Page 1

Contents Foreword and acknowledgements 8 Introduction 10

The foundations of precision time-measurement in Dresden 16 From the art gallery of the Elector Augustus to the Mathematics and Physics Salon in Dresden’s Zwinger palace 16 Johann Gottfried Köhler 17 Johann Heinrich Seyffert 22 Johann Friedrich Schumann 44 The time-service at the Mathematics and Physics Salon 52 Wilhelm Gotthelf Lohrmann 56 Mean local time 57 Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes 60

The founding of a watch industry in the Erzgebirge in the wake of the industrial revolution in Saxony 94 Saxony’s industry at the start of the 19th century 94 The development of Dresden’s technical college 96 Lange’s plans to start an industry 98 Lange’s positive start in Glashütte 106 Early key-wound watches 112 Early keyless pocket-watches 114 The home industry of components manufacturing Frame-making workshop for plates and pillars 116 Wheel-cutting workshop 116 Workshop for mainspring barrels 118 Pinion-cutting workshop 118 Pinion and pivoting workshops 119 Escapement workshops 120 Workshop for balance-wheels 121 Jewel-polishing workshops 128 Workshops for winding mechanisms and fine steelwork 132 Screw-cutting workshops 134 The types of screw-thread 134

Lange w as alr eady in par tnership with Gutkaes at the next trade sho w in 1844. They jointly entered two astronomical pendulum clocks with ball gravity escapements and a v ariety of other clocks, a secondscounter (for astr onomical timing) and a round micr ometer that di vided the millimetre into 100 par ts (this is pr obably the

121 Micrometer signed on the dial:“Gutkaes et Lange, No 1, inv. et fec.”, and engraved: Centièmes de Millimêtre [hundredths of a millimetre] and Millièmes de Pouce anglais [thousandths of an English inch].The


micrometer signed: No. 1 Gutkaes & Lange, in Ill. 121). In the follo wing year, 1845, 14 Gutkaes and Lange pr esented No . 653, “… a v ery well constructed, gold repeating watch with a cylinder escapement, a master piece b y [Adolph] Lange with improved repeating work that is simple and

measurement callipers are ruby tipped and their travel is limited by two heavy lugs. (2 mm = 200 divisions or once around the dial; 1 division = 2⁄200 mm = 1⁄100 mm).

14 Bibl.: Report on the Saxon trade fair of 1845 (15.7 – 15.9).Dresden/Leipzig 1846, P. 228 f.

122 View of the micrometer mechanism with the two transmission segments (racks). The shaft for the hand pivots in ruby bearings. The calliper blades are not parallel but move along a chord.

123 Clock No. 1194 with its visible gravity escapement (ball escapement) by Friedrich Gutkaes. The pendulum hung from the middle of the cross-beam with a ball-pan at each end. The two outside “dampingcylinders” are probably a later addition. (See Ill. 198 – 199).

15 This refers to the ball escapement of T. Winnerl in Paris, for whom A. Lange worked for four years.

sure; two obser vatory c locks with constant-force ball escapements whic h had been completel y adapted from an or iginal Frenc h idea, 15 and whose unusual motion can be obser ved in the clock on display [Ill. 123]. In this clock the pendulum swings independently from the c lockwork and is equipped with mercury compensation. The escape pallets and piv ot holes are set with fine jewels and the whole work is gilt …” the list then goes on to marine chronometers. Lange returned from Paris in 1842 to win the title of master of his trade and the hand of Antonia Gutkaes. W ith his br other-inlaw, Ber nhard Gutkaes (tw o years his junior), he managed the Gutkaes shop on the corner of Schlossstraße and Rosmar ingasse

(Ill. 124). The y stock ed a wide v ariety of watches and clocks, which ne vertheless showed a marked tendency towards the precision timepieces of the kind that the emerging scientific and technical administrations would demand fr om a pr osperous business. The follo wing w atches w ere for sale in an 1844 pr ice list fr om Messr s 16 Gutkaes and Lange:

124 Dr esden’s Schlossstrasse with Rosmaringasse going off to the right. The Gutkaes & Lange shop was in the corner building, with a sign, “Gutkaes u. Lange Uhren,” hanging at rightangles to the first row of windows. 16 Bibl.: Zeitschrift für Großund Kleinuhrmacher (clock- & watchmaker’s journal), Weimar 1848. Vol. II No. 3 P. 57, which includes Neukranz’s report on the Berlin trade fair, 1844.


