An explanation regarding the finishing of the hands.

 By: TheWindingStem : May 19th, 2020-22:58
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).

Good to read. But still not very convinced. Don't they ask for a full finishing of the hands to their supplier??? [nt]

 By: amanico : May 19th, 2020-23:19
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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 responsible for the entire package. That response looks way too naive to me let's wait on the "official statement" ;-) Cheers.

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 the rest..

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't apply to *all* components. In Lange's partial defense back in the other thread, I looked at the page in their official site that discusses at length their finishing, and I wanted to confirm they were "technically" being truthful, since they seemed to refer only to the movement. Still, I believe that at least an honest sentence of what happens with the hands, which are quite a crucial part of the watch (!), would have helped. 

But now, if this is the defense that they offer (?) after getting caught with a simple photo of the dial, it's just devastating. They are essentially not responsible for the hands of their watches because it's too small a brand (part A)? It's not "viable" (i.e., not economically convenient!) to "lose so many hands" (part B), even when people spend tens of thousands on their watches? And finally, they can't even guarantee a "proper functioning" of a critical part of their product (part C)?? I hope you agree this can't be real! 

Again, I saw this thread quickly turning for the worse for Lange, which was the obvious outcome if we take that response as officially coming from the brand. That's why -- once again out of correctness towards all parties -- first thing that I asked you to confirm is whether the person that sent you that response is in any way speaking for the brand, because this can be easily implied from your post. Once again, I see you haven't answered yet, and I think you should clarify this point. Thanks! ;-)

PS I saw now your reply to my other post that came at the same time -- thanks. [nt]

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-07:52
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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 anyone would make the assumption as to what their operating expenses are and how much money they should or could spend - they already spend quiet a bit on developing new movements and manufacturing their movement component, including the hairspring- Not to mention finishing them to a higher standard than what you would normally see on a Patek or VC- You can even see milling marks on a Patek bevel and people spend far more on a Patek that uses outdated, small and mediocrely finished movement.
Fact remains that Lange provides the best finished movement in any serially produced watch. They never claimed to know how to make hands or cases and were upfront that they outsource those from the very beginning. In my opinion, sticking to what they do best and excelling at it, is what makes them special. Their repertoire of unique and ground breaking movements and unconventional designs (Dato, double split, triple split, zeitwerk, Lange 1, first fusee in chain in a wristwatch, hacking and zero reset Tourbillon...) in such a short period of time is unmatched- Not finishing the underside of the hands doesnt take any of that away from them and certainly doesn't make them any less the top of the top.

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 current situation can be solved by a simple explanation. ALS might have to think of ways to sustain that romanticism or risk losing some of the fans who have fallen in love solely for that assumption.

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.

It appears many are unaware until this episode [nt]

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-12:30
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Including the OP, apparently..;.-) [nt]

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-16:27
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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 "indisputable", etc... but until this epiphany, note that you were asking the exact same question that all Lange (or ex Lange) fans have legitimately asked in the last two threads of this forum: "Doesn’t Lange insist that every part seen or unseen is finished to the highest standards?" And then, equally reasonable, "Upon learning that the underside of the hands are not finished, i have to admit that I felt somewhat betrayed” (also your words, just five days ago).

This was to set the record straight, whichever your good reasons to be Lange's staunchest defender now. Given this, I sincerely hope Lange can still provide to their customers a transparent and convincing explanation -- or certainly, one that's less self-destructive than how you reported their words, that "proper functioning cannot be guaranteed" for the components they don't manufacture. 

If your contact or any other individual authorized to speak on behalf of Lange wishes to send us an official statement, we'll be happy to publish it on our forum. So everyone will finally be able to make up their mind independently about Lange's own explanation. 

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 carried away with pitchforks and torches when almost everyone leaves their hands unpolished while offering worse movement finishing and minuscule outdated movements.

After researching this topic and getting some explanation from Lange I have posted their answers and stated that I accept their explanation - if you or anyone chooses not to accept it, that's absolutely ok. This doesn't mean they shouldn't explain these things better in the future, they absolutely should and I know they will. so problem solved in my books.

Also, in all my posts I never said there was a confusion regarding their statement that all parts of the movement is finished- that statement is very clear cut and cannot be confused with other parts of the watch. It was about the doubts not finishing the underside of the hands would raise. It did raise doubts in my mind and it did make me feel betrayed, an emotion that I dealt with by seeking more info from Lange and fellow collectors. 

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. smile

Agreed [nt]

 By: JTCL : May 20th, 2020-02:03
No message body

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 ago and in their short life they have managed to build a manufacture that builds every single movement component in house including the hairspring.


 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 will stick to their guns. Let's see..

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
No message body

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, they got my attention, just like in the good old days! Finishing is just one side of watchmaking, Lange is like a bodybuilder who never trains his legs. Just my personal feelings...

Now THAT is funny...

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

I understand you mean to respect the anonymity of the person who gave you this response, but in Lange's own interest, can you clarify if they were authorized to speak for the brand? [nt]

 By: FabR : May 20th, 2020-06:08
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