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A. Lange & Söhne wants you to see its iconic timepieces in an architectural light

Form follows emotion

Text: Angelyn Kwek

Spotlighting Saxon watchmaking as an architectural structure, A. Lange & Söhne captures its signature novelties through the lens of Berlin-based photographer Attila Hartwig

Except there's one twist to the tale: The Saxonia Moon Phase, Saxonia Outsize Date, and the 1815 Chronograph are dressed in all black. First debuting at the Geneva Salon earlier this year, these six novelties (two from each model) have now arrived on the retail scene. Ostensibly, the dark shade is a connecting element across the watches, throwing into sharp relief the striking contrast between the dials, the hour markers, and the white inscriptions. To Hartwig's photographer sensibilities, the "sharp polarities produce the most vivid compositions". His arrangements emphasise the clarity of the dials but stand in deliberate contrast to the mechanical complexity of the movements.

Inspired by the design and intricacy of the timepieces, Hartwig built backgrounds composed of layered Perspex panels, prisms, and mirrors — all of which were transparent materials or reflective surfaces in order to produce a diaphanous atmosphere of architectural rigour. "The sleek dial of an A. Lange & Söhne watch resembles the elegant facade of a modern building," he muses.

Interestingly, Lange's director of product development Anthony de Haas tacks on to the design narrative by drawing a comparison with the world of sci-fi, specifically Cloud City in Star Wars. Sketching out a science fiction scenario, he said: "If we could beam ourselves into a multi-level watch movement, we would be exploring a mechanical universe in which everything is designed with architectural precision and located in exactly the right place."

So do you feel an emotional tug when you gaze upon a Lange creation so utterly flawless in both artisanal finesse and timeless aesthetics? Does it make you think of George Lucas' epic space franchise? Whether it's a yay or nay, browse the gallery above for architecturally inspired stills that look at the lines and curves of some of the most beloved Lange watches with new eyes.

 

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