One was a German watchmaker, who set business and human standards for decades:Walter Lange died at the age of 92 years. He led a life against a standstill.
The young man, who had returned from the eastern front to Germany with great difficulty, was placed in a hospital ten kilometers from the Glashütte in Saxony.For Walter Lange, as he liked to tell, this was one of the decisive moments of his long life: “Someone wanted me to live on – and watch out for Glashütte.” In 2017 it can be said that this giant of German post-war watchmaking succeeded is: The A. Lange & Söhne brand is outstanding at the SIHH trade fair in Geneva with seven sophisticated innovations.And as if it was an irony of fate, the death of the 92-year-old was announced on 17 January, before the German journalists saw the new models.It was a difficult task for Arnd Einhorn, the company’s press officer.
Walter Lange began his apprenticeship as watchmaker at the age of 16, following his family tradition.However, he had to start in Austria – in Glashütte, where Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded the reputation of German precision watchmaking in 1845, only the master’s training was offered.Walter Lange was able to finish his apprenticeship only after the war, because after a year and a half he was drafted into the military.
After the expropriation by the communists, Lang’s father and his brother were no longer allowed to enter their own manufactory: “In 1948 I escaped from my hometown to escape the forced commitment to uranium mining,” Lange later recalled.His father did not use the expulsion from his homeland, he died in 1949.
Reunification enabled continuation of the family business
Never, Walter Lange said, he thought it possible that the family business could ever be continued.The company went into a VEB, in order to be forced into 1951 with other offerers.The family went to the Swabian clock and jewelery town of Pforzheim. In the GDR, exclusive timepieces simply had no future.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lange especially recalled the 7th of December 1990, exactly 145 years after the founding of A. Lange & Söhne, he returned to Glashütte with the borrowed address of a former classmate.Together with the entrepreneur Günter Blümlein and 15 employees, he began – today it is circa 600. In 1994, with the introduction of the “Lange 1”, he not only presented a luxury article, but a watch that became one of the first faces of German unity should according to Insidewatch.net.
The employees who were at the fair in Geneva were affected.Arnd Einhorn, the company’s speaker, introduced the presentation of the seven novelties, saying that it would not have been in Walter Lang’s mind to let the news of the news go down.This was confirmed by CEO Wilhelm Schmid:”It is the first fair without him and we will have to learn without having to carry it out,” he said.However, 92 had good years and had been fit until the end, which is granted to a few people.”And how many people can say that they have really moved something in life?” He had told the staff that Lange had always repeated three priorities: first, A. Lange & Söhn e had to go well, then Glashütte and only then did he to think of oneself.To this extent, the task of continuing, in the sense of the company, is:”What Walter Long has done for Glashütte will only be understood in generations.”
In the presentation hall in the wall, a quotation from the great watchmaker was admitted:”There is something that one should expect not only from a watch, but also from itself: Never to stand still.”Not only these words are by Walter Lange far over his company remain.