A. Lange & Söhne’s new manufactory in Glashütte has been opened by German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.
The German premier and Saxony’s Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich opened the facility last week after work began on the project in September 2012. A. Lange & Söhne’s chief executive officer, Wilhelm Schmid, spoke to WatchPro about the project for the annual The Luxury Report publication in May.
Addressing 91-year-old Walter Lange, who relaunched the brand in 1991, Chancellor Merkel said: “The new beginning was not easy, but you and your companions succeeded in securing the manufactory’s top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands once again. Eastern Germany’s good reputation as innovative, flexible and modern location is based on success stories like yours.”
The new CO2-free building with its 5,400sq mt production area has been designed with large inclined windows to make the most of natural daylight, virtually dust-free conditions and a ‘double-skin, walk-in’ façade with climate control function.
Departments specialising in component manufacturing, engraving and decoration will be housed in the new building.
“The new building is a response to employment growth in recent years and represents an investment in the manufactory’s future,” said Schmid. “The focus was on a modern, energy-efficient building that would offer appealing surroundings and ideal working conditions. This will help us further enhance the quality of our watches and optimise our production processes. All the while, we strive to minimise our ecological footprint and resource consumption.”
The new building is described as a testament to sustainable architecture and innovative energy management using ‘green electricity’ and featuring Saxony’s largest geothermal energy plant – with 55 downhole heat exchangers extending to a depth of as much as 125 metres – to keep the indoor climate pleasant throughout the year.
The brand describes the investment as a ‘double-digit amount in millions of euros’, the Richemont-owned brand’s biggest ever.