Poor experience with service of vintage Lange

Dec 20, 2017,02:05 AM

I recently sent two vintage Lange pieces to the manufactory through the Singapore boutique for service and below is the response I got.

I was quite taken aback by the tone of the email and the statement that a watch made personally by Walter Lange and his brother Ferdinand Adolf Lange has nothing to do with the Lange Uhren manufactory and they would not consider taking it in for repair at all.

I would have thought that Lange would honor a watch made personally by its founder especially at time when they are paying tribute to Walter Lange with moving Youtube videos and limited edition pieces.

Does anyone have any experiences with getting a vintage Lange watch serviced/overhauled and can advise a good place to do so?

Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:51 PM
To: CHIN Brian (RIC-SG) <[Email address suppressed for privacy]>
Subject: Shipment of two ancient watches


Dear Brian,


Hoping you are well.


This is to confirm that we have received your order


80176473 – wristwatch w/o strap and buckle – individual number: 45705

80176500 – wristwatch w/o strap and buckle – individual number: 103122


Shipment has been arranged through Mr./ Mrs. See Hong Onn.


We are anxious letting you know that both watches are going to be returned without taking any further action. Our decision is based on following:


Please see attached e-mail correspondence by our head of service department Alexander Bentfeld informing that with until further notice we do not accept repairs for historical watches due to capacity reason. Both watches are not considered as one of our modern watches as they have been manufactured way before 1990.


Order 80176473 – individual number: 45705

This watch was manufactured by Walter Lange and his brother Ferdinand Adolf Lange in Pforzheim (Germany) and not in Glashütte. This watch has nothing to do with our manufactory and we would not consider taking it on for repair at all.


Order 80176500 – individual number: 103122

Watch approx. manufactured around 1930. It is hand wound with a Swiss made ALTUS movement. We normally overhaul this type of watch however; due to capacity reason would not offer an estimate as of now.


Furthermore; we would like to point out that our plattforms, dealers and boutiques should not accept any historical watches to forward them to our manufactory due to assurance reasons. Alexander did state this in his e-mail too.


If you have clients looking for an overhaul of pocket watch or historical wrist watch you may let them know to get in touch with us directly. Please use as contact Susan.


We would appreciate if you could update your team.


Thank you for your comprehension.


With the best wishes for the impended holiday season and all the best for 2018


Warm wishes from Germany,




Susan Oelschlägel

Kundenservice / Customer Care



Lange Uhren GmbH

Ferdinand-A.-Lange-Platz 1

D-01768 Glashütte




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Vintage 1930's A. Lange & Söhne Art Deco in Yellow Gold

Vintage 1950's A. Lange & Söhne Vormals Glashütte Pforzheim in Yellow Gold

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Comments: view entire thread


Depends on the condition of the movement. [nt]

 By: jim vancouver : December 21st, 2017-09:39
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Dear Sigo, first of all, warm welcome here even if I’d have wished to hear a better story for your first post

 By: Alkiro1 : December 20th, 2017-02:57
Anyway, I understand your position and I understand the Lange’s one if they have no parts in stock to service and repair your watches. As previously said, if you know a good watchmaker, a full service of these two Lange shouldn’t be too tricky for him. Ho... 
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My suggestion:

 By: sham1 : December 20th, 2017-03:45
Hello and welcome to the forum! I agree with Nico and Alkiro that any good watchmaker in Singapore can repair your watches as the movements are quite straight forward. However, if I was posed with a similar predicament (and I live close by in Kuala Lumpur... 
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 By: sigo : December 20th, 2017-20:39
I will look into Somlo.
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I can understand both parties' position.

 By: riverside / Henry : December 20th, 2017-03:49
However, as a premium brand, if I were Lange, I'd tell the client that the manufacture will do its best to restore it, but give the time it would take, and the estimated cost. And, if Lange already has a capacity problem now, either the watches have a hig... 
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I might be mistaken, but isn't there a watch museum in Glashutte that is owned by Swatch...

 By: CR : December 20th, 2017-04:20
... and has a department that will service any historical timepiece made in that region? I seem to recall that from a visit there several years ago. It's worth considering IF, for some reason, you can't get them serviced locally as others have suggested.
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You are correct.