Case-making workshops

9 Bib l.: Mitteilungen über die Entwicklung ... op. cit. (P. 12, note 16), P. 7.

The first case-maker that Lange brought to Glashütte w as called Riedel 9. His watchcases were however too simple and failed to meet Lange’s expectations. Lange therefore took the matter in his o wn hands and in 1848 set up his o wn case-making w orkshops that initially made only cases in silver and later in gold. After a difficult star t it gradually succeeded in producing tasteful, indigenous cases as good as the Swiss products of equal rank. The story went around that this workshop in the Lange factory later became a kind of citadel that denied access even to the senior boss (at that time , Emil

tent of 750 or 585 per mille. Until the First World War ther e w ere no pr oblems with the customs about br inging the cases into Glashütte. The gold hallmarks made it easy to determine whether it was a Swiss case and when it was manufactured, or whether it was a domestic product from Glashütte. In Switzerland the old hallmark with a raised figure in an oval cartouche was in use until 1892. After that date, the figures were slightly modified and appeared in shields of various forms (Ill. 318). A cantonal letter in the shield denoted the exact pr ovenance (Ill. 318 a). Many cases were produced in the major watchmaking centres of Gene va, La 319 a The marks on a German watchcase in silChaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle. ver by A. Lange & Söhne.

318 a Initials identifying the Swiss assay offices stamped onto the metal next to its title from 1892.

319 Gold and silver hallmarks of imperial Germany.

318 Swiss gold and silver hallmarks from 1882 to 1892 and since 1892.

Lange). For some time, gold cases were procured from Geneva in parallel with the inhouse production. The Gene va cases w ere of all sizes and designs with a fine gold con-


The hallmarks in the Kaiser’s Germany were a crescent moon and an imperial crown for silver, and the imperial crown in a sun for 750 and 585 gold (Ill. 319). The title was

320 The different watch cases produced by Lange in Glashütte.

shown separately in a rectangle. The maker’s mark could be stamped anywhere. After Lange’s early years, four typical Glashütte case styles emerged (Ill. 320). The “Jürgens“, “Bassin”, “Lucia” and “Louis XV” styles w ere adopted b y all other w atch manufacturers. The Jürgens case had a cir cular bo w and often an eng ine-turned caseback. Both the cover and bezel b ulged slightly. The Bassin case-form w as similar to the Jürgens b ut without the b ulge on the co ver and bezel, and a smooth transition.

The Lucia case had a smooth surf ace with 320 a The fashionably slim “Royal” and “Impean oval bow, while the Louis XV style had a rial” watch cases. bow on a hor izontal hinge and pr ominent hinges on the sides for the co ver and caseback. When f ashion demanded thinner watches from around 1900, the slim “Royale” and “Imperiale” models were produced (Ill. 320 a). Development did not stop there, because other styles evolved from these basic for ms — the “Lucia 9 P ommes”, the “Cavalier” and the“Louis XVI”. Special designs for dress watches were once again produced during the Art Deco period.



15 1



18 4




348 – 349 Drawings and imprints of coats-of-arms of various noble families, to be reproduced on Gessner’s watch cases (see text for arms according to rank).












