Story of a german miracle
The A. Lange & Söhne adventure started in 1845, in Glasshütte, with Ferdinand Adolf Lange at the helm. However, nothing seemed to indicate that this son of a gunsmith, born in 1815 in Dresden and sent to a foster family at an early age, would create his own horology manufacture.
But the said foster family sent him for an apprenticeship to Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes – a famous clockmaker of the time. In the course of his training, he went to Polytechnique school and learnt French as well as English by himself. Thus, in 1837, he left his home for Paris and was hired by the famous stopwatch maker Josef Thaddäus Winnerl. In 1841, he went to Switzerland and England to polish his knowledge and experience. During that time, he filled up his famous notebook with complicated calculations, movement sketches... Following the end of this training, he came back to Germany and was hired by Gutkaes. He married his daughter in 1842 and became co-owner of his stepfather’s company.
Ferdinand A. Lange, a talented clockmaker with sound human values, was touched by how poor his regions was. Therefore, as early as 1843, he negotiated a loan with the then royal Saxon minister to build a watch manufacture in Glashütte and to train 15 young people to become watchmakers. Consequently, the “'industrie de haute horlogerie saxonne” was founded in 1845. In 1868, it would become A. Lange & Söhne when Ferdinand Adolf Lange made his son, Richard, an associate.