A few weeks ago, we were generously invited to visit the Lange factory in Glashutte, Saxony and of course we couldn’t pass up this invitation. The visit would take course over a three day period which included a thorough factory tour, some fine dining and even some watch making workshops in the Lange Academy just a few miles down the road from their production facilities. For a while now I’ve been a huge admirer of Lange timepieces and getting to see them crafted first hand was just something I couldn’t wait to witness.
Lange pride themselves on consistent precision and so it is very natural that to achieve this level of accuracy, modern tools must be used; thus milling, drilling and engraving are done with the very latest generation of computer-controlled machining. They even go to the lengths of using wire-EDM systems for the production of very, very tiny parts such as clicks, jumpers and levers.
Admittedly I didn’t expect to be overly engrossed in seeing these parts milled but that’s just it, I was? It was also quite interesting to learn that just one small mistake from these machines would render a whole plate of movements useless. And even when it looks perfect all pieces are microscopically checked for any deviations, as this would affect the overall tolerances. Once this process was completed the staff of the deburring department bevel all edges and openings of all holes by hand.