February 18, 2015 is the 200th anniversary of Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The watchmaker born in Dresden not only introduced the metric system into the watch industry, but also invented a number of measuring instruments and designed new patented tools and structures. His goal is only one: to create the best watches in the world. Its innovative concept laid the foundation for Lange and made the brand international.
In the summer of 1851, Ferdinando Adolf Lange presented a pocket watch made in the town of Glashütte at the World Exposition in London, hoping to be recognized by watch lovers internationally. This is the first time he has exhibited a pocket watch at a large event, and it has been a success: Lange’s pocket watches are more accurate and more affordable than their competitors. These heroes won him first prize and other medals. However, Lange, who has been working hard for a long time, paid a heavy price for it-he eventually overworked and had to lie in London for several weeks. This may be the first time in six years that he has had the opportunity to calm down and focus on his situation. He realized that his dedication to his career in the past few years not only put the company at risk, but also affected the lives of his family. Later, Ferdinando Adolf Lange wrote to the Saxony Ministry of the Interior to explain his results:
Letter from Ferdinando Adolf Lange in London, August 3, 1851
‘My first and decisive step was to design a meter to measure any small calculation ratio in the most accurate way. Then I calculated the ratio of cams, clocks and related machines, and established it on a scientific basis. The principles of creating timepieces and designing escapement systems, and formulating reliable production methods and processes for the past random, biased and inconsistent situations. This is the result of more than 20 years of intensive research and hard work, and part of our The practice in watch factories has greatly improved the quality of watches, but most of them have not been applied in time. ‘
An important invention of Ferdinando Adolf Lange
It can be seen from the travel log in the photo that Lange was divided into units at that time, detailing the calculation method of each gear size. After returning from his studies, he gradually replaced the legal unit at the time with the metric system.
Precision measuring instrument
Tools such as the decimal meter, invented by Lange, make measurements of depth, length, and external diameter accurate to a tenth of a millimeter. The metal pointer indicates the measurement result on the curved scale.
This dial is used to measure fine components such as shafts and pivots, where precision is especially important. The assembly is clamped by the two claws of a dial micrometer, and the measurement result is accurate to one hundredth of a millimeter.
Lange introduced watchmaker lathes to replace the traditional arc-shaped rotary design. The pedal can control the device to rotate the round parts such as pins, cams, gears and disks at a constant speed to ensure the production process is accurate.
Gear and pinion design
To reduce friction and wear, Lange calculates and designs the tooth profile of the gears and pinions to optimize their interaction.
After years of hard work, Lange has successfully developed 3/4 plywood. This device makes the movement more stable. This unique component also becomes one of the characteristics of Lange pocket watches. The 3/4 splint is still the main component of Lange watches.
Decorative pocket watch
Lange treats every pocket watch with the highest quality standards, clearly following the motto of Gutkers: The watch must be flawless, from the component to the case. The fine engraving, guilloché, finishing and polishing of Lange pocket watches have been passed on to this day.
Glashütte lever escapement
Lange devoted himself to creating precise pocket watches, and at the same time created an escapement system called ‘Free Lever Escapement System’. Each pallet fork is made from a single piece of material, while the pallet fork is fixed in a concealed manner.
This innovative technology replaces key winding, making the winding process easier. An example of this is an early pocket watch (numbered 1340) created by Lange and his in-law Bernhard Gutkaes around 1850.
The second second (morte) device makes it easier for the watch owner to read the second hand. The device developed by Lange is equipped with a large independent second hand, which beats in the center position every second. His son further developed the concept and applied for a patent in 1877.
9 meter pendulum
In the newly completed watch factory in 1873, Lange successfully produced a clock with uniform vibration and a pendulum up to 9 meters. He personally designed the movement’s lever escapement, and his son Richard calculated the pendulum size.
When Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded his watchmaking factory in 1845, it also laid the foundation stone for the watchmaking industry in Saxony. His precision pocket watches are still sought after by collectors around the world. After the Second World War, Lange’s century-old foundation was expropriated and confiscated by the East German regime. The great-grandson of the founder, Walter Lange, seized the opportunity and began the revival of Lange in 1990. Today, Lange produces only thousands of gold or platinum 950 watches representing the highest quality each year. All are equipped with an exclusive movement carefully modified and assembled by hand. In more than 20 years, Lange has developed 51 self-made movements from watchmakers, leading the world’s leading watch brand. The brand is fruitful, introducing different innovative timing tools, such as LANGE 1 with the first large calendar display in general watches, and LANGE ZEITWERK with clear, easy-to-read, accurate word skipping devices. These two watches have also become Lange’s signature models.