“Small things make perfection, but perfection is no small thing.” This statement by Sir Henry Royce could just as well be in the requirement specifications of a Lange product developer or in that of an aircraft engine designer. The passion for technical progress as well as the quest for performance enhancements and the ultimate in precision create a link between two different worlds.Reason enough for a summit meeting of a special kind: At the Museum of MTU Aero Engines in Munich, A. Lange & Söhne timepieces entered into a dialogue with latest-generation high-performance jet engines of Airbus A320 and A380.
Looking at the high-performance engine of an Airbus A380, owners of an A. Lange & Söhne watch would not necessarily see a connection between the propulsion unit and the timepiece on their wrist. The engine with a weight of 6.4 tonnes has a diameter of nearly three metres and generates 300,000 newton of thrust. A power that is 100,000 times more than that of a Lange 31, which is the marathon runner among the masterpieces of the Saxon manufactory. Its twin-barrel stores enough energy to keep the movement running for a period of 31 days.
However, even if the dimensions and performance data are worlds apart, handcrafted mechanical watch calibres and modern turbofan engines have more in common than one would expect at first sight. Both are technical works of wonder, which owe their superiority to the innovative drive of modern engineering skills. In their respective disciplines, they set new standards and reflect the knowledge of many generations.The engine of an Airbus embodies the entire history of aviation, dating back to the Wright brothers and the first powered flight more than one hundred years ago, when the dream of flying became reality. And without the experience of Saxon precision watchmaking, which from 1845 onward was evolved by consecutive generations, it would not have been possible to create a Lange 31, which runs at an absolutely stable rate for an entire month.
Behind this technical progress there are people who are never satisfied with what has been achieved. In their ambition to increase efficiency, precision, reliability, performance and customer satisfaction they always keep looking for improvements.