Earlier this month, the city of Glashütte paid tribute to Walter Lange, a key person in rebuilding Saxon watchmaking which began in 1990.

On September 18th, 2020 a memorial to Walter Lange (1924-2017) was unveiled in the redesigned square outside the Saint Wolfgang church, in conjunction with the 175th-anniversary celebration of Glashütte’s watchmaking industry. After the German reunification in 1990, Lange was pivotal in restarting the watchmaking industry in Saxony, which is thriving now, 30 years later.

2020 Walter Lange memorial
A memorial to Walter Lange was unveiled in front of the St. Wolfgang Church in Glashütte on 18th September 2020. The event was part of celebrations that marked the 175th anniversary of the town’s watchmaking industry and paid tribute to the man, who brought precision watchmaking back to Glashütte after German reunification in 1990.

“When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Walter Lange was concerned with more than just reviving the A. Lange & Söhne name,” explained Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid. “He always viewed it as a major personal endeavor to provide a new outlook for the people of Glashütte. These two goals were equally important to him.” According to Wilhelm Schmid, continuing the legacy of Walter Lange remains both a challenge and a duty: “We are continuing Walter Lange’s work just as he intended, with a commitment to the well-being of the town and its people.”

Walter Lange memorial 2020
L to R: Wilhelm Schmid (Lange CEO), Benjamin Lange (Walter Lange’s son), Hartmut Knoth (Lange’s former Managing Director)

In the presence of former Prime Minister of Saxony Kurt Biedenkopf, Lange’s CEO Wilhelm Schmid, Walter Lange’s son Benjamin with his wife Joanna, and other invited guests, Glashütte Mayor Markus Dreßler, and Lange’s former Managing Director Hartmut Knothe unveiled the bronze monument created by Thomas Jastram.

Hamburg sculptor Thomas Jastram has succeeded in capturing the essence of Walter Lange, depicting him as a life-sized bronze figure that meets the onlooker at eye level.
Hamburg-based artist Thomas Jastram during the creation of the statue

Hamburg sculptor Thomas Jastram captured the essence of Walter Lange, depicting him as a life-sized bronze figure that meets the onlooker at eye level. This ties in with the general perception of Walter Lange as a warm and approachable person. By creating the impression of Lange’s likeness taking a step forward, the sculptor has encapsulated the dynamic personality of an individual who vowed never to stand still. 

Walter Lange memorial statue in Glashutte
A memorial to Walter Lange was unveiled in front of the St. Wolfgang Church in Glashütte on 18th September 2020. The event was part of celebrations that marked the 175th anniversary of the town’s watchmaking industry and paid tribute to the man, who brought precision watchmaking back to Glashütte after German reunification in 1990.

The site of the memorial on the redesigned church square reflects the intimate connection between the Lange family and Glashütte. It stands just a few meters away from the commemorative stone for Walter Lange’s great-grandfather Ferdinand Adolph Lange (1815-1875), who brought precision watchmaking to Glashütte for the first time 175 years ago.

Walter Lange memorial 2020
Walter Lange statue in foreground and commemorative stone for his great-grandfather Ferdinand Adolph Lange in the background
Jason Pitsch
Posted by:Jason Pitsch

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