 By: TheMadDruid : December 20th, 2017-08:05
Operated by GO. However, these watches have Swiss movements and that may be a problem for the Museum.
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You are correct! [nt]

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-16:45
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Is it this museum?

 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-18:17
"Horological History: A Photo Tour Of The German Watch Museum In Glashütte"
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I believe so! [nt]

 By: CR : December 24th, 2017-11:09
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I am surprise...

 By: W72 : December 20th, 2017-05:25
given the strong message of their connection to the past when marketing and promoting the brand (I just read the first page of A Lange & Sohne website). But they will not take any Lange watches not from their Manufactory or anything pre 1990? for service.... 
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My thoughts would that if a watchmaker sells or attempts to market watches with a long rich history,

 By: R99 : December 20th, 2017-06:48
It is not unreasonable for customers to expect that any model that has been manufactured since the inception of the company can be serviced as long as the watch is authentic.
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Actually it is not a watch from THEIR manufactory

 By: Clavi : December 20th, 2017-07:01
The Lange name was revived with pretty much zero connection to the past. I think it is a known fact. And, as frustrating it might be, I think you can't expect them to be any better than your local watchmaker, since they don't know better. One possible act... 
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AP likes to tell the story

 By: Spangles - Tabib al-‘Attābiyya : December 20th, 2017-08:45
That there is a non working vintage Patek in the PP museum. Patek doesn't have the expertise to fix it, so they went to AP, which does. AP said okay, but in the museum, on the placard that describes the piece, we would like "serviced by Audemars Piguet" t... 
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That's not entirely correct.

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-16:48
They have a protocol to follow. The dealer is supposed to send photos of the watch to the manufacture's restoration department first! The manufaktur then approves the watch to be sent in. Singapore boutique sent in the watch without following proper proce... 
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I understand your disappointment

 By: ztirual : December 20th, 2017-11:03
Heritage at Lange only seems to go one way, when it goes in their interest. We would be shocked if such a statement came from any other big houses. The name of Patek Philippe comes to mind. I think they are the big loosers in this story. They are turning ... 
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ztirual... I think you're saying some strong opinions about Lange. Can you please give us some facts you've personally experienced?

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-17:06
I did notice you said the word "seems" so I do understand this is your opinion based off your observation. But since Lange's not going to come here to defend themselves, let's give an objective and balanced context so we can learn from your experience. Yo... 
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Dear patrick_y

 By: ztirual : December 20th, 2017-23:14
Thank you for noticing that I underlined the word seems... No private experience, hence the underline. I am an admirer of Lange from a distance. I cannot collect them all. ;-) I much prefer the "tailor made" watches of independants to the "prêt-à-porter" ... 
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I enjoy all watches, but I do understand what you mean...

 By: patrick_y : December 21st, 2017-11:16
As you become more and more selective, you realize you stray away from the big brands... Perfectly understandable. Although I do have to say, Patek Philippe, Lange, and others do come up with something genuinely interesting that cannot be achieved by the ... 
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Regrettable but Lange Germany actions are completely understandable... Singapore boutique's actions didn't follow protocol.

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-16:44
Overall, you can't judge the tone of the letter. The tone of the letter was addressed to the Singapore Boutique, not to the customer. It's not unfair for them to speak to their own dealer employees in a particular way. Even if this was sent to a customer,... 
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I'm German

 By: sigo : December 20th, 2017-20:04
So I know well how Germans can be can be quite blunt/stone faced/borerline arrogant sometimes. The same text was actually sent to me verbatim by the Singapore boutique with the original email as attachment. Notwithstanding the tone of the email or lack of... 
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I understand where you're coming from...

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-20:56
I think you should reach out to them and ask them to clarify. Definitely a fair question. "Why will you acknowledge a watch that was made by the founder of the company and yet not service it just because it was made in Pforzheim and not in Glashutte." It'... 
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This is surprising to hear..........

 By: TonyR : December 20th, 2017-17:05
8 or 9 years ago a friend of mine bought a Lange B-Uhr at auction in non working order. He sent it to Lange in Germany and they did a full restoration of that watch. They even fabricated a number of parts from scratch in order to restore the watch to its ... 
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Tony! Please notice the following:

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-17:22
1. This letter was sent from Lange in Germany to Lange boutique in Singapore. It was never meant for the customer's eyes. Lange Singapore employee, Brian, overstepped in his effort to be transparent. 2. Lange Germany has a process and protocol for vintage... 
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Patrick, your points are well taken............

