Lange 1 watch in yellow gold

Born in 1845
Origin Germany
Prices from £12,700
Famous for  The quiet family business that just happens to make watches for royalty and rock stars

When Dresden watchmaker Ferdinand A. Lange started his watch manufactory in 1845, specializing in navigation pieces and chronometers, it didn’t take long for his exquisite hand crafted timepieces to capture the attention of the wider industry.  But the company was seized after World War II, and almost fell into oblivion before being brought back to life by Ferdinand’s great grandson in 1990.  Today, from its base in sleepy Glashutte, the company only crafts a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year, but all are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled by hand, as is the family tradition.  Watch connoisseurs around the world now wear the firm’s inaugural watch, the LANGE 1, known for its outsize date which was inspired by the famous Five Minute Clock in the Dresden Semper Opera (see image above).

Did You Know? The tools and materials that inspired A Lange & Söhne’s famous timepieces date back to Saxon times? In 1560, local politician Elector Augustus started an art chamber in Dresden, where, among other things, he collected precision time measuring instruments that would play a crucial role in watch-making development.

Brand Friends: Numerous A listers and industry insiders wear A Lange & Söhne.  However, the company refuses to deploy official ‘brand ambassadors’, instead opting to play in the low key, and enjoy their reputation as “the most revered watch brand on the planet, that you have never heard of.”

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