Lange & Söhne », and yet very few people can explain .
When in October 1994 revived watch house «A.
Lange & Söhne »introduced its first wristwatch, the response to them has been unanimously positive.
Lavish praise worthy new manufacturing mechanism, unprecedented at the time of its construction and decoration.
Twenty-four years ago, the caliber of even the simplest model of the first collection «Saxonia» was a revelation to the press and collectors.
The reasons for the general recognition of «A.
Lange & Söhne »now widely known – German silver three-quarter platinum, gold chatons, blued screws fixed, and, of course, skillfully engraved balance cock.
All observers now notice astounding detail hours «A.
Lange & Söhne », some of which were designed almost 30 years ago.
And yet, very few people can explain what makes them unique.
Watches brand are unlike any other image that illustrate how to watch «Datograph» and «Lange 1″.
But the design language «A.
Lange & Söhne »is not so obvious as, e.
,« Royal Oak »or« Breguet ».
Golden Section Besides the obvious things, unique watch manufactory is often based on the fine details.
They include exquisitely shaped ears, elegant lanceolate arrows, carved fonts, as well as a game between the housing material and color of the dial, for the sake of a balanced aesthetic appeal.
Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone Watches «Lange 1″ is, without doubt, the most famous model of the German brand, first introduced in 1994.
Iconic design elements, such as an asymmetrical face and big date with double aperture inspired hours Dresden «Semper Opera» Opera House, turned these watches style icon.
In today’s watchmaking dials there are few who would be easily recognizable as «Lange 1″.
According to Karaga McKay, director of “Wallpaper” watch Department, the dial – a real classic: “You will recognize design” Lange 1 “in a crowded watch market.
I have always been attracted to the absolute clarity of the dial – at first glance, their proportions seem a bit chaotic, but in general it works fine.
” Round clock with offset primary and secondary dial power reserve indicator and a proprietary large date reflect balanced proportions golden section, which was considered from antiquity sample aesthetic equilibrium.
These mathematical relationships are manifested both in nature and in the design and tend to make the image of a harmonious.
The centers of the circles of the main dial, and the additional second date indicator Lange 1 bind isosceles triangles Or take a downward displacement of the additional dials to «Datograph» .
Everyone knows that they are arranged so as to accommodate a larger aperture date.
But behind this aesthetic logic, like the one used in the pictures .
They set the visual horizon, adding “gravity” in the design and providing a feeling of visual comfort.
However, Anthony de Haas, Head of Product Development Department of «A.
Lange & Söhne », emphasizes that, although a theoretical approach to the design is very important, it is not the only one.
“We understand the importance of the golden section, but when we develop a design, we do not make mathematical calculations in order to achieve it.
All it estimated “by eye”.
” And it seems that the eye manufactory masters are never wrong.
Thus, the design requirements for the dials «Lange 1″ relentless.
As Tino Bob explains production director: “There are very strict rules for the dials” Lange 1 “.
The centers of the circles of the main dial, and the additional second date indicator associated isosceles triangles.
However, their asymmetry is balanced and fixed text on the dial ring the perimeter.
” For shifted down sub-dials Datograph worth aesthetic logic, like the one used in the photos mechanical heart Apart from some decorative elements, design «A.
Lange & Söhne »does not begin to create beautiful forms or drawing characteristic elements.
It starts with the design of the mechanism.
But the company believes that the structural and aesthetics should not contradict each other.
For this reason, visual designers «A.
Lange & Söhne »work closely with the developers of the mechanisms from the outset the creation of a new watch.
In the complex process of the initial designers and engineers need to “reconcile” the basic idea with a lot of seemingly minor details to match the technology and aesthetics, tradition and modernity.
“We dig very deep, – says Anthony de Haas – Lange is in the first place, the mechanism.
” But, just as at the dawn of watchmaking surroundings into a beautiful exterior design follows.
The mechanism of A.
Lange & Söhne 1815 “Our designers think about aesthetics more in the development of a mechanism, – says Mr.
de Haas – because the mechanism must be attractive, as well as the dial.
All our watches have sapphire back cover, so designers need to think about how to create a mechanism for the beautiful architecture, not only in terms of finishing.
” Given the rave reviews about almost sculptural caliber «A.
Lange & Söhne », mechanisms designers do an excellent job with their work.
Andy Zhang, an Australian collector and co-founder of the Internet «Lange Nation» community, explains the appeal of hours: “This is a great mechanism in a massive body, because of this, it turns out the three-dimensional effect.
And they have a beautiful finish.
They are decorated better than «Patek», especially chronographs.
” But Zhang’s attention attracts not only the mechanics.
He identifies two models, especially for him: «Richard Lange Pour le Mérite» with enamel dial and «Zeitwerk».
