Rolf Lang (born January, 17, 1948, Gera in Thuringia) is an independent watchmaker with the right to training, once the principal restorer of The Dresden Mathematical and Physical Society and the principal designer of the watch mark Tutima/SA in Glashütte.
Life and professional development
Rolf Lang was born in the family of an independent watchmaker and bank economist Heinz Lang in 1948, on the territory of the German Democratic Republic. Together with his three brothers and sisters Rolf Lang grew up in a small town of Gera in Thuringia observing the three generations of watchmaking tradition since early childhood. Nowadays it may seem his destiny as a watchmaker was arranged in advance; however, the things did not work that easily those days. In accordance with the decision of the VIII Congress of the United Social Party of Germany, Rolf Lang, being a son of the hereditary watchmaker, was refused possibility to continue his family tradition.
However, in 1954 Rolf Lang started visiting Polytechnic Secondary School in Münchenbernsdorf. After graduating from school in 1964 he spent three years studying watchmaking craft professionally in his father’s workshop. Then he started visiting the evening course of People’s University in the town of Gera and got his matriculation certificate in 1970. During his matriculation examination Rolf Lang experienced some major changes in his private life. He married Margitta Lang (nee Gruphold) and in 1968 his daughter Christiane Lang was born. After the Langs had the long-awaited son, Marco (who will successfully continue the family tradition of watchmaking), in 1971, the family became complete. At the time of his matriculation examination Rolf Lang worked as a precision mechanics specialist in VEB Carl Zeiss Jena Company (1968 – 1969) and, from 1969, for his father’s company. Rolf served in the National People’s Army (1969 – 1971).
Taking into consideration the fact that Rolf Lang was able to show himself as a skilled artisan since young age and knew a lot about the secrets of the art of watchmaking, he got the title of a master-watchmaker. From 1971 to 1976 Rolf Lang worked as a watchmaker for the VEB company of domestic service which gave him an opportunity to become the master of manufacture training in Jena, Germany.
Then he moved to Dresden where he continued working for the VEB company of domestic service. In Dresden Rolf was trusted to get the managing position so he worked as the service workshop master in the sphere of watch repairs until 1979.
Simultaneously Rolf Lang was studying at the High School of Economics and Finance in absentia with the certificate after graduating from it as well as visiting the restorers’ course in the German Museum of Berlin (1981 – 1985).
After receiving admittance as a watch restorer Rolf Lang spent much time restoring historical watches with the second balance wheel as well as marine chronometers and other precious watches.
At the same time Lang worked as a part-time watch restorer for the Dresden Mathematical and Physical Society (1979 – 1989). There he had a chance to observe one of the largest collections of watches and precise mechanic instruments and, due to his job, Rolf Lang could study the mechanics of the watches as well as some pertinent techniques of handmade watches.
In 1981 Rolf Lang founded the coterie “Watch Restorers” in Dresden and became their leader. In 1987 Mr Lang became the Principal Restorer of the Dresden Mathematical and Physical Society. Besides, since 1988 he has been an active member of the German Society of Watch Chronometry.
In 1989 Rolf Lang founded his own restoration workshop in Dresden. The programme of the workshop involved historical watches restoration as well as design of new makes of high quality watches. The principal milestone in Rolf Lang’s career was the opening of the company branch in Glashütte in 1990, immediately after the German Reunification. Furthermore, the foundation of a joint venture company A. Lange & Söhne in Glashütte in 1994 contributed to Lang’s fame as an accomplished watchmaker. Not only was Mr Lang the model designer, he was also responsible for professional training (beginning with 1999). From 2001 to 2002 Rolf Lang worked on a special project as a chief designer of the watches with 38 gauges (which continues up to now; however, is not finished yet).
In accordance with the family tradition, Rolf Lang encouraged his son, Marco, to create his own watchmaking workshop Lang & Heine in Dresden. Being a fifth-generation watchmaker, Marco Lang could observe his father’s work since early childhood thus studying the watchmaking craft from the very beginning.
From 2003 to 2007 Rolf Lang was a manager and Chief Model Designer for Moser and Cie, Schaffhausen; in 2004 he founded The Circle of Interests of Saxon Watchmaking Art and Craft. In 2007 he returned to the Tutima Branch, Glashütte, as the Chief of Design Department. There Mr Lang created the first minute repeater as a wristwatch in Germany, which was another important milestone in his career as a watchmaker.
Since 2012 Rolf Lang started working on creating his own trademark of watches, Rolf Lang Dresden