A. Lange & Sohne Replica

Replica Guide Trusted Dealers Behind the scenes of A. Lange & Söhne wet plate product shoot


Among the new company’s first watches, the Lange 1, established in 1994, became Lange’s signature style, what the company describes as its “face” The Lange 1, that appears exactly the same as it did 20 decades ago, has a distinctive, asymmetrical dial with a big-date display and “Auf/Ab” power-reserve indicator. It contained the hand-wound Caliber L901.0, with two barrels, a three-day power reserve, nine screwed gold chatons, Glashütte three-quarter plate, a hand-engraved equilibrium penis and elegant swan’s-neck fine adjustment mechanism. (Earlier this year, the business replaced that caliber with a new one, additionally hand-wound.) The big-date display, which can be patented, works by way of a “ones” ring position the digits 0 through 9 plus a “a huge number” cross with the digits 1 through 3 and a blank area. A unique challenge for the engineers would be to make sure that the calendar changed correctly at the ends of months with 31 days. For those months, the “ones” ring must remain motionless during the night preceding the first of the month, while the “tens of thousands” cross pivots through 90 degrees to deliver its blank section into view. A button on the other hand is used to correct the date display at the end of February, April, June, September and November.A. Lange & Söhne introduced its initial self-winding watch, the Langematik, three years later it established the Lange 1. To raise the motion’s winding efficacy, the good gold rotor from the Langematik is equipped with an outer platinum segment. A reverser mechanism allows the rotor to communicate energy into the mainspring in the two directions of rotation.

Some weeks ago we were invited by A. Lange & Sohne for an exclusive behind the scenes event capturing some of their watches in a very special way. We all know that photography is important for presenting watches in the best way possible but sometimes you don’t want those picture perfect images. Where the average pack shot or soldier images looks amazing it misses that real life feeling. Se when it comes to sharing images it’s great to see some more authentic shots. But when you look at the watchmaking tradition and craftsmanship you realize that back in the days photography was a different trade.

Behind the scenes of A. Lange & Söhne wet plate product shoot

Traditional methods of production

Being a photographer myself I have learned the trick of the trade the hard way. Spending endless hours developing my skills a and techniques through the years. Yet it’s far from the original way images were captured back in the days. There were no previews on a screen that gave you an idea of what the image would look like. However it still exists today and it was pretty exciting to receive an invite to have a look behind the scenes of this photoshoot. So I am about to learn how photos are being made in the traditional way using plates, chemicals and endless patience. Something that greatly resembles the production of the A. Lange & Sohne watches.

Upon arrival in an industrial area I found myself in a large photo studio. Here, the team had their equipment all set up as they used it the day before already. After a short introduction we looked at the process and and the steps we had to capture which are about 10 in total. So for the day we would go through them several times and I quickly learned that it’s a delicate and time consuming process.

As with all photography basically, the setup of the lights and camera is equal. Finding the right composition is similar to the way I do it. However setting up a bellow camera asks for a lot more adjustments. With its multiple anchor points, functions as a tilt & shift lens which allows you to correct the perspective. In modern photography there are special lenses available for this which are mostly used in architecture. So after some time adjusting lights and the camera we are good to go.

Behind the scenes of A. Lange & Söhne wet plate product shoot

Patience and precision

This is where it get’s a bit more complicated. After setting up the image we need something to record it. This is where it get’s interesting as we enter the lightproof igloo which is setup in the studio. All possible light openings have been taped to prevent light coming in. Inside there is just a bit of red led light which is just enough to see what you are doing. We start with a brand new sheet of aluminium of about 4×5” which only needs the film removed. To be able to capture an image on it we need to add a film of collodion by hand. Any excess liquid is removed and the plate now goes into a silver oxide liquid which sticks to the collodium. After some minutes the plate is ready and transferred into a plate holder.

With the plate holder installed into the camera it’s time to do the actual capture. Unlike modern camera’s this takes up to several minutes as the light sensitivity of a wet plate is around 0,5 iso. Even with a lot of light it takes a long time to record the image. So when the shutter is opened the capture begins which is timed with the help of a stopwatch. After the desired exposure time the shutter is closed again pressing the cable release.

Now the plate holder is being closed off from light so it can be transferred back to the darkroom where the image will be further developed. Once taken out of the plate holder, a development liquid is poured over which reveals the image already yet in a negative way. During the next steps the image is rinsed several times during which you can see the image transform into a clear picture.

Each of the images taken are inspected and discussed which results in slightly different settings for the next photo. In the end each watch was photographed about 6 times resulting in the perfect final image. Unlike digital images the images are captured in its full glory which means they technically can be enlarged endlessly as they are not limited to a certain amount of pixels.

For more information make sure to visit A. Lange & Söhne and check out their social media channels.


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