As he says of the latter: «Lange creates a very harmonious elegance.
After «Zeitwerk» – it’s just a jumping hour mechanism with a power reserve indicator and small seconds.
But when you look at the proportions, you know that you do not get tired of the face.
” The bridge in the form of «t-shirt» – a functional part of the mechanism that adds design character Zeitwerk Anthony de Haas lifts the veil on the details that have led to such a timeless appeal: “Bridge« t-shirt », (in the form of T-shirts), as it is called in manufacture, with two apertures hours and minutes – is a functional part of the mechanism, so one side is a fixing screw, and the other – with a jewel orifice.
This functional elements, but visually, they add character design.
We tested about 500 bridges, until we found this form.
” An approach based on mechanics, explains another distinctive feature of modern design «A.
Lange & Söhne »: three-quarter platinum.
Ferdinand Adolph Lange developed it in 1864 to improve the stability and reliability of the mechanism, and for the same reason, the company continues to use it today.
Although many inventions Ferdinand Adolph Lange became symbols of Saxon watchmaking and are used by other manufacturers, «A.
Lange & Söhne »found its approach to the aesthetics of the mechanism.
Their three-quarter platinum includes curves and cut-outs, which are not functionally necessary, (except for the need to open a view of the descent with hand engraved balance cock, and the opportunity to microscopically perfect anglazh).
Also characteristic architecture chronograph «Lange» – a bright ensemble of curves, which may be called the German, compared with the French style of, say, «Lemania» or «Breguet».
Even chronograph coupling lever has an unusual appearance, which is characteristic only for «A.
Lange & Söhne ».
Architecture chronograph “Lange” has a bright ensemble “German” curves, which are different from the French style “This is a non-functional requirements; we make them only for aesthetics, – says Robert Hoffman, head of the team «Zeitwerk», – it is important for us that the heart of the mechanical watch was beautiful – the whole A.
Lange & Söhne ».
He lists a few visual effects in “Zeitwerk» mechanism, which came in response to a technical problem, “jump drives need massive energy surges, which means that we need a descent with a constant force – both remontoir that evenly supplies power to the trigger.
In this case, the bridge remontoir may have a T-shape, but we decided to give it the shape of an anchor with a lot of curves, because it looks better.
Also, we decided to use a blued spring constant force mechanism which adds depth and color contrast.
” “Although the design begins from the inside, it does not mean that you just need to jot down the outside lights at locations corresponding to the mechanism, – says head of production, Tino Bobe, – Development of each model is a long” ping-pong “between caliber technical architecture and external aesthetics.
We have both of these teams are working side by side, and sometimes fight with each other to achieve the best solutions.
” Perhaps the most striking example of the unity and struggle of the two teams for the best solution was to develop a «Zeitwerk».
This watch was the first attempt to show the brand’s excellent technical innovation on the part of the dial.
Historically, the digital indication of time appeared in the pocket watch in the form of vertically oriented windows, and a large date has been digital.
But the difference was the scale (to figure was easy to read without glasses), and that «Lange» wanted the time to read from left to right, as the electronic digital displays.
mechanism Zeitwerk “The idea of reading from left to right changes everything, – says Mr.
de Haas – Adapt the traditional approach to the design was not possible mechanism.
It was a very bumpy ride.
We had to create an entirely new watch.
Only one bridge we tried about 500 different options before achieved something proportional and not boring, and that did not add thickness hours .
read direction and determine the position of the crown at 2 o’clock.
We did not try to hide the fact that they could not keep it in the normal position at 3:00, instead, was such a prominent feature.
” Collector and time historian, Peter Chong, who founded the «Lange Owners Group» in the 1990s, and today “Deployant» editor, recalls: “It was a bold and avant-garde watch – by the standards of watch design at the time (2009), and not only by Lange standards.
But for me, the lack of arrows – it is just another dialect.
They are like a distant relative to other collections of watches.
” However, at the «Zeitwerk» have one thing in common with other projects «Lange» – a dramatic line between simplicity and complexity, balance and asymmetry.
If you look closely, it is present in nearly all hours – from the deliberately asymmetric «Lange 1» and «Richard Lange Jumping Seconds», up to symmetrical at first glance «Datograph Auf / Ab».
And as anyone will tell you a designer or an architect, it is a very difficult trick.
Asymmetrical face Richard Lange Jumping Seconds custom-built design Says Patrick Chia, founder of the first research center for industrial design in Singapore: “Industrial design optimization usually requires to make production cheaper, faster and more versatile.
” However, “Lange 1 Moon Phase”, which he was asked to evaluate, he calls “not optimized in any shape or form.
