An explanation regarding the finishing of the hands.

May 19, 2020,22:58 PM

In respecting the anonymity of the person who responded to my request pertaining to the “unfinished” hands on some Lange watches, here is what I learned:

Basically, the reasons behind the unfinished hands are quiet straightforward:

A) Lange does not manufacture their own hands (or cases) as this is not possible for a small manufacture that produces around 5000 watches a year- Lange is, first and foremost a movement manufacturer, and they excel at that.

B) The hands can’t be ordered finished- Given their thinness, finishing both sides has resulted in many cracking or breaking due to tight tolerances. The few that manage to pass the compliance run the risk of being a problem down the line, (and no one wants that). Its simply not viable to lose so many hands at such a large scale.

C) Lange does finish every movement component to the highest standard possible, in this instance they have full control over the manufacturing process and can adjust production accordingly - as this doesn't apply to the hands, proper finishing and functioning cannot be guaranteed.

A Lange timepiece is a product of craft and passion- the passion of the many talented and hardworking individuals who chose to pursue this craft. This, at least to me further shows how humane the art of watchmaking is and if anything makes me appreciate Lange even more.

Last but not least, Lange will at some point release an official statement to the issue at hand! (pun intended).

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+1! To give Lange the benefit of the doubt, it depends on who sent this information to the OP...

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-06:03
...but if it's some executive with authority to speak officially on behalf of the brand, then this statement obviously makes the issue much worse. For as long as Lange sells watches that include hands, all under its name, it goes without saying they are r... 

Finishing the underside of the hands is not industry standards.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-06:49
VC, Patek, AP... they all don’t finish the underside of their hands- how’s that ok for them? Even the Geneva Seal doesn’t require the underside to be finished. Otherwise the movement finishing is of the highest standard especially compared to PP, VC and t... 

I can understand (and agree) Lange's movement finishing is very high quality, I don't think many people are questioning that, in either thread.

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-07:43
The reason of concern that I saw in the other thread is that when a brand makes the finishing of all of its components, visible and invisible, one of its main strengths, then people are naturally disappointed to find out that finishing, in reality, doesn'... 

Its very clear that Lange is referring to the movement.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-09:06
There shouldn't be a confusion as they were technically and explicitly referring to the movement - if anything, their explanation or what I got from them makes perfect sense to me. Economically not viable is a very sound and honest reasoning, not sure why... 

I think you hit the nail on the head FabR

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-11:30
Technically and realistically speaking, Lange is right to not finsh the hands. The problem lies with the romantic (false) assumption that ALS finishes all components, visible or invisible, being shattered by this little detail. Further, I do not think the... 

Here’s the thing though

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-12:06
Lange has always made it clear the all parts being finished applies to the movement - there’s no confusion there, if we decide to apply it to other parts then that’s not their fault really.

I wasn't going to reply, as I think everyone should have their opinion, and this really isn't about Lange's level of movement finishing, or a comparison with Patek, AP, or anyone else.

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-16:26
However, I was searching how this whole discussion originated, and look who started it less than two months ago: Now, all of a sudden, Lange "has always made it clear", "there shouldn't be a confusion", or it's even "indisputa... 

I didn’t have an “epiphany” - it was a discussion and I reached my own conclusions which is so openly shared.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-16:48
I am the one who initiated it because I believe in transparency and I chose to chronicle my state of mind at every juncture, my critique for the brand in that they need to be open about this still stands. I just don't want anyone, including myself, to get... 

Of course the robustness of the hands is important

 By: VinnieD : May 19th, 2020-23:26
But the argument that they come from a supplier is not valid in my eyes. Can you imagine Mercedes saying "oh yes, your ABS was faulty? That is coming from Bosch so not really our responsibility!"

Just to clarify: I am perfectly fine with the underside of my watch hands not to be polished

 By: VinnieD : May 20th, 2020-00:10
I understand the engineering requirements, the headaches, the additional cost that polishing on both sides would require

I think it became about costs

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-07:19
When the failure rate was too high. They did try!

I think this is an apples to oranges comparison.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-06:55
Also the hands are not faulty, the hands are finished as per industry standards. What we are talking about here is the underside that requires strong magnification to even notice.

Right ...

 By: WatchEater : May 19th, 2020-23:45
I'm a huge Lange fanboy and think it's not really a valid excuse given they are owned by Richemont. Yes, Lange might be small but they could surely pool resources and find a solution. If other brands can do it, so can they.

