e recently interviewed a broad selection of managers, active in a variety of segments, to help us identify the major trends within the watch industry.
Our Q&A with Wilhelm Schmid – A. Lange & Söhne.
Europa Star: What are your strategic priorities for 2023?
Wilhelm Schmid: In accordance with Walter Lange’s credo to “never stand still”, A. Lange & Söhne is known for continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This is how we are consistently discovering uncharted territories of watchmaking. We can only remain successful if we continue to focus on the highest quality and meet our customers’ expectations. In addition, increased customer satisfaction and even better service will continue to be an important goal of our product and sales strategy. We achieve this primarily by creating proximity. We have learned that the best way to tell our story is to tell it ourselves. This also enables us to better draw the attention of interested customers and collectors to the special features of our watches. By expanding our global network of boutiques, we are creating the necessary preconditions for this to happen.
- Wilhelm Schmid
Which new products or lines will be your main focus this year?
Our horological journey has once again taken us to new heights in design and manufacturing, which we recently revealed at Watches and Wonders: the Odysseus Chronograph. This special timepiece in stainless steel comes with the newly developed L156.1 Datomatic calibre, our first self-winding chronograph movement. With the stop hands in the centre of the dial and the ability to measure elapsed times up to 60 minutes, it raises the bar in terms of precision and readability. The timepiece has a pair of dual-function buttons, which ensure easy operation of the chronograph as well as comfortable setting of the outsize date and day of week. Another innovative mechanism is the dynamic reset-to-zero function, which initiates an impressive spectacle when the chronograph hands are reset to their initial position. Given its horological intricacy and the great skill and effort involved, this masterpiece is limited to 100 watches. Of course, we will introduce more new watches over the course of the year.
- A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph
The emergence of the secondary market represents a major new development. Are you taking any steps to build a presence in pre-owned?
We recommend purchasing our watches not for investment reasons, but for their horological quality. Nevertheless, we have noticed that many models increase in value on the secondary market. This applies especially to limited editions, high complications and discontinued models. Watches that have been launched recently but are difficult to get and highly sought-after also fetch high prices at auction. Models like the “Pour le Mérite” tourbillon, for example, are sometimes sold at auction for as much as five, six or even eight times their original sales price.