In establishing his watch manufactory in 1845, Dresden watchmaker F. A. Lange laid the foundations for Saxony’s fine watchmaking industry. He furthermore took on social responsibility: For 18 years, he governed the destiny of the town of Glashütte as its volunteer mayor and represented the interests of Saxony’s watchmaking industry as a state parliamentary representative from 1869. It was based on this tradition that his son Emil established a foundation to provide pensions for former employees. Lange’s grandchildren, who took over as third-generation managers of the company in the 1920s and 1930s, were also socially committed with their endeavour to procure affordable homes for employees.
Even today, social and corporate responsibility make up the fundamental principles of the corporate activity at A. Lange & Söhne, not only in relation to employees but also during the production of the intricate timepieces and as a backer of cultural and social projects. As the town’s largest employer, we are committed to international projects that promote the skilled trade through watchmaking qualifications and master training, as well as to the environmentally friendly procurement and use of resources and sustainable production processes. Lange furthermore provides donations in support of charitable associations.
Our responsibility for sustainable production
Lange watches are made from several hundred individual components, which are lovingly processed and then assembled by hand. When producing these individual components, the manufactory ensures that the raw materials used comply with international regulations.
As a long-standing member of the Internationaler Reptilleder Verband (IRV – international reptile leather association), A. Lange & Söhne rigorously abides by the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The alligator leather used for our straps is sourced exclusively from alligator farms in the USA where ethical animal husbandry principles are upheld. The leather trade is strictly state monitored as well. The species protection seal on the alligator leather strap of a new Lange watch includes a registration number that is checked by customs officials when imported, allowing each strap to be traced back to the source.
Responsible Jewellery Council
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is an international non-profit organisation which brings together members of the watch and jewellery industry who undertake to observe strict requirements along their entire value-added chain. These regulations apply to not only social, ethical and environmentally friendly procedures, but also the guaranteed protection of human rights.
As an officially certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, A. Lange & Söhne guarantees that all of its precious metals and jewels are responsibly sourced. Long-standing partnerships and meticulous evidence on all invoices from our suppliers guarantee that the raw materials (diamonds, gold and platinum) used for our watches come from legitimate sources. We particularly ensure that none of the diamonds used come from Marange in Zimbabwe or Myanmar, both of which are regions criticised for their severe breaches of human rights. The quality of our diamonds is also consistently tested and certified by an independent laboratory.
Our responsibility for sustainable production
The manufactory has set itself the aim to continually reduce its energy consumption and optimise the energy footprint. This also includes the careful use of natural resources such as paper, responsible waste management and the recycling of general and raw materials. Lange also favours working with regional service providers and pays attention to sensible, environmentally friendly logistics.
To develop the great art of fine watchmaking through curiosity and enthusiasm: This is the aim of the F. A. Lange Scholarship and Watchmaking Excellence Award, a continued professional development scheme launched in 2010 to offer talented young apprentices from around the world insights into Lange’s understanding of fine watchmaking. Following on from a project week and with a prize fund of 10,000 euros, the competition offers entrants the opportunity to turn the impressions they have gained into design ideas and offers Lange the chance to build on the good relationships with the international watchmaking schools from which the participants come.
In 2015, A. Lange & Söhne inaugurated a new manufactory building to house all departments from parts production and engraving to assembly. To make the manufactory as green as possible, a geothermal heat pump is used for heating, cooling and hot water. The use of the geothermal and green electricity to drive the heat pumps enables carbon-free energy supplies for the new building, as well as potentially other manufactory buildings. When the manufactory building was inaugurated, the geothermal system that had been installed to this end was the largest one in the Free State of Saxony.
Our responsibility towards our employees
Our employees make our company. We therefore foster an environment in which personal performance and talents are recognised, versatility is appreciated and a good work-life balance is maintained.
As a family-friendly employer, we offer our employees flexible working hours and even various part-time models under consideration of their individual personal situations. For example, we support young families by financially assisting with childcare costs.