Agreed [nt]

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-02:03

Richemont doesnt control Lange

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-07:05
or any of their other brands- think of it like a Canadian Federation. You have the Federal Gov. and then you have the provinces that have huge autonomy. Pooling resources is an easy word for us to use but Lange is a brand that was revived only 25 years ag... 


 By: WatchEater : May 20th, 2020-20:58
I'm sure they have autonomy but what I'm getting at is that engineers at Lange / PD heads can probably call other companies owned by Richemont and solve this. If Grand Seiko can do it, so can Lange.

Who told you grand Seiko does it?

 By: TheWindingStem : May 21st, 2020-02:09
Grand Seiko does not finished the underside of their hands.

If the hands are too thin for finishing, is it not possible to increase the thickness and polish it down?

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-02:08
Looking forward to their official statement. The right thing to do is to start finishing the hands from now on and retain the "king of finishing" title, I can imagine it is not that detrimental to overall costs. However, with a response like this, I think... 

They are the King of Finishing.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-07:40
For the price they offer the best package out of all the serially produced watches on the market today and they are super close to the indies.

I think there is still room for debate in terms of "king of finishing" among the top brands.

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-11:42
But if ALS decides to finish the underside of the hands from now on to pursue perfection, I think that will earn them massive respect from the community and elevate them into a class of its own.

How so?

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-12:06
Who from the big brands are finishing their movements to the same standard as Lange?

PP, AP, VC [nt]

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-12:30

A bit lame excuse from a brand who wants to be on the top of the mountain.

 By: ZSHSZ : May 20th, 2020-04:35
I always valued the engineering part of Lange but I feel that they’re a bit overrated. Specially since Richemont took them over I feel that Lange died. Huge cases, shows engineering abilities not watchmaking. When they’re able to do it in a 38-40mm case, ... 

Now THAT is funny...

 By: mdg : May 20th, 2020-20:39
..."Don't skip leg day." : ) ...  

I believe so -

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-07:43
but I’m sure you understand the company would like to have one official statement as opposed to private conversations.

The "polished hands" discussion...

 By: CR : May 20th, 2020-07:56
... reminds me about how each of us has our own idiosyncrasies. It's interesting and amusing to read about these things. It's part of what makes this hobby fun for me. For example, in another recent thread, several people said they wouldn't own a Zeitwerk... 


 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-08:11
thank you for pointing these things out- for some reason people are so hard on Lange when their peers dont come close to them in terms of finishing/value.

What about Lange's relationship with rose gold vs. white gold?...

 By: CR : May 20th, 2020-09:12
This is another association that I have to this discussion. I always perceived Lange's (older) rose gold cases to be "lesser" and their white gold cases to be "greater" when compared with many industry peers. Here is why: RG: As those who've followed Lang... 

Yup I remember that.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 20th, 2020-17:09
I never looked at the RG as inferior per se- I just felt the fully polished case seemed rather unattractive. Whatever their reasoning may be I hated it lol

This is a very good point

 By: Langepedia : May 27th, 2020-07:14
I never thought about it. Thanks for bringing this up!


 By: WatchEater : May 20th, 2020-08:55
The preloading issue with the Zeitwerk is fixed on newer watches fwiw

Yes, I know Lange revised that movement a bit, and I hope you love your new ZW!

 By: CR : May 20th, 2020-09:17
I have an older Striking Time and recall discussing the slight "jump" with a Lange watchmaker at an event shortly after I got it. We also listened to the difference in chiming tones between the PT and WG cases. Whenever I think about the slight jump/prelo... 

Ok, for me this is quite simple.

 By: MTR : May 21st, 2020-00:33
The reason why I pay for a ALS watch the amount of a (luxury) car is not least because of the story behind that ALS produces its watches at highest possible standards and therefore my/our („romantic“) assumption that this manufacturer finishes ALL compone... 

I am curious, what would be an example of an ALS explanation that would be acceptable?

 By: CR : May 21st, 2020-06:39
This is interesting, and I enjoyed reading your car story and your thoughts about that, Thomas! Personally, I find it helpful to think of Lange as primarily a company that finishes and manufacturers watch movements. To the best of my knowledge, except per... 

Thank you CR

 By: MTR : May 21st, 2020-12:12
for your nice reply and reading my thoughts. And I hope you are wrong with your penultimate sentence.... Let’s see what will come out in this case. Best Thomas

Not convinced- this sounds like a Cisco product manager response-

 By: jlc.thomsen : June 16th, 2020-13:01
Admit and correct- We do not need rounded undersides like the upper part, just not rough cuts with marks from the plate cutting machines-Just take responsibility-don't send the ticket on to the supplier-you are such a great brand!