Art Watch- A. Lange & Söhne
Dresden watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry when he established his manufactory in 1845. His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted. Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year. With 62 manufacture calibres developed since 1994, A. Lange & Söhne is a revered name in the watchmaking universe.
At the Geneva Salon early this year, A. Lange & Söhne presented all black versions of Saxonia Moon Phase, the Saxonia Outsize Date and one of the 1815 Chronograph. Berlin-based photographer Attila Hartwig took the opportunity to focus on the design of the watches with a series of architecturally inspired stills.
The monochromatic images, artfully and artistically captured, brings out the DNA of a brand known for manufacturing timepieces with a functional, uncluttered look and high complications.
The watch as an architectural structure
The clearly structured dial of a Lange watch conceals a highly complex mechanism that can easily be compared with the Cloud City location in Star Wars.
A. Lange &Söhne’s Director of Product Development Anthony de Haas sketched out a science fiction scenario: “If we could beam ourselves into a multilevel watch movement, we would be exploring a mechanical universe in which everything is designed with architectural precision and located in exactly the right place.” Starting from a certain scale, the apparent chaos becomes organised, structures are discernible, and order sets in.
“The sleek dial of an A. Lange & Söhne watch resembles the elegant facade of a modern building,” Attila Hartwig muses. The Berlin-based photographer recently portrayed this year’s debuts: the Saxonia Moon Phase, the Saxonia Outsize Dateandthe 1815 Chronograph.
He built backgrounds composed of layered Perspex panels, prisms, and mirrors. The transparent materials and reflective surfaces produce a diaphanous atmosphere of architectural rigour.