A reward for courage and commitment
Walter Lange receives the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Glashütte, November 2015
The founder of Lange Uhren GmbH, Walter Lange, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (First Class) by German President Joachim Gauck in recognition of his services to re-establishing Saxony’s watchmaking industry. The award was presented by Stanislaw Tillich, MinisterPresident of the Free State of Saxony, on 25 November at Saxony’s State Chancellery in Dresden.
In his laudatory speech, the Minister-President of Saxony described Walter Lange as an entrepreneur who had shown extraordinary commitment to ensuring that German precision watchmaking found a new home in Glashütte. Thanks to his outstanding contribution, the town had once again become a unique watchmaking centre, said Mr Tillich. “Walter Lange’s work is one of the greatest entrepreneurial success stories since German reunification,” explained the jury in their statement, adding that, when he reestablished his ancestors’ legacy, Lange – who is now 91 years old – did not only consider his own company, but always took into account the welfare of the watchmakers, their families and, in particular, his home town of Glashütte as well.
Following the reunification of Germany, Walter Lange seized the historic opportunity to make his vision – producing the world’s best watches in Saxony – a reality and to give the people in his home region a new outlook. By founding the company and registering A. Lange & Söhne as an international brand, he initiated the renaissance of Saxony’s fine watchmaking tradition that had been started by his great-grandfather in 1845.
Nowadays, the exclusive timepieces created by A. Lange & Söhne are highly coveted by connoisseurs and collectors in more than 60 countries. Thanks to Walter Lange’s brave initiative and his forward-looking business strategy, his initial team of 15 has grown into a company with a staff of over 700, making it the largest employer in the town. With around a dozen watchmakers and suppliers who have now created more than 1700 jobs, the town of Glashütte is once again the centre of the German watchmaking industry.