Let’s start our Forum Friday with an essential matter sparked by a thought on the essence of a purist. According to the Cambridge dictionary a purist is “someone who believes in and follows very traditional rules or ideas in a subject.” It also provides us with this clear example of a purist: “A purist eat smoked salmon with nothing more than lemon and black pepper.”
When visiting A. Lange & Söhne during SIHH 2013 you know what to expect: perfection, classic elegance and purity. And this year was no exception. We have earlier mentioned the launch of the Lange 1 Lumen, which was also on show at SIHH. But the German watch maker extraordinaire also presented their most complicated wristwatch to date as well as 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar and Saxonia Annual Calendar. All beautiful and impressive watches to die for. However the wonderful and almost simple looking 1815 Up/Down was the show stopper for me.
For the first time in its short history the F.A. Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award had no winner but two runner-ups. The prize money of the Award 2012 was shared by two young watchmakers, Bennie R. L. Hernandez (24) from Texas (USA) and Daniel Neugebauer (29) from Munich (Germany): each received 5,000 euros.
Visiting German watchmaking company A. Lange & Söhne these days and it is always a great pleasure to meet with the enthusiastic people working there. Not only does A. Lange & Söhne only produce 5000 watches a year, the successful company also produce some of the most luxurious and not least spectacular watches on the market today. All watches finished and assembled by hand and very little machinery. In other words; rather old school'ish. But old school'ish in a cool way., especially when looking at the Zeitwerk Luminous that popped up as the rather unusual watch from the otherwise traditional manufacturer.
Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne, and Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Lange’s founder, participated in a ground-breaking ceremony on September 5 in Glashütte (in Sachsen, Germany) marking the start of construction of a new production building. The new building with a floor area of 11,300 square meters is built on the other side of the Altenberger Strasse, facing the existing Lange buildings. A skybridge across the street will connect the new and existing buildings.
Eight young watchmakers, three from Germany, and one from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands (Robbert Suurland), Sweden en the USA, participated in the F.A. Lange Excellence Award 2012. From July 16 to 20, the participants were guests at F. A. Lange & Söhne in Glashütte, where they learned details about finishing techniques and how to assemble a movement in the Lange way.
Where were all the innovative watches? Besides from Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille I did not see a lot of great new inventions nor wow-factor-news from the other watch brands. AP showed not surprisingly a slightly updated Royal Oak collection. JLC had a couple of Reverso's and a Deep Sea Chronograph that was not an off spin of history, but instead an off spin of last years relaunch. Girard-Perregaux showed a Laureato with their iconic three-bridge tourbillon and JeanRichard presented a DiverScope that was not PVD-coated.
An A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down! What a fantastic looking critter that is! The pre-SIHH pictures are out already and I will of course not be able try this horological wonder on my tender wrist until SIHH 2012 opens its doors in ultimo January. But I do know already that I will drool a bit and feel a tingle in my credit card once it is strapped on!
I know...the world is packed with problems. Wars, financial crisis, starvation and ex-wives screaming at us on the phone. However lately my mind has been preoccupied with something else. As I am a Timegeek my dilemma is of course of horological dimensions.
ambassador Auction Audemars Piguet Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Baselworld 2011 Baselworld 2012 Baselworld 2013 Blancpain Books Breitling Bruun Rasmussen Cartier Chopard Girard Perregaux Hublot IWC IWC Big Pilot Jaeger LeCoultre Jean Claude Biver Jeremiah Case Karel Hubert Kristian Haagen Lange und Soehne Linde Werdelin Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II Michael Schumacher Nato strap Nautilus Omega Panerai Patek Philippe Piaget Rafael Nadal Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Rolex Rolex Sea Dweller Rolex Submariner SIHH 2012 SIHH 2013 Steve McQueen TAG Heuer Technical Tuesday Vacheron Constantin Zenith