A. Lange and Sohne watch was founded by Adolf Lange in 1845 and it is one of the first watchmakers to set up shop in the now-iconic town of Glashutte in Germany. Before establishing his namesake brand, Lange worked as an apprentice under experienced watchmaker J.C. Friedrich Gutkaes. They primarily made timepieces on commission for elite clients. It was here that the replica Lange not only refined his watchmaking techniques but also developed a detail-oriented and customer-focused work ethic.
Lange graduated from his apprenticeship with honors in 1835. He decided to further his education with a well-respected chronometer maker after continuing to work under Gutkaes for a few years. Soon, he returned to Glashutte to establish his own workshop.
In the early years of the business, Lange began innovating at once. In 1846, he developed the three-quarter plate, which is still used in the brand’s movements today. In 1848, Lange was presented with a unique chance. He was provided the office of Mayor of Glashutte and accepted. During his tenure of nearly two decades, he transformed the modest town into the thriving industrial center for watchmaking we know today.
The early 1900’s marked the beginning of a hard period for the fake A. Lange and Sohne and the world. The political unrest of WWI, the economic downturn that followed, and the continued strife of WWII would greatly affect the town of Glashutte and the replica watch manufacturing there.
During the Second World War, A. Lange and Sohne produced oversized replica watches for the German Air Force. However, soon following the war, the company faced severe repercussions. In the final months of the war, their workshops were caught in a bombing raid and totally destroyed. By 1948, the Lange family was expropriated, and the Soviet administration nationalized the company’s remaining property.
The most notable of their new offerings was the Lange 1, which incorporated a brand new patent. The outsize date draws inspiration from one of Adolf Lange’s masterpieces, a clock designed for the Semper Opera House in Dresden in 1830. This key date feature continues to be used in most of A. Lange and Sohne’s watches today.
After a decade of restoration work, the replica A. Lange and Sohne workshop reopened in the remains of the destroyed building in 1945. In the years since its re-invention, the brand has gone on to create over 40 new movements, garnering over 150 international horological prizes.