13 14

only be identified b y referring to his pattern book. His ar morial engravings ar e really special (Ill. 348, 349). A coat of ar ms consists of many elements with the escutcheon or shield as the centr epiece. The shape of the shield indicates the age of the family: the late-gothic thr ee-cornered shield surmounted by a helmet (Fig. 21) gave way to the half-r ounded shield in 1380 (Fig. 24). In the 14th century, the tartsche, or jousting shield, appeared (Figs 3,19), and finally escutcheons in the baroque style (Figs 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 18, 23). The escutcheon is mostly surmounted by a helmet (Figs. 6, 8, 12 & 24 are crested helmets). The mantling on either side of the helmet is for decoration. The rank is sometimes indicated by a coronet on the helmet (Figs 2, 6, 11, 20, 22, 24) or by supporters in the for m of animals — the fiercer the beast, the mightier the nob le house (Figs 1, 2, 6, 19, 24).


Another of Gessner’ s specialities w as the engraving of “dedications and names” on the caseback (Ill. 350, mirror-images) with a variety of floral decorations. The inscr iptions include the name of the compan y (Assmann, Figs 8,10,11) or the o wners of the w atch (W ilkens & Danger , Figs 4,12), often accompanied by such technical details of the mo vement as the n umber of je wels (Figs 5, 8, 9, 10, 11), the type of balance (Figs 5, 9) and escapement (Figs 8, 9, 10, 11). The movement n umber w as also eng raved on the caseback (Figs 8, 11, 12). Gessner also ex ecuted a n umber of special eng ravings for the Horological School (Fig. 3), and if the student was from Britain the inscription appeared in English (Fig. 1). One of his jobs was the decoration and inscription of the escapement models that the DUS students had to make during their apprenticeship.


350 Glossy-paper rubbings of dust-cover engravings by Gessner for the watchmaking school, for private individuals and local watchmakers (see text). 컄

1 2

6 5 3


9 8


11 10



7 Bibl.: R. Lange (op. cit. P. 36, note 9), No. 6, P. 43.

8 Bibl.: R. Lange (op. cit. P. 36, note 9), No. 7, P. 51.

ing and frequent stops. He introduced a new movement, replacing the short light pendulum with a heavy and long 21⁄2 seconds pendulum. Since the alterations, the clock has kept excellent time , so that my father became convinced that the achie vement of a steady rate, especially for to wer clocks, depended on the longest and heaviest pendulum possible …” Richard Lange married the daughter of the clockmaker, Wilhelm Roessner , in Berlin in 1872. This same Roessner then r ealized Adolph Lange’s ideas for a large pendulum clock fr om Richar d Lange’ s calculations. Richard had comprehensively analysed the performance of a compensation pendulum with a long cedar-w ood rod and a 220 lb bob thr ough a temperatur e v ariation of 100 °C. Richar d defended his calculations in these words:7 “In similar cases, where repeated removal of the pendulum is fraught with difficulty , I cannot b ut r ecommend these admittedly labor ious though necessary calculations. The y ha ve r ichly r epaid the effort. They allowed me to achieve precision and a steady rate , both in summer and winter and in all temperatur es, fr om the entire assembled pendulum down to its 220-pound iron bob, according to pre-planned and pre-calculated adjustments. Nevertheless I m ust note that the temperatur e variations in the pendulum housing fr om the cellar to the roof are not large …” For fine adjustment, the pendulum was fitted with a shot-filled container half w ay along its shaft (accessib le through a flap on the first floor). The oscillations of the pendulum could be influenced by adding or removing pellets. It was based on the Huygens cursor that Köhler had applied to his clocks in Dresden. Referring to the escapement used, Richard writes:8 “I should now like to give short description of the constant-for ce de vice invented by my father, which he not only applied to this clock b ut to earlier pock etwatches … The 50-toothed escape-wheel a (Figs. 5 – 6) is fix ed to fi ve-toothed release wheel b. Both tur n fr eely on the shaft of escape-pinion, while the five-armed jump-