 By: TonyR : December 20th, 2017-17:58
As an owner of a number of their watches im a huge fan and we certainly don't know the whole story. I just feel that as a top brand Lange really should service those watches assuming they are all original no matter the date of production or how big of a p... 
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I'm going to bite my tongue later...

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-19:22
I'm going to bite my tongue later when I'm not the winning bidder and I see that it was you (or another PuristSPro reader) who outbidded me... But I'm going to say it at my expense anyways... It's very clear what Lange will service and will not service, i... 
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Regarding point 4

 By: sigo : December 20th, 2017-20:17
The boutique spoke to me on the phone and the explanation for the 1950's piece not being serviced was because it was made in Pforzheim and not in Glashütte they do not have the schematics. Given it is such a simple movement and Walter Lange personally mad... 
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Possible, but that's an assumption and a stretch...

 By: patrick_y : December 20th, 2017-21:02
Overall, there should've been a better and more detailed explanation for why they wouldn't service the watches. Also suggestions for both watches on where would be an alternative to obtain service. The "capacity" reason alone is not a legitimate excuse. W... 
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Unfortunately ...

 By: jim vancouver : December 21st, 2017-12:44
... the present Lange management has no interest in the historic Lange. Rather, the present Lange looks to the glories of their current product line. On the other hand, the present Breguet (under Swatch) is very interested in the mystic of the Breguet nam... 
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Please tell us why you think that way... Back it up with some facts!

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2017-11:00
I'm very curious as to why you think this way about Lange. Why would a company with such small revenue and relatively small production even invest in a restoration department and have a program? What personal experience do you have that was dis-satisfacto... 
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What do you mean?

 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-15:11
Pretty obvious from what the OP told us that the present Lange has no interest in pre-WW2 Lange watches. From their own mouths. Suggest you read the info provided by sigo.
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Okay... It seemed like you were stating a fact from your own experience.

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2017-17:17
I'm just trying to ascertain what is fact and conjecture. For you to make the statement you made, " Unfortunately the present Lange management has no interest in the historic Lange. Rather, the present Lange looks to the glories of their current product l... 
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So ...

 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-18:08
... Tell us about the watches that Glashutte has restored for you.
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You simply have an adamantly negative opinion about Lange's restoration department, and you didn't mention any personal experience when asked to clarify. Thanks for sharing.

 By: patrick_y : December 23rd, 2017-01:08
Details about my experiences are irrelevant. The point is that Lange met my expectations with the restorations.
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BTW ...

 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-15:35
... it is not my place to argue why Lange should (or not) have a restoration program. It is Lange's corporate decision to do what they do. Vintage watch buyers should take note, and act accordingly.
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That's true, but entirely off base.

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2017-17:26
The reason why I mentioned what I mentioned is that it's unusual for such a young company like Lange to have a restoration department for vintage watches. For management to establish a whole restoration department for vintage watches at a stage when they ... 
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 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-18:05
. Breguet was terminal in 1970 when it was bought by the Chaumet Brothers. It was Daniel Roth who recreated Breguet, just as Lange was resurrected in 1990. The Chaumets went bust in 1987, and it only in 1999 that Swatch took over. watchesbysjx.com The... 
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rules or no rules, whether or not boutique erred regarding policy,

 By: remarque : December 22nd, 2017-07:08
one would think that once Lange received the watch(es), they would want to acknowledge their special history and make accommodations to service the pieces, if for nothing else than documentation for internal museum and good publicity given the company's c... 
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Again, it's a company within company communique...

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2017-17:28
We don't know what else was conveyed in another email, via phone, etc. Maybe there were more details conveyed not in this email that justified why they wouldn't work on these watches. Let's not make too many assumptions that we are getting the whole story... 
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What is Lange today?

 By: jim vancouver : December 22nd, 2017-16:03
From reading the posts in this thread, it seems that many readers do not understand what the present Lange stands for. Let me offer my newbie opinion. The name A Lange & Sohne has been resurrected. But, the current regime is not about tradition. Rather, L... 
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Although maybe true, please explain why Lange sells a 200 yr anniversary watch if they don’t service these kind of watches?!