” Tiny and even micro-elements on the dial and a back cover – Roman numerals, the stars on the lunar disk, bezels on the three-quarter platinum, engraved balance cock – all exclusive, custom-made quality.
Lange 1 Moon Phase Particularly striking it seemed right angles to the frame aperture date.
“Rounded corner would be more” convenient “for industrial design – he says, – These details create a very personal experience for owners of hours, opening only on closer examination, or in unexpected moments, such as driving a car.
To the casual observer such details is almost impossible to see.
” “It is very important scale, as well as the distance from which the object is usually considered – says Karin Krautgartnera designer from Amsterdam, – It can take endless attempts, drawings and prototypes.
And visual balance does not necessarily coincide with the actual balance.
Sometimes it creates an optical illusion – and then you just “know” that it is right.
” The fact that they know all the engineers and designers “Lange”, is that with all the technical rigor of their work, “perfect imperfection” can not be achieved by mathematical calculations.
As Krautgartnera said: “Too often in modern design people just draw, but do not perform the work; if in the process is not manual labor, in the final product is seen as a disadvantage.
” Judging by the hour, designers «A.
Lange & Söhne »do both.
There are other details that are characteristic for all hours «Lange», which became the hallmark of the brand.
Close your eyes and hold in the palm of all Lange watches.
They are a bit heavier than other brands (for example, «Datograph Auf / Ab» weighs 150 grams).
This occurs because of the severity of the housing material and its thickness.
With eyes still closed, flip clock: feel the straight side wall of the body, massive ears with certain bend, smooth polished bezel and deep engraving on the back cover.
The first prototypes of buildings A.
Lange & Söhne Says Anthony de Haas: “Gunter Blyumleyn he took the file and made a corner in the first brass prototype, made by the Swiss manufacturer of enclosures,” – adding that Mr.
Blyumleyn paid special attention to “Lange” watch apart from the competition, and the Swiss hours, there are no ears.
Blyumleyn also decided that the groove on the housing must be polished.
This meant that the tabs and the main body should be treated separately and then soldered together.
” This design has led to the fact that the body «Lange» became thicker and heavier than other modern luxury watches, and another important feature of all the creations of the brand.
By the way, three decades ago, when Blyumleyn and his colleagues developed the first hours «Lange», weight is an important parameter.
Not only for the hours, but also for the buckles on the straps.
de Haas asked about the strange horizontal strip buckles “Lange”, which does not seem to have no purpose, he explained that it provides strength, – “typically German details that make from the very beginning.
” Weight is also a feature that consumers often equate to longevity.
This means not only a sense of quality, but also the consistency of style.
Horizontal strip buckles «Lange» – typically German details that make from the very beginning Font of German engravers The choice of fonts is a more complex issue than the shape of the letters and the way they were written.
This is very well known designers and branding – because through a thin tongue-serif, fat font and kerning information transmitted overtones.
For example, the word “apple” in English .
just the location of the letters – «apple» – conjures up the fruit.
Now write it with a capital «A» and type «Avenir», designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988, and its value instantly becomes the fruit of brilliant electronic gadgets in the US industrial giant.
The importance of fonts is even greater if the text is used as the logo for example, NASA, Coca-Cola or Facebook.
Lange & Söhne »- a company with a long and legendary but sketchy history, decided to present an alternative to Swiss watches.
And all these hints hidden in a choice of branded fonts – bold text in capital letters, with sharp lines and serifs, has a vibrant history and a German character.
Lange font was created to order and has a vibrant history and a German character The strength of the text immediately obvious to the artist Julie Kralis illustrating the clock.
“This text signed it with the same care as other design elements, so it is easy to integrate into the style and philosophy of the brand.
I noticed that in some hours fonts are sometimes selected as a residual, or simply copied from historical models.
” Visual integrity of the text «A.
Lange & Söhne »understandable even to those who are not familiar with it for hours and traditions.
For example, Annie Nguyen, Art Director, Graphic Design Los Angeles, when he saw “Lange» clock, easily guessed value time at home: “Their identity is talking about heritage.
Logo serif, located along the arc of said “classic” and “traditional” as the numbers on the dial.
They are classic, but in any case not outdated.
The appearance of the font, as well as how and where it is used on the dial and mechanism, show the attention and consciousness of his choice.
Very interesting, how much thought the design of this watch.
” However, compared with the general history of «A.
Lange & Söhne », the company logo is relatively young.
Although the text of the arch was used in pocket watches «Lange» in the late 19th century, the logo of this form was introduced only at startup in 1994.
Its design has a deeper meaning, and the type and arrangement of letters create numerous references to the history of the brand and the hours that it produces.
According to Anthony de Haas, beautiful typography originates from the origins of the brand, and attributes this merit genius Gunter Blyumleyna “Mr.