ing wheel c is fix ed onto the same pinionshaft. The jumping wheel is connected to the wheel b by a spring d (in watches this is a coiled hairspring), which is under enough tension to provide the impulse to the pendulum for it to maintain enough amplitude. The sequence of mo vement is as follo ws: the escape-wheel with its fixed five-toothed release wheel is tur ned in the dir ection of the arrow by the spring, while the jumping wheel is held by the hook e’ of the lever e. As soon as the lever e is lifted by one of the teeth of the release wheel, the cor responding arm of the jumping wheel c is released, allowing it to jump forward until a steel pin in its arm comes up against a bank f cut into the spok e of the dr iving wheel. At the same time , the next ar m of the jumping wheel is caught b y the hook of the le ver e (see fig. 5). Meanwhile the le ver e is lifted slightly more (for clearance) before it drops, bringing the next arm of the jumping wheel c to r est against the hook e’. The goingwheel moves forward by 10 teeth when the lever is again lifted after 20 oscillations of the pendulum. The r elease and the consequent forward jump of the wheel take place every minute.”9 The pallets are set overhead and the amplitude of s wing is only 3°. The large dials

163 J umping-wheel device for a constantforce escapement for A. Lange’s house clock (Drawing by R. Lange).

9 The banking-piece g in R. Lange’s drawing is mistakenly put on the arm of the jumping wheel instead of on the arm of the going wheel (see Ill. 163).


Presentation watches After Richard Lange’s retirement in 1887, Emil Lange took over the sole management of the firm. Unlike his father and brother, he put more emphasis on the outer decoration and appearance of the watch. The cases were chased and engraved, and sometimes set with precious stones. They were also made appreciably heavier, increasing the financial margins significantly. Growing prosperity during Kaiser Wilhelm II’s rule brought demand for luxury timepieces, which A. Lange & Söhne met with lavishly decorated watches and cases.


323 – 326 Presentation gold hunter No. 41 567 by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1898. Sumptuously decorated case in 18-carat gold set with eight rubies and 57 diamonds. Enamel miniature portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II in a diamond surround on the sprung dial-cover. Backcover decorated with the imperial crown surmounting an initial W in diamonds, enclosed by engraved scrolls and flowers. The bow made of two diving dolphins holding rubies and a diamond between their tails. White enamel dial with small seconds, signed: A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b. Dresden. Gold Louis XV hands. Gilt 16-jewel movement, engraved balance-cock with swan’s-neck index. Compensation balance with gold screws and Breguet spring.





Gold escape-wheel and lever. (The Kaiser presented this watch to Sultan Abdul Hamit II on his first visit to Turkey in 1898). 327 – 328 Lady’s gold and enamel ceremonial watch No. 41 426 by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1900. Lavishly decorated case in gold and enamels with a surround of brilliant-cut diamonds. Sprung cover with the monogram FJ on a cobalt-blue field; caseback featuring a Bourbon fleur-de-lys set with diamonds. Enamel dial with arabic numerals and small seconds. Gilt movement with compensation balance on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 30 mm.


329 Lady’s gold and enamel ceremonial watch No. 13 075 by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1900. Sumptuously engraved and chased hunting case with outer hinges and backcover in 18-carat gold with brilliant-cut diamonds amid translucent enamel. Two-level enamel dial with roman numerals and small seconds. Blued-steel hands. Maillechort movement with striped surface decorations. Signed on the top-plate: A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b./Dresden, 13 075. Balance-cock with ruby endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 39 mm. 



The Götze watch The Götze watch was the gift of theatre fans in Cologne to their idol, the tenor, Emil Götze, who preferred to play Wagner roles in the Cologne opera house, in rivalry with Bayreuth. He had great success in the title role of Lohengrin.

365 왕


365 – 369 Lever chronometer No. 18 290 by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1884. Hunting case engraved on both sides with depictions of Cologne cathedral and the opera house. Inscription on the dust cover: Herrn Emil Götze zur Erinnerung an seine Freunde, Köln 1885 – 1886. The name, Emil Götze, on the enamel dial with small seconds and Louis XV gold hands. Gilt movement with five gold jewel-bushings held by screws. Engraved balance-cock with rack-and-pinion index adjustment. Compensa-

366 왓

367 왕

tion balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel.

