A. Lange & Söhne: Time – And The iInfluence Of Design
“Wasting time is the easiest of all wastes”, Henry Ford once said. But one quickly encounters conceptual difficulties when trying to determine the value of time. After all, there are such diverse readings of the value of time that the unchangeable constant hardly seems tangible. Nevertheless, few watch manufacturers in this world have managed to capture the elegance of the time and make it tangible in an aesthetic way within our postmodern age.
There is something you should demand not only from your watch, but also from your self: never to stop.
Deeply rooted in their Saxon homeland, A. Lange & Söhne‘s timepieces have always been distinguished not only by their strong preference for the golden ratio but above all by their high degree of recognizability across generations. Thus, the design of the GROSSE LANGE 1 with a black dial also combines the unmistakable proportions of the LANGE 1, which symbolizes the face of the manufactory today.
In keeping with Walter Lange’s guiding principle, a walk through the Glashütte design studio quickly teaches one what the designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld meant by his insight – that construction and beauty need not be opposites. Only three product designers work with the highest standards under the leadership of Lange’s chief designer Martin Schetter on the new models such as the GROSSE LANGE 1. The focus of the design is clearly on the harmonious connection between technology and aesthetics, between tradition and modernity.
From sketch to finished product: A. Lange & Söhne needs around two years for this process
“From the first-hand sketches to the final acceptance of the finished product design, the design of a dial alone can take up to two years”, Martin Schetter recounts and continues: “Again and again, the countless designs are scrutinized, often differing only in minimal details.”
But it was precisely this perfectionist approach that enabled the dial proportions of the LANGE 1 to be transferred to the GROSSE LANGE 1. “The struggle for millimeter fractions was essential”, clarifies Schetter. After all, this was the only way to find the best solution among the many drawings produced.
With the GROSSE LANGE 1 with a black dial, the A. Lange & Söhne designers have succeeded in creating a timepiece that would be recognized at first glance as a Lange indispensable even without the famous bow logo. In addition to the decentrally structured dial, the striking design elements of the purist, timeless design include the large date in the double window – inspired by the stage clock of the Dresden Semper Opera – and the specially shaped case horns.
The Linotype typography specially developed for the GROSSE LANGE 1 - and the feeling of harmony
In addition to the obvious details, the more subtle ones also play an important role. These include, above all, the elegant lance-shaped hands, the typography that appears engraved and was specially developed by Linotype for A. Lange & Söhne, and the aesthetically pleasing interplay of case material and dial color.
Ultimately, however, it is not only the aesthetically sophisticated design in its entirety that has always given an A. Lange & Söhne timepiece this magical feeling of harmony throughout the generations. Rather, it is a kind of magic that one encounters during everyday winding as well as putting on and wearing the GROSSE LANGE 1 with black dial that makes it something very special.
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