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Lightening Darkness: A. Lange & Söhne x Damien Bénéteau (Ep.3)

Anna Wu-Chauvineau
Le 2 March 2017
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We welcome you again with great pleasure for the presentation of the third episode of the artistic approach at the fine watch manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne entitled Lightening Darkness. After Gravity and Modeling the Universe, this third opus aligns the visions and creativity of the Glashütte watchmakers with those of the French artist Damien Bénéteau. The inspiring common theme? Light and Darkness.

The Artist: Damien Bénéteau

Damien Bénéteau holds a unique place in the world of Art. Originally from a photography background, his fascination for the process of capturing light isn’t surprising. In the course of time he has chosen sculptures as his way of artistic expression, allowing him to play with volume, shadow and light. Sculpting allowed him to mechanically recreate optical illusions that hypnotize viewers. Bénéteau is known for his monochrome artworks with strong black and white contrasts created from a shock between the matt black coating of the ellipses and the pristine white glow of the LED lights.

Damien Bénéteau artwork

Artworks of great simplicity that intrigue as much as they impress – we have never seen anything like this before. Artworks animated by the hypnotic rhythms of the moving hanging masses. Artworks that by the monotonous movement of the pendulums, lighten and deform volumes, ultimately creating a fascinating pulse.

Lange & Söhne: Grand Lange 1 Lumen Moonphase

The luminescent markers of a wristwatch has not been considered “revolutionary” anymore for a long time. Radium, Tritium, Luminova, Superluminova, the man and the watchmaker have found other ways besides the minute-repeater to read time in the dark. Very rare are the manufacturers, which innovate and rework this approach.

A. Lange & Söhne - Grand Lange 1 Lumen - Moonphase

With the Grand Lange 1 Lumen, A. Lange & Söhne has taken the opposite stance and developed a black sapphire glass dial that allows light to penetrate, and in turn charge the Superluminova base of the moonphase, as well as the markers, hands and above all the two large date windows. At nightfall, an altogether different way to read the day of the month is uncovered…

These two approaches to capture light by a clever play on matter and movements reveal an artistic technique and vision in sculpting and horology. In both cases, what is of interest to us here, is the balance and the alliance that inspire emotion much greater than that of matter. It is the imagination and hope born from this brilliance, presented inside each individual, that doesn’t fade when darkness falls…