A. Lange & Söhne : Wilhelm Schmid

What do you see as the advantages and limitations of a small brand ?

I can’t really see any in particular; you have to remain true to yourself. Our reputation as watchmakers has reached the small circle of collectors, who consider us among their priorities as soon as they start taking a real interest in Haute Horlogerie, a field in which we have gained recognition.


Have your clients’ expectations evolved ?

So long as we remain true to our fundamentals, the essence of why we are appreciated by experts and collectors, their expectations are met. It is first and foremost about tradition, not in the old-fashioned sense of the term, but the way in which our historical values are transposed into the future, as well as a matter of performance. A Lange & Söhne must not offer an “easy” tourbillon, but a model with a special element. Finally, our intrinsically hand-crafted approach must remain clearly perceptible. Technology plays a role and we invest in R&D, as is illustrated in our tourbillon with stop-seconds and zero-reset functions, but the use of new materials is a path we do not intend to explore.


Which 2014 new model best reflects the brand spirit ?

Our DNA is particularly visible in the Perpetual Calendar Terraluna model, of which the beauty is concealed and then revealed primarily to its owner: the sky chart and the exceptionally accurate moon-phase display appear on the back. It embodies a sum of expertise built up since 1994 such as the constant-force escapement, the 14-day power reserve in a slim gold case, and an instant-jump perpetual calendar that the wearer can easily adjust himself.


What’s your next challenge ?

The extension of our Manufacture, which should be completed next year !

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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