I am in Germany maybe 10 minutes and the signs of watch insanity are in my face. On my 4 hour layover in Munich to Dresden I am surprised to see that Munich's domestic terminal is basically one big watch store. There is a huge open watch store in the middle with tons of rare brands, and those that you don't even see in America at all, such as Certina and Union Glashutte. There is certainly an air of haute horology already. The first picture is of a magazine and gift store display. They actually highlight their collection of watch magazines! This is just too much good stuff, and I am on my way to being prepared for A. Lange & Sohne's upcoming spectacular display.
I spent most of my first day in Glashutte where A. Lange & Sohne is headquartered visiting their factory and seeing some new watches (as well as existing watches). There is so much to admire in this brand in each place I look. Regardless of the snow falling outside, I was warm and excited as I entered each new room of their exclusive manufacture. The brand makes all of their own watch movements, a very difficult feat. This isn't the type of thing just any watch company can pull off. The process takes a long time too, with literally dozens of people working on any watch. So you say their watches can cost as much as a house? They also take as long to built and will last a lot longer. An A. Lange & Sohne watch can take from 6-14 months to be ready for market. This is from the time the individual pieces are put cut from metal, to after all the decorating, andf then final testing is complete. The watch really epitomize the German production ethic. Slow, steady, and correct the first time.
I can't show you all the images I took right away. But here are a few from the trip so far. This movement is of an A. Lange & Sohne Double Split Flyback Chronograph. It was attached to a microscope where I could see the movement in operation. It was perhaps of the most beautiful and amazing mechanical visions I have ever seen. There is just so much the naked eye can show you. Viewing it under magnification gives you a whole new appreciation for the craft. In fact, you should know that most of the components of a watch are made and handled under magnification is well. That is the secret to creating such precise levels of perfection. The image above this is of the Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Merite watch getting close to leaving the factory. Perhaps only a fre more weeks of testing. The platinum cased watch still have a special red plastic covering (as seen) to protect it during the rest of the testing period. This was one of the first time I'd handled a platinum watches (arguably the most exclusive of watch metals). Platinum weighs more than gold or steel, so it really feels admirably hefty in your hand. . Check out aBlogtoRead.com and my articles on Luxist.com for the SIHH 2009 A. Lange & Sohne product releases and more information about Glashutte's own master watch maker. Watch out for a lot more pictures and further stories on new A. Lange & Sohne education.