Film: A. Lange & Söhne “A Legend Comes Home”
by John Keil
“A. Lange & Söhne: A Legend Comes Home” is a short 22-minute film presented by Shanghai Hantang Culture Development Co. Anyone who has ever had his or her heart rate fluctuate due to the sight of a fine timepiece should see this video.
But I warn you, I am about to swoon all over this post! And here is why.
Back in 2000 I was a brand representative traveling the United States for the small German-based brand Chronoswiss. I’d been to Germany on business trips, took a group of clients to Oktoberfest in Munich, and although my career and my horological knowledge was just beginning to develop, my love of German watchmaking was already strong.
Before working for Chronoswiss, I had been an admirer of A. Lange & Söhne but only via catalogs and magazine articles. At that point in time there were only two or three authorized retailers in the U.S., and I hadn’t yet had the opportunity see any of the timepieces in person.
That changed one autumn day in New York City during a visit with a retailer who was one of the few carrying A. Lange & Söhne.
The day it all changed for me
I vividly remember waiting for the store manager (who made a habit of making reps wait), so I asked one of the salesmen if I could have a closer look at the gold Lange 1 nestled within a glass box on the back wall.
If memory serves me correctly, it was pink gold with a black dial. And although beautiful from the front, when I turned the watch over I was in complete awe.
To date, this was the most emotionally moved that I have ever been by an object of any sort.
The aesthetic cleanliness of manually winding in-house Caliber L.901.0 literally took my breath away.
The absence of a winding rotor provided a full view of the Glashütte three-quarter plate, while 9 of the 53 ruby jewel bearings were set with gold chatons held in place by polished blued screws.
The balance cock was exquisitely hand-engraved below the swan-neck fine regulator.
It was the most beautiful movement that I’d ever seen, and it was finished to perfection.
From there my love of the brand and its movements grew stronger.
To this day, the hand-wound chronograph models from A. Lange & Söhne are, in my opinion, the most fascinating and stunning movements ever made.
So much so, that high-resolution images of the original Datograph movement along with the Glashütte Original Caliber 99 were used for a half-sleeve tattoo that spans my left arm and shoulder.
“A. Lange & Söhne: A Legend Comes Home”
Let’s get to the reason and inspiration for this post, the “A. Lange & Söhne: A Legend Comes Home” short film.
If you love fine timepieces and A. Lange and Söhne, do yourself a favor and take the next 22 minutes to see what might not have been if it weren‘t for the passion and determination of Walter Lange, Günter Blümlein, and the city of Glashütte.
I, for one, am thankful for A. Lange & Söhne “coming home.” It is stories like this and brands like A. Lange & Söhne that make me love the fine timepiece industry and inspire me to make my career in this business.
And while you’re watching moving films, don’t miss the one that A. Lange & Söhne issued to celebrate 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
For more, please visit www.alange-soehne.com.
Also published on Medium.