Lange & Söhne : Lange 1/1994
When, in 1994, the Lange 1 made its debut on the watchmaking scene, it did more than mark the return of the Glasshütte (ex-GDR) company after a half-century parenthesis for the geopolitical reasons we all know. Straight away it captured the exacting standards which the artisans of this spectacular resurrection had themselves imposed.
With its off-centre hour and minute dial, subsidiary seconds at five o'clock, and outsize date, the originality and exquisite beauty of this model was immediately evident. But what would leave a lasting impression on lovers of fine watches was what lay behind the dial, with such technical innovation as the patented outsize date mechanism and the exquisite decoration. This dazzling demonstration, the first of many, seemed nothing short of miraculous and caused many a jaw to drop, especially in Switzerland. The explanation lay with one man, Günther Blümlein, a son of Saxony with its watchmaking tradition, the then head of IWC and a mentor for Jaeger-LeCoultre. With all three companies belonging to the same group, the good fairies were there to watch over this new arrival.
The Schaffhouse company provided most of its education and training, bringing fresh expertise to the Glasshütte teams and giving them the means to set their sights high.