A. Lange & Sohne makes some unquestionably beautiful movements, and the Glashutte-bred brand is considered one of the world’s finest. But, as we’ve mentioned to you before, Lange went through a forty year period of dormancy after the brand’s property was expropriated to the pro-Stalin government of East Germany, along with several of the other Glashutte watch manufacturers. But, for the first few years of the GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb), the Government-run conglomerate of Glashutte watch makers known for some pretty unexceptional pieces (Eastern block Germany was vehemently opposed to all things luxury), they used a pretty exceptional caliber. Caliber 28 and 28.1 as they are known, was so exceptional because it was, in fact, a movement designed and built by A. Lange & Sohne themselves – the first and only wristwatch caliber from Lange not only built before the division of Germany, but before the rebirth of the brand and subsequent introduction of the Lange 1 in 1994. Here is the rest of the story.
A. Lange & Sohne produced some spectacular pocketwatches throughout its history. Those of the highest caliber, denoted with “1A” on the movement, are still highly sought after by collectors today. In the 1930s, Lange began to recognize the future wristwatches may hold to the industry. But, they simply did not have a movement of their own that would work in a wristwatch. So, they partnered with Swiss company Altus to create some early Lange wristwatches. The movement in these were an Altus caliber, but finely finished by A. Lange & Sohne. Lange did use some other Swiss movements in their watches throughout the 1930s and early 40s as well, but remember, these were not in-house Lange calibers.