It’s the small company with a big reputation: A. Lange & Söhne hit the ground running when it was revived by Walter Lange and Gunter Blümlein, and since then has gone from strength to strength, building both its reputation and a worldwide following of enthusiasts for whom the first name in ultra-high-end German watchmaking is also the last word in horological luxury.
Despite its big fan base in the US, though, A. Lange & Söhne has never had its own boutique –until, last December, it opened the very first A. Lange & Söhne boutique in the USA, in Palm Beach, Florida.
To see it, we took a slightly roundabout route; first, we hit Paris to visit Dubail, A. Lange & Söhne’s Paris retail partner.
Then, it was off to Dubai, for a visit to the A. Lange & Söhne boutique at the Dubai Mall (highly recommended –both for its very complete collection and its incredibly courteous, well informed and faultlessly professional staff, though we suspect this is petty much a given for A. Lange & Söhne boutiques –all seven of them.)
And, finally, to Palm Beach, for the big event and Grand Finale, the opening of the A. Lange & Söhne boutique at 252 Worth Avenue.
The Boutique’s a calm oasis of horological excellence, of course, and perhaps just as excitingly for US A. Lange & Söhne enthusiasts, it’s also (finally) possible to see on US soil boutique-only special and limited editions, including (drumroll please) the gorgeous Lange Zeitwerk “Handwerkskunst” with its delightfully textured, fiendishly difficult to make “tremblage” engraved dial.
That’s two weeks of work for the engraver. It goes without saying, to spend two weeks with a burin making an almost infinite number of almost exactly the same size, apparently randomly directed grooves on the dial is not something just anyone can do. We’d be screaming bonkers after an hour, but then, we’re not German!
The Zeitwerk’s movement’s just as beautiful –showcasing not only the classic A. Lange & Söhne Glashütte style finish, but also the constant force mechanism (an adaptation of the remontoire d’egalité) used to enable brisk and virtuously instantaneous switchover of the hours and minutes indications at exactly the instant the seconds hand passes the zero mark.
Also present, a A. Lange & Söhne collector’s selection of some of the greatest treasures from his personal collection, which he kindly shared with us. In addition to a rare yellow gold Datograph, there was this little trinket.
The go-to-hell gorgeous A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph “Pour le Merité.”
And one of our all-time favorites, the Zeitwerk “Luminous.”
If you’re in Palm Beach treat yourself to some time for time by A. Lange & Söhne.
PS –We’re headed to the SIHH tonight! Keep an eye on Revolution Online for breaking news from A. Lange & Söhne and its colleagues at the Salon.