I’m sure Glashütte’s inhabitants had envisioned celebrating 175 years of its watchmaking industry much uniquely in contrast to it has ended up. This little town has a particularly moving and productive history to celebrate. It’s ideal to see that a portion of the prepared occasions are going on now following a hard year of COVID-19 limitations, regardless of whether in an unexpected way in comparison to initially envisioned.
One of these special occasions includes the memorial statue of Walter Lange that was commissioned by A. Lange & Söhne and the city of Glashütte, which was unveiled on Friday, September 18, 2020.
While I imagine that without COVID-19, A. Lange & Söhne may have wanted celebrate the occasion somewhat better, the intimate gathering of Walter Lange’s immediate family (child Benjamin and his significant other Joanna), Glashütte VIPs, previous Saxon clergyman president Kurt Biedenkopf, and just as much press as you could easily list off – all healthfully spaced 1.5 meters away from each other during the occasion – felt much more like the way Walter Lange would have personally wanted this to go. “I’m certain that my father would have enjoyed this special and emblematic place as well,” Benjamin Lange said in his discourse about the newly revamped church square vis-à-vis the memorial landmark to Walter Lange’s great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
Lange was perhaps the most sensible individuals you might have expected to meet. And while no exertion was at any point spared for his adored A. Lange & Söhne, he never loved fight about his own individual. Which is the reason I dare to say this memorial statue and the greater occasion planned for the unveiling may have displeased him. But since of the special situation, it probably wound up being more his style. At any rate, I certainly felt his essence that day grinning out at us.
Walter Lange passed away at the age of 92 in January 2017. Continuing in the strides of his famous ancestor, in 1990 he re-established his family’s company after near 40 years of non-presence as part of the East German combine Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb, reasserting Glashütte as the focal point of Germany’s fine watchmaking in an advanced era, going hand in hand with the mechanical renaissance.
Walter Lange memorial statue by Thomas Jastram
The culmination of a nearly three-year project, Hamburg-based artist Thomas Jastram was commissioned to create the statue. Having completed his investigations at the Dresden University of Fine Arts during the 1980s, Jastram appeared to be a natural fit to craft the life-sized bronze figure, especially since one of the vital subjects in his work is the spatial exploration of the human form.
Jastram’s goal was to portray Lange’s resemblance as approachable, radiating the same aura as the man. “He is standing because he was not a sitter,” Jastram laughed as he depicted his cycle to me. Note the welcoming situating of Walter Lange’s hands and arms.
And – obviously – the statute wears a watch. Despite the fact that it’s unrealistic to ascertain which watch it is on the statue, Lange was generally wearing either the Lange 1 or the T ourbillon Pour le Mérite when I saw him, the two of which had a place with the re-established brand’s original launch assortment of 1994.
Lange’s resemblance was intentionally not worshiped – Walter Lange would not have wanted that – instead, it welcomes visitors to St. Wolfgang’s recently restored square at eye level.
When Hartmut Knothe, A. Lange & Söhne’s first managing chief, and Glashütte mayor Markus Dressler took the covering off the statue, literally unveiling it to the general population, my first idea was that it didn’t look similar as Walter Lange. Yet, I came to realize that was because Jastram would not give him eyeglasses. “That doesn’t translate well to the medium,” the artist explained.
Walter Lange without eyeglasses is a strange sight, changing the way his face looks massively. Jastram crafted Lange from a composite idea gleaned from years and years of photographs and recordings. “I attempt to locate the happy medium,” he explained.
“Thomas Jastram prevailing with regards to portraying Walter Lange’s personality and appeal,” Dressler said in his speech.
Why is Walter Lange important?
Walter Lange was of retirement age in 1990 when Germany’s reunification allowed him and colleague Günter Blümlein to undertake a recharged establishing of A. Lange & Söhne, hoping to reestablish it to its previous wonder. Walter Lange was 66 years old at the time. “This was a most troublesome crossroads in Glashütte’s set of experiences,” Markus Dressler, Glashütte’s mayor, said in the discourse he gave at the unveiling. “It was a crossroads that might have meant the finish of Glashütte’s watch industry.”
Lange enlisted his new company, Lange Uhren GmbH, on December 7, 1990. This date was representative as it was the anniversary of the company’s original establishing in 1845. “That was the force expected to touch off the renaissance of our original Glashütte watch industry,” Dressler remarked.
Lange Uhren GmbH was a joint endeavor between Walter Lange and the watch bunch known as LMH, managed by Günter Blümlein, which already included Swiss watch brands Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC. “He never questioned that accomplishment for his company and for the city would come,” Dressler added.
Walter Lange was more than pleased with initiating this resurgence, however it wasn’t pride that drove him to do it. It was love of his craft, regard for his family, and appreciation for Glashütte’s people.
“Walter and Ferdinand Adolph Lange lived in various ages, yet each one accomplished exceptional achievements,” said Benjamin Lange in his discourse. “And their motivation was the same: ambition, obviously, to make the best watches, however never personal wealth. It was always about individuals of this area and avoiding approaching poverty.”
For a top to bottom portrayal of Walter Lange’s life, see The Life And Times Of A. Lange & Söhne Re-Founder Walter Lange .
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