On 26 August 2015, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Saxony’s Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich travelled to Glashütte to inaugurate A. Lange & Söhne’s new manufactory building. The complex provides a highly advanced and optimised working environment for the traditional craft of watchmaking.
The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 5 September 2012. Just under three years later, on 26 August 2015, the new complex was opened by German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Saxony’s Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich. The Chancellor gave thanks to Lange’s employees for their dedication. Addressed to the 91-year-old refounder Walter Lange, she said: “The new beginning was not easy, but you and your companions succeeded in securing the manufactory’s top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands once again. Eastern Germany’s good reputation as innovative, flexible and modern location is based on success stories like yours.”
Even Saxony’s Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich commended the watchmaking company’s innovative spirit: “A. Lange & Söhne is a world-famous brand rich in tradition. It has always preserved its myth – against all odds. Now, with the new building begins another successful chapter – with much space for tradition and modernity.”
The new building with its 5400-square-metre production area is an urban landmark at the southern gateway to the town of Glashütte. With its bright and clearly structured facade, the two-part complex harmoniously blends in with its historic architectural surroundings. Slightly inclined, large-format atelier windows assure ample lighting at the workstations. The ultra-modern workshops mean that the watchmakers can enjoy virtually dust-free conditions. The double-skin walk-in facade has a climate-control function. The machines and other equipment used to manufacture movement parts are located in the lower-slung front part of the building. Several departments in which small components are manually engraved and decorated will also be housed in the new building.
“The new building is a response to employment growth in recent years and represents an investment in the manufactory’s future,” said Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid. “The focus,” he added, “was on a modern, energy-efficient building that would offer appealing surroundings and ideal working conditions. This will help us further enhance the quality of our watches and optimise our production processes. All the while, we strive to minimise our ecological footprint and resource consumption.”
Accordingly, the new building is a testament to sustainable architecture and innovative energy management. Saxony’s largest geothermal energy plant – with 55 downhole heat exchangers extending to a depth of as much as 125 metres – keeps the indoor climate pleasant throughout all four seasons. The electricity needed to operate the pumps is green. Thus, the new Lange manufactory is a CO2-free facility that makes an important contribution to climate change mitigation.
The investment was a double-digit amount in millions of euros. This makes the project A.Lange & Söhne’s biggest investment ever and underscores the company’s commitment to Glashütte as a production site.