A Day with A Lange & Söhne
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On November 16, 2002, about 100 watch collectors and
enthusiasts, aka WIS, gathered at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay to spend a glorious
day with A. Lange & Söhne. Several of Lange’s top people were in attendance, including Walter
Lange, Marcia Mazzocchi (President of Lange North America), and head
watchmaker Kay Ebbinghaus (his first name is pronounced Kai). Lange
put on a wonderful show for us, including videos and computer animations,
and presentations on the company history and the Datograph and Perpetual
Calendar movements. We even enjoyed a live engraving demonstration, and a
10 question technical quiz with prizes for those with the top scores.
Below are several images from the event, many of which you may click on to
enlarge. TimeZone extends sincere thanks to Lange, and to event organizers Marvin Arnold, Larry Seiden,
Michael Hickcox and Jeff Kingston. This was truly an event for the
|Outside the main room, Marvin Arnold
(right) and Michael Kelley signed us in and handed out the name
tags. Michael Kelley traveled from Oregon for the event.
After signing in, drinks were served at the bar.
That’s Steve Gamble front and center, wearing a Lange on each wrist
Following drinks and greetings in the bar, we filtered
into the main room, and the event got under way. Michael Hickcox started
the day off with an opening presentation, during which he recounted the many
challenges Lange has overcome during their history, including
the bombing of their factory on the last day of World War II, the East
German expropriation of their facilities, and the recent floods in
Following Michael Hickcox’s presentation, Marvin Arnold
addressed the group, acknowledging the many individuals who traveled from great
distances to attend.
Marvin then introduced Walter Lange.
Mr. Lange addressed us through an interpreter,
expressing his appreciation that so many of us came together on this day
to celebrate the company that bears his name.
The audience listens to Walter Lange’s address.
|At our table, Yvonne Lasche of the Lange Sales
Promotion Department received a TZ WIS pin from Kohei Saito.
Next up was a live engraving demonstration. Lange
engraver Antie Schaar engraved a balance cock, while a video camera projected her
work on a large screen. We learned that a Lange engraver can complete
eight balance cocks on a good day, and that each engraver creates a
different pattern. Antie told us that she can look at any Lange watch and
identify the engraver who worked on that piece. This demonstration gave us
new appreciation for the level of skill required to create these
masterpieces, the hand craft that goes into each watch, and for the fact that
this engraving makes each Lange watch unique.
|A close- up of Antie Schaar at work. Her hands remained
steady, despite the large crowd that gathered around to watch her.
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continue to Part II