Lange, the legend of German watchmaking, has a long history with opera. As a German opera that runs alongside Italian and French opera, it is traditionally younger. Because of this, most of the reformers who left their reputation in the history of German opera were Wagner. By virtue of Germanic spirit and innovation in theatrical ideals, he reached an unprecedented position in the history of opera.
Wagner’s two early operas ‘Li Enzi’ and ‘The Wandering Dutchman’ premiered at the Dresden Semper Opera in 1842 and 1843, respectively. Built in 1841, this magnificent opera house was designed by Gottfried Semper. It is a fusion of Renaissance and Baroque styles and has become a leader in European Opera architecture. The courtyard is decorated with countless fine paintings and ornate carvings. Resident here is the Dresden National Orchestra with a history of more than 460 years. Since the establishment of the theater, it has provided countless first-class performances for the audience. To date, the works of music masters such as Wagner, Richard Strauss and Weber have often been performed at the Semper Opera House.
After the completion of the Semper Opera House, King August II often came to watch performances. During the performance, the audience’s pocket watches frequently made a ‘ding-dong-dong’ sound. So he appointed court watchmaker Gut Case to build a clock in the theater. The requirements are simple: first, the audience can see it anywhere in the theater; second, the time can be clearly seen even when the stage is dim. With it, you don’t have to watch pocket watches while the show is in progress.
The height of the opera house is 16 meters, and the average distance from each seat to the stage is 25 meters. The space above the stage is only 2 meters wide and 4 meters high. In such a limited space, traditional round clocks and longer hands cannot be accommodated at all. Gutkes then approached his apprentice and son-in-law’s watchmaker Adolf Lange to find a solution.
Semper Opera House
A five-minute digital clock model created by Lange and Master
Five-minute digital clock
After hard work, the two of them invented a rectangular clock with two drum devices running in reverse. This rectangular clock is built above the stage and has two windows. The hours are displayed in Roman numerals on the left and every five minutes in Arabic numerals on the right. The numbers are on a 51.2-inch diameter drum, rolling into the window like a stage transition scene, clear and clear. This is the earliest interpretation of the time in the history of watches and clocks to display the time with numbers instead of hands. Since then, Lange has been associated with the Semper Opera House.
Lange and opera are more than that. In 1878, Lange was commissioned to customize a ‘Wagner Pocket Watch’ for Ludwig II of Bavaria, ‘the fairy tale king’. The multiple watch covers showed Wagner’s most glorious opera through the enamel painting-‘Nibel Five scenes from The Dragon’s Ring. Ludwig II presented the pocket watch to the tenor Heinrich Vogel, who played the leading role in the first full performance of the series. ‘Wagner Pocket Watch’ represents the watchmaking art of Lange’s peak period. At that time, the second agent of the Lange family, Char Lange and Amy Lange, pushed the family watchmaking business to its fullest.
The history of the Semper Opera House is not flat. Since its completion in 1841, it has been doomed twice. The opera house was destroyed by a fire in 1869 and was later rebuilt. The day before Valentine’s Day on February 14, 1945, the Semper Opera House was ruined during the ‘Dresden Bombing’ of World War II. Lange was not spared during the war, and his watch factory in Glashütte was blown up on the last day of World War II. After the war, Lange’s trademark disappeared under a special political pattern, and the German precision watchmaking industry has since died down.
In 1984, East Germany completely restored the Semper Opera House in the past, and on the evening of February 13, 1985, the 40th anniversary of the destruction, accompanied Weber’s ‘Magic Bomber’ and Richard Strause The melody of ‘Rose Knight’ is unveiled again. In February 1995, Heintink conducted the Dresden National Orchestra to perform Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ here, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the ‘Dresden Bombing’. No matter what kind of suffering, the five-minute digital clock stands above the stage of the Semper Opera House.
Lange embarked on the road of revival after the reunification of Germany and Germany. In 1994, the brand launched the first watches, the most notable of which is the LANGE 1 with a large calendar display window. If you look closely at this large calendar display window, it is not difficult to notice that it is born of a five-minute digital clock. With the birth of the ZEITWERK jumping watch in 2009, Lange invented the first mechanical watch in the history of clocks to display hours and minutes digitally: once again, Lange invented it to his predecessor, Adolf Lange and genius— —The five-minute digital clock pays tribute.
LANGE 1 watch