368 왕

369 왓

370 – 371 Gold pocket-watch by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1882. Chased and engraved case with Renaissance motifs of the Dresden school, “à goutte” fastening, large side hinges and dust cover in 18-carat gold. Two-part enamel dial with roman numerals and small seconds; blued-steel hands. 371 Gilt movement with five gold jewel-bushings held by screws, signed: A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b/Dresden (movement and case numbers unknown). Engraved balance-cock with diamond endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 53 mm.

370 왕

372 – 373 Gold hunter by A. Lange & Söhne, Dresden, 1876. Chased and engraved case with floral motif in 18-carat gold. Enamel dial with roman numerals and small seconds; bluedsteel hands.

374 – 376 Gold hunter No. 13 679 by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1880. Gold case with Graff patterns and big side hinges. Monogram, HB in the cartouche on the sprung cover. White enamel dial with arabic numerals and small seconds, gold hands. Maillechort movement with screw-held jewel bushings. Balance with gold screws, gold lever and escape-wheel. 374 – 375 Original sketch of a fanciful bosom in 1:1 scale and an impression of the finished engraving on glossy paper. The elements of the case were engraved in Glashütte by Gustav Gessner.

374 왕

371 왕

375 왕

376 왓

373 왓

372 Gilt movement with three-quarter plate and gold jewel-bushings held by screws. Engraved balance-cock with diamond endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 51 mm. 왓


Power-reserve (up/down) indicators A. Lange & Söhne produced two sorts of up/down mechanism — one based on patent No. 9349 of 1879 and the other on Otto Lange’s patent No. 732 102 of 1940. Both used a planetary gear between centre-wheel and ratchet or between the ratchet and the barrel, because when the watch is wound the ratchet rotates in the same direction as the barrel unwinds. The earlier version had the power-reserve train under the dial. It was later installed between the plates, without increasing the height of the movement. The power reserve could range between 30 and 56 hours depending on the pinions.

608 – 609 Gold hunter No. 13 115 with up/down indicator by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1879 (not in Huber’s list). Stepped case in 18-carat gold with knurled caseband. White enamel dial with roman numerals, small seconds at 6 o’clock and 30-hour up/down indicator at 12 o’clock, signed: A. Lange & Sons, Glashütte b. Dresden (for the American market). Blued-steel hands. 609 1st-quality Maillechort movement with surface decorations and five gold jewel-bushings held by screws. Balance-cock with diamond endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 54 mm.

610 왕

608 왕

611 왓

609 왓

610 – 611 View under the dial. Maillechort movement, also circular-grained under the dial.The large disc wheel is driven from the centre-wheel via a transmission wheel (centre left).The differential gearing is under the wheel carrying the up/down hand (Ill. 611). The patented winding system (see P. 400) can be clearly seen.


610 – 613 Gold hunter No. 13 474 with up/down indicator by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1879. Stepped case in 18-carat gold with a “Saturn” bow. White enamel dial with small seconds at 6 o’clock and up/down indicator (Pat. 9349) at 12 o’clock, signed: A. Lange & Sons, Glashütte b. Dresden. (“Sons” for the American market). Bluedsteel hands. 1st-quality Maillechort movement with surface decoration and five screw-held gold jewel bushings. Balance-cock with diamond endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 54 mm.

612 왕

614 – 615 Gold pocket-watch with up/down indicator by A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, 1879. Stepped case with “Saturn” bow and dust cover in 18-carat gold.Three-level white enamelled dial with roman numerals at 6 o’clock and 30-hour power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock (patent No. 9349), signed: A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b. Dresden. 615 1st-quality gilt movement with five screw-held gold jewel bushings. Signed on the plate:A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte b. Dresden. Engraved balance-cock with diamond endstone. Compensation balance with gold screws on a Breguet spring. Gold lever and escape-wheel. D = 54mm.

613 왓

614 왕

615 왓


A. Lange & Söhne - Great timepieces from Saxony  

describes the complete history of the Lange watchmaking dynasty from Dresden and its timepieces, from the early beginnings in the 19th centu...