In September 2007, the world’s first-ever A. Lange & Söhne boutique opened in Dresden, right next to the Frauenkirche church in Quartier F. Now, it’s time for a change. On 24 October 2018, the new Lange Boutique will open in the newly built Palais City One on Neumarkt, with a retail space of 176 square metres and a brand new design concept.
When A. Lange & Söhne opened its first boutique in September 2007, its high, wood-panelled walls with a wall unit in Baroque proportions drew on Saxony’s long tradition of precision watchmaking. This originated with Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the watchmaker from Dresden who set up the first manufactory for fine pocket watches in Glashütte in 1845. But its roots go back even further – to the 17th century, when Dresden was not only
seeing impressive Baroque buildings being constructed, but they were also tackling the issue of precise time measurement.
Today, A. Lange & Söhne has 20 of its own boutiques and around 210 sales points at retailers offering the current collection worldwide. The Saxon watchmakers regularly demonstrate their creativity and uncompromising desire to grow with many innovative mechanisms that still follow the principles of classic watchmaking. “Never stand still” was New A. Lange & Söhne boutique in Dresden, the motto of Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who reestablished A. Lange & Söhne in 1990 after an involuntary hiatus of over forty years. This also applies to the company’s global presence.
The Dresden boutique plays a key role in the company’s global network of boutiques in the major cities of the world. With its move to Neumarkt 15, the boutique – the first with a new design – is taking up a prominent position in Dresden’s city centre. It will be something of a showcase for the manufactory.
Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid has this to say about the choice of the new location: “Palais City One is bringing a little piece of Baroque history back to the centre of Dresden and combining past and present in perfect harmony. This is an excellent fit for A. Lange & Söhne.” The premises are the former home of court jeweller and smith Moritz Elimeyer’s business, one of the finest establishments in Dresden. The residential and commercial building is adorned with stone ornaments recreating the historic design of the facade. These features were also incorporated into the design of the shopfront.
Inside, genuine materials, clear lines and plenty of detail recall the history and values of the manufactory. Behind a large glass facade on the redesigned sales floor, angular, interlocking spaces open up exciting perspectives and spatial experiences. Each space also fulfils a specific role, from watch display and consulting to sales talks.
Wilhelm Schmid believes the new boutique design concept is a milestone in the company’s global communications and sales strategy: “We wanted to create a space that reflected the A. Lange & Söhne brand personality down to the very last detail. Together with our architects, we decided on a Bauhaus-influenced approach, combining craftsmanship, a variety of materials and technology in one cohesive whole – just like our watches.”
A. Lange & Söhne watches have always been well-known and well-loved for their timeless, memorable quality. An interplay of colours, materials and surfaces helps create the unique look. The new boutique design concept draws on this, bringing the manufactory’s global presence up to date and adding exciting new touches.
It runs the gamut from futuristic steel to natural stone, a link to the manufactory’s home in the Erzgebirge. The company’s brand colour of grey gets a few new flourishes, including a shade to match the traditional nickel silver used in every movement – a unique, warm tone in between gold and silver. It has been specially developed for the A. Lange & Söhne boutiques.
The wall fittings feature metal pilaster strips. As well as literally adding visual highlights, these make a statement about the typical characteristics of a Lange watch: Like the edge of watch components, the strips are bevelled at a 45° angle and polished. In addition to this, they feature straight-line graining on the inside – another finishing technique typical of some watch components.
One key aspect of the space is the lounge, with its Experience Library, an oversized type case displaying numerous exhibits that tell the story of the manufactory and its craftsmanship using lovingly designed objects.
Mechanical watch production at the manufactory and the design of the new boutique share an honest, sensible and sustainable approach to craft and materials. The designers’ and architects’ focus is on ensuring maximum quality and optimum functionality and value with a timeless aesthetic appeal.
About 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 among collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated after World War II, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly vanished. But in 1990, Walter Lange, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson, ventured to start over again. Today, Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled by hand. With 62 manufacture calibres developed since 1994, A. Lange & Söhne has secured a top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands. Its greatest successes include brand icons such as the LANGE 1, the first regularly produced wristwatch with an outsize date, and the ZEITWERK, with its precisely jumping numerals. Extraordinary complications such as the ZEITWERK MINUTE REPEATER, the TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL “Pour le Mérite” and the TRIPLE SPLIT represents what the manufactory always strives for: to drive the traditional art of watchmaking to ever-new heights.