 By: Arie - Mr Orange : December 28th, 2017-17:30
It does not add up to me. If you talk the talk, walk the walk...
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I suggest that you ask Lange...

 By: jim vancouver : December 28th, 2017-18:26
... Anyway, don't be confused by the Pour Merit watches which uses fusee+chain technology. Its a technology that's obsolete, but Lange IMHO did it to show how they would do it today. Lange isn't about tradition. but about being superior in today's industr... 
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Welcome to PuristSPro mate !

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : December 22nd, 2017-17:41
whilst I do understand why Lange HQ did what it had to do, I think the Singapore boutique should have followed protocol and managed this better with you (there are many ways to help , go the extra mile, sweeten the relationship with a collector etc). Have... 
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Unfortunate my first post had to be of this nature but..

 By: sigo : December 28th, 2017-08:38
As a passionate Lange collector I was very disappointed and taken aback by the apparent attitude and how things were handled. I haven't had any communication with them since a phone call from the boutique following the email.
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BTW, have you reached out to Alkis here in NYC.........

 By: TonyR : December 28th, 2017-15:03
He is the official servicer of Lange watches in the US. I would be surprised if he couldn't service those watches assuming no parts are missing and the watches are in working order currently. Tony
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Alkis is an Official Lange Servicer but that may be limited to modern Langes...

 By: patrick_y : December 28th, 2017-18:48
But I'm not sure he's an Official Lange Restorer. So he may be able to service the watches and give them what they need. But he may not be able to restore them in an official capacity.
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I've known Alkis for a while now and won't say anything else............

 By: TonyR : December 29th, 2017-15:10
Other than to contact him if you haven't done so already regarding those watches. He can definitely service them assuming there isn't any unforseen hitches and assuming he has time to do them. Aside from being a pure gentleman Alkis is one of the best wat... 
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Got it. Thank you! I didn't know!

 By: patrick_y : December 30th, 2017-11:03
I knew he was one of the best watchmakers! I even knew he contributed to some design revisions for Lange. And Alkis and his family are very nice people as well! I just didn't know he was so proficient with the vintage restorations as well.
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Good - thumbs up [nt]

 By: jim vancouver : December 30th, 2017-18:32
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We gave you the benefit of the doubt...

 By: patrick_y : December 28th, 2017-19:20
A lot of people like to read and never post, never add value, never share their own thoughts and experiences... ....UNTIL something wrong happens and they want to vent online. I definitely noticed it was your first post, but at the same time, I also put m... 
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Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

 By: sigo : January 9th, 2018-02:14
And for all your comments. I am a relatively new collector and am active within the PuristS community on other forms of social media but given this is a rather unique problem I wanted to seek advice from the widest possible collector base. I hope to contr... 
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+ 1 [nt]

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : January 13th, 2018-17:34
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Happy you join us mate :) [nt]

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : January 13th, 2018-17:34
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Hope that Lange isn't shutting down the restoration department

 By: jim vancouver : December 23rd, 2017-01:32
What bothers me is that they didn't put you on a waiting list... "Order 80176500 – individual number: 103122 Watch approx. manufactured around 1930. It is hand wound with a Swiss made ALTUS movement. We normally overhaul this type of watch however; due to... 
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Missed Opportunity

 By: le_chef : January 6th, 2018-09:34
As a PR/Marketing exercise Lange missed a dream opportunity to pay homage to Walter Lange, to help close some of the historical gaps in Lange’s history, and to show current and future owners that the company puts them first, beyond any bureaucracy. I woul... 
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Gaetan Guillosson is definitely a good person in the watch industry...

 By: patrick_y : January 10th, 2018-00:54
I've always enjoyed my discussions with Gaetan. And even when he tells me "no" when I'm trying to get a watch, somehow I still leave the conversation not unhappy. He used to be in charge of North America. Now he's in Asia. And the North America sales mana... 
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A good watchmaker should be able to aid you in Singapore

 By: radikaz : January 14th, 2018-02:13
Hi Sigo, Technically speaking a good watchmaker likes some of the folks said earlier should be able to access your Lange watches & tell you if they would take it in and overhaul it. If you wish to consider the option, i can point you the watchmaker &a... 
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