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Friday, April 15, 2011

Lange's Engraving Dept

The engraving department within A. Lange & Sohne is perhaps rather famous. Every watch produced carries a hand engraved balance cock. These bear the signatures of the engravers, and can be recognised by them with a quick examination.

But equally interesting, and arguably perhaps more so, are the engraving and enameling work done for the watches which the owners have requested. These are done on the closed solid backs, and are very beautiful.

Here are some examples. Remember these are hand engraved on gold...free hand style.



The above is the head of the Greek goddess Minerva, hand engraved.



The coat of arms of the city of Glashutte.

And an experimental work done by the team with enameling:



They are still experimenting to try and perfect the enameling technique. But if you ask me, the patina-ed look...makes a more interesting piece of art than totally brand new.

The small team (if I remember correctly, 4 engravers, some working part time or from home) is led ably by Helmut Wagner, seen in the photograph below work station...yes, he uses a binocular microscope to do the engraving, with the most traditional of the graveur's art:



I took this photograph when I was at this studios for the afternoon, making photographs for my book, when he looked up. I swung the camera in his direction and managed to catch a sly smile on his lips. Made with the HC80mm lens at f/16.

One of the other engravers in the department, Simone Rauchfuß:



Simon was showing me the engravings on the balance cock she was working on. This was a posed photograph, as I asked her if she'd sit for one. If you are wondering if its the same workstation...it is. Both photographs were taken at Simone's.
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