We offer our employees a broad range of development opportunities by supporting and fostering them during subject-specific, intercultural and linguistic training courses. Lange furthermore uses an extensive health management programme with various different sports to support employees through sustainable preventative measures. Voluntary and charitable work by the employees is also encouraged. For instance, numerous Lange employees work for the Technisches Hilfswerk (THW – Federal Agency for Technical Relief), the voluntary fire brigade and the Red Cross
As a company that acts as an ambassador for Saxon watchmaking in more than 60 countries and employs people of different nationalities at 20 sites around the world, we firmly believe in cosmopolitanism, tolerance and social commitment. These values shape the everyday work of our employees at the Glashütte site and around the world. We use a range of subsidised language courses and our integration programme for international employees to foster intercultural diversity within our company.
Encouragement of young talents
The commitment to talented young people is deeply rooted in the brand’s traditions. When F. A. Lange founded the manufactory in 1845, he himself trained 15 apprentices to be watchmakers. Even today, the fostering of young people is of fundamental importance for the company’s future. The Lange watchmaking school founded in 1997 therefore offers a training course that meets the manufactory’s high standards. Most of the more than 100 young watchmakers who have successfully completed the three-year course work in the Lange workshops and are among the best in their field. Since 2013, Lange has also trained a small number of toolmakers. Our educational institute has already conceived regional and national watchmaking champions and has been named as “Outstanding educational institution” by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Our social responsibility
In addition to training and support for his employees, F. A. Lange was also committed to activities within the scope of social and corporate responsibility. As volunteer mayor of the town of Glashütte and later as a member of Saxony’s state parliament, he was committed to the continuous improvement of living and working conditions as well as to the infrastructural development of Glashütte and the region. For example, he had roads and bridges built, fountains created and supported the construction of a railway line to the then remote Müglitztal Valley in which Glashütte is located.
Donations to aid organisations
Even today, the company is still guided by F. A. Lange’s commitment and increasingly supports organisations and associations that assist disadvantaged children and young people. These include Albert-Schweitzer-Kinderdorf in Sachsen e.V., a non-profit organisation that gives children a new home, Sonnenstrahl e.V., which supports children who suffer from cancer and their families, and LUBA Dresden e.V., which grants wishes to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our social and cultural responsibility
As a tradition-steeped brand with its historic roots in Saxony, A. Lange & Söhne assumes responsibility for maintaining the cultural heritage of its home. This manifests itself through several partnerships with institutions that were of particular importance to the creation of the region’s special cultural and economic hotbed and which still continue this heritage today.
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (The Dresden State Art Collections)
The company has supported the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and their realisation of demanding exhibition and research projects since 2006. The Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments with its outstanding collection of technical instruments and watches also forms part of the important museum association.
As a scientific institution established in 1728, the cabinet is regarded as the birthplace of Saxon watchmaking. This is where the brand’s unique tradition began. Early pocket watches from A. Lange & Söhne found in the permanent exhibition impressively bear witness to this historic connection. Furthermore, a LANGE 1 represents the rebirth of Saxony’s entire watchmaking industry after German reunification.
The Dresden Semper Opera
In 1841, Johann C. F. Gutkaes completed the Five-Minute Clock in the Dresden Semper Opera with the assistance of his journeyman F. A. Lange. It continues to reliably display the time to passers-by even to this day. Its characteristic indication inspired the watchmakers from A. Lange & Söhne to design the outsize-date display now typical of Lange. This joint history recently led to a mutual partnership, among other benefits.
The Dresden Kreuzchor
A. Lange & Söhne has had a partnership with the Dresden Kreuzchor boys’ choir since 2015. This was instigated as a result of the Crucians’ 800th anniversary in 2016. Both the manufactory and the boys’ choir regard themselves as ambassadors of Saxon culture to the world. The two partners are united by their historic roots in the city of Dresden, international reputations, great commitment to supporting young talent and, above all, their desire to achieve ultimate perfection.