Wilhelm Schmid, CEO Lange Uhren GmbH: 2015 was an excellent year for A. Lange & Söhne and we expect the positive trend to continue in 2016

19 Jan, 2016
What is your brand’s “star” novelties for the SIHH 2016?

In keeping with our tradition to never stand still, we have some surprises in store. Our hero product will be another prime example of A. Lange & Söhne’s unique approach to explore the realm of complications. When you visit our booth you cannot miss the oversized model of it.

What are your expectations at SIHH 2016?

As the most important information and order show for the fine-watchmaking industry the SIHH is always linked with high expectations. We are well prepared and anticipate that our new timepieces will strike the right chord with our discerning customers. 

What are the foreseen trends and directions with watches in 2016?

The market for fine mechanical timepieces continues to be multifaceted. I expect that the two major currents – the classical and the complicated line – will come up with exciting new developments. 

When would we expect the SIHH novelties to be available at boutiques and POS in the Middle East?

Like in previous years, we will start delivering the first new models a few weeks after the fair. Due to labour-intensive handicraft production and our uncompromising standards of quality, our horological complications may take a little longer.

How is your brand faring in the Middle East?

With its sophisticated watch culture, the region plays an increasingly important role for A. Lange & Söhne. The fact that two of our 16 worldwide boutiques are located in the region speaks for itself. 

Do you propose to open more independent boutiques in the Middle East?

In the last few years we have reached our goal to achieve a good global distribution of own retail locations that offer a representative collection and expert advice in the major shopping conurbations of our key markets. As our handcrafted timepieces are only available in limited quantities we can only carefully go ahead with new boutique openings worldwide. But the Middle East region is still on our radar, so it remains exciting! 

Describe your relationship with collectors in the Middle East.

Collectors in the Middle East are not that much different from collectors in other parts of the world. They are part of a global community of watch aficionados who admire the technical and artisanal finesse of our timepieces. With most of them we have established close and trust-based relationships.

What are your brands priorities for 2016?

After a historical 2015, in which we celebrated the 200th birthday of our namesake Ferdinand Adolph Lange we will increasingly turn to the present and future. Our new manufactory building and the 2016 collection provide an ideal basis for this. By tradition, the strength of A. Lange & Söhne lies in its ability to explore new avenues. We will raise the awareness to this important aspect of our brand identity.

Did your export figures increase in the Middle East for 2015?

As a matter of fact, we do not communicate sales figures. However, 2015 was an excellent year for us and we expect the positive trend to continue in 2016.