FORM and FUNCTION. The two fundamentals that govern and categorise the myriad of objects in our lives. Certain objects follow the form – to be displayed, shown and admired; or used as complimentary visual aid. Purely aesthetics, like a painting, or a photograph, or an illustration. On the other hand, I believe that many others serve a very sole purpose of function – to get the job done. Be it the hammer that helped build a house, down to the nail that is keeping it all together. …but where do you really, truly find, a perfect blend of both these fundamentals? Though not completely necessary but I’d have to set these examples, as not only pure mechanical and engineering achievement, but as the beautiful art-form that it is. I’m setting the Bar, here _. This is one of the pinnacles of watchmaking – the centuries-old art-form that has been passed down through the generations. As you would probably see and know, time is kept with digital devices now that run amok our digital landscape, so discovering a mechanical piece like this isn’t one of the most common things you’d find everyday. Please be reminded that this is solely my opinion! (mixed with a lot of read-up from the experience of others in the watch industry..and seeing one myself!) If you take a look at pieces from A.Lange & Sohne, I am confident that you will find that they are elegant, and perfectly made. Trust the Germans. A piece in particular that I’d like to point your attention to is the Datograph. Lovely, don’t you think? Though the following images would make the word “lovely” sound very …mild.
Actually, I’ll change “mild” to “meager”. Hopefully you got as excited as I did when first laid eyes upon this..
Basically I’m going to get geeky here, and tell you about what it actually does:
Function: its mechanism contains a chronograph (which essentially is a stopwatch, so a start, stop and reset pushers); a “perpetual calendar” which features a day-of-week, month, 4-year/leap-year and moon-phase displays. I think I’ve gotten geeky enough already! All of the functions needn’t be mentioned, as it could take up the whole blog. As extraordinary as it is, it is not a necessity..
Most of the functions you find on a wrist-watch would be available in most everyday places… like your all-in-one iPhone!
This watch contains 405 parts that are meticulously hand-crafted and hand-assembled.
I would honestly love to own any or all of these photographs, hanging in my home!
In terms of Form, you will hopefully see that no doubt, it is a beautiful piece of mechanical engineering. Everything from the inset rubies, the chamfering (aka. beveling), down to the “Glashutte Ribbing” polishing on the surface of the mechanism, completes this as an art-piece in its very own category.
A.Lange & Sohne is located in eastern part of Germany, near Dresden, located in a not-so-large town of Glashutte, in the state of Saxony. The company was founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange. With a population of around 4,700 it is a small place, but is the birthplace of the German watchmaking industry. As most things did, the factory had gotten bombed in the War, and had ceased for decades until it was resurrected in 1990 by the founder’s grandson with the help of another. Their first wrist-watch range began in 1994, and is now one of the most prestigious companies in the watch industry.
If you’re wondering how to say the name, it is roughly pronounced [ah LANG-eh unt ZURN-neh], and is compulsory to be said with a thick, German accent. Hehe
Summing up my wordy and elaborate explanation – It is intriguing to know that there can be an art-form inside a watch today (considering the context of this day and age). Though to know that they were never quite shown in the past, and not much appreciated [as an art-form] today, to me is more of an oddity!
[All images were obtained from the official A.Lange & Sohne website. They are not my property.]
Thanks for reading the first post!!