts on the brand’s rebirth and documents a slice of Saxony’s history in the process.

What do you remember most from the time you relaunched the brand in 1990?

The reunification of Germany took place on Oct 3, 1990. Everyone was happy. My greatest wish was to go back to Glashutte as soon as possible to re-establish the company.

You can do everything you want in life, but if you don’t have luck, you will not be successful. In my life, I had a little piece of luck. I had a very good partner, Gunter Blumlein. He took over two German manufactures Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC during the quartz crisis (when the availability of the material crushed the Swiss mechanical watch industry). He really focused on going back to mechanical watchmaking. He was a really great manager. Because of that, I could bring the company from zero back to the top.

Was there any drama when you resurrected the brand?

No. We were clear about our direction. We wanted to make valuable watches with a timeless design. We did not want to follow or create a trend because, after a few years, trends would disappear. Look at tattoos. They were big for a few years, now people are removing them.

Read the full story at The Peak.