Lange was founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in the town of Glashütte, near Dresden, in the eastern state of Saxony. Under Ferdinand, and then, following his death, his sons Emil and Richard, Lange produced quality pocket watches, the company's very best products generally being given the "1A" designation. Under subsequent generations of the Lange family the company continued to produce pocket watches and, like many German watch makers, produced special over-sized wrist watches for use by German airmen in World War II.
In 1948, the post-war Soviet administration expropriated the company's property, and the Lange brand ceased to exist. However, in 1990, following the collapse of the East German government, the founder's great-grandson, Walter Lange, together with watch industry executive Günter Blümlein, restored the company with the assistance of several Swiss watch manufacturers, including IWC and Jaeger Le Coultre.
Lange pocket and wrist watches are among the finest in the world, competing with watches produced by Swiss firms such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.