Blyumleyn with Walter Lange, and some colleagues, Kurt Klaus and scholar Reinhard Meis, managed to create a unique image and quality hours in which the fonts were only a small part.
” It seems that the font «Lange» was created to order, based on the font «Engravers» in 1899, designed by Robert Vibkingom.
A brand that is as a «A.
Lange & Söhne »produces its own watch calibers, to represent himself or unique font, much better choice than the standard versions.
Moreover, they have chosen a font that arose under the inspiration of sharp cutting tools for engraving machine, and, besides, German.
After all, he Vibking also born in Germany and worked as an engraver.
Ampersand – small but powerful symbol that speaks of tradition and continuity, as well as excellence in science and technology of horology But in any other element of the identity of «Lange» is not shown more clearly, and not recognized as quickly as ampersands, with its flat top and thicker curves.
“At first glance, he seemed knocked out of style, with a much more vivid character than letters and numbers that surround it.
Although he only appeared in 1994, but I think that its shape is very similar to the story of the brand, “- said Peter Chong, agreeing that the ampersand became so weighty piece that could be the brand’s logo.
“This ampersand feel the strong influence of Art Nouveau, the European art movement turn of the 19th and 20th century, which was of great importance for the development of applied arts and design, – he says, – It also refers to a period of great change for the company .
At that time, Richard and Emil Lange, the founder’s sons Ferdinand Adolf, brought the brand to the world stage, demonstrating the technical and artistic skills, embodied in such hours as «Centennial Tourbillon», presented at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, and «Grand Complication No .
42500 “- 1902”.
Grand Complication No.
42500, 1902 But even to use unique fonts, the brand does not stand still.
Anthony de Haas points out that in 2012 the company introduced a modified version of «Engravers» for the «Grand Lange 1″ – it’s a little thinner and more modern.
“The difference between them is small, but you can easily see the difference when put next to the old and the new model.
We introduce a new font gradually as update the models.
” It is important to note that with all the attention to detail design, «A.
Lange & Söhne »not lost much perspective as a definition and functionality hours.
Therefore, the brand fonts also consider utilitarian purpose – readability.
Take, for example, “1815 Chronograph», a watch with multiple functions, complex, even by German standards of manufacture.
However, with the abundance of text and information, their face is legible, in no small part thanks to the style and location of text.
Dial Chronograph 1815 with an abundance of text and information is legible As explains Tino Bobe model emerged inspired by pocket watches of the 19th century.
This fact, and the fact that in some places, the font is very thin, precludes the use of overhead indexes because they would have to “modify or compromise the quality of performance”, to which the company is not ready to go.
Therefore, the “1815” are used for this specific collection of fonts and indexes.
“You can see that the numbers are more fat than usual, and the notch is slightly shorter and more square, – said Peter Chong – These small changes will not only improve the readability, but also create a special character of hours.
Compare them with applied Roman numerals in the «Lange 1″ – they too picky, but a completely different way.
” inspiration story When in 1994 «A.
Lange & Söhne »decided to create the world’s best watches, many of the things that made the company, had historical roots.
For example, it is first applied fuzeyno-chain mechanism in a wristwatch.
Lange & Söhne Datograph Auf / Ab with luminescence “Rely on the heritage is very important, – says Karin Krautgartnera – because it expresses the deep-rooted values of the brand.
In addition, this story is a wealth of ideas and details, which can work as a designer.
However – she warns – it does not mean that you just need to copy the past.
” And this is the main problem with such products as brand-name watches, – make them relevant to the modern consumer.
No matter how great they are made, the clock must be able to easily fit into the everyday life of its owner.
Otherwise, the watchmakers at risk of becoming “keepers of the artifacts.
” This task, which is constantly remembers team «Lange» designers, – says Mr.
“We want to do modern things, but do not want to force this process.
For example, «Zeitwerk» has a digital time display, but made in a traditional style.
The modern world affects our employees.
They read and look at things on the Internet.
Then something from it affects the clock, but watchmaking «Lange” will always be a classic.
” “In Lange, seems to understand what the applied arts, decoration, patterns and shapes reflect their heritage – says Karin Krautgartnera – In addition, they have done something absolutely essential: they have adapted to new materials and technologies.
” Agrees with her and Eric van der Grind, founder of «Watches of Switzerland», distributor «A.
Lange & Söhne »Australia:” This is a very traditional brand, but innovative in many ways.
In a sense, start from scratch in 1994, had its advantages, as compared with the work at the same factory since 1900.
They are progressive and true to the traditions, while always striving for perfection.
They do nothing if not confident that they can do it exceptionally well.
There is no room for compromise.
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