Can you please elaborate on the watches that A. Lange & Söhne launched at SIHH 2019?
On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, we have endowed the Zeitwerk with a new calibre, featuring an extra function. The Zeitwerk Date has an innovative glass ring date that highlights the current date in red. The watch is the focus of our presentation at this year’s SIHH. With the Lange 1 “25th Anniversary” in a limited white-gold edition, we are celebrating yet another round jubilee, the launch of our best-known timepiece in 1994. Its special features include a deep-blue printed argenté dial and a hand-engraved cuvette. Further, we have re-interpreted the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon in a white-gold case with pink-gold dial. With its prominent whitegold case and black dial, the third edition of the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds sends out a powerful statement, and the Langematik Perpetual Honeygold will for the first time be available in a case made of the Langeexclusive honey gold.
What was the inspiration behind these watches?
Both the Lange 1 and the Zeitwerk have been real game changers when they appeared for the first time. 25 years ago, the asymmetric dial layout and the distinctive outsize date of the Lange 1 were met with great enthusiasm and provided for a fast breakthrough of A. Lange & Söhne. 10 years ago, the Zeitwerk, with its precisely jumping digital display, gave a new impetus to haute horlogerie.
This is probably your first SIHH show since you took over as Brand Director, Middle East & India, for Lange. What are your first impressions?
I have one word – majestic. I got the word yesterday when I entered SIHH, because you can have expectations, but it is nothing compared to the moment you enter the place and you live the experience. It is where the big players are. SIHH is an entity in itself – starting in 1995, it’s a place where people come, order watches and discover what it is all about, and the demand is only growing.
How different has it been for you personally, shifting from a famous grooming brand to a luxury watch brand?
Well, I worked for 14 years in L’Oreal in Dubai, in Canada and then went back to Dubai. Definitely there are differences, but there are also similarities. Both are big corporations, both have strong company DNA, company culture and they have strong governance. So for me, passing from one to the other was really easy, because at the end of the day, when you understand the codes of this kind of corporation, you can adapt. I have always had a passion for watches, so this shift was something I really wanted to do. I love Lange, so I am grateful for where I am today.
What are your India plans for 2019?
First of all, India is a very strategic market for Lange. The watch industry in India is becoming more organised, and the consumers want more experience when they shop for a watch. Today, clients want to go to a shop, ask questions and live the experience of buying a watch, and they do. So definitely we have strong plans for India, and I am sure the watches we are launching are going to be very well received.
Do you have any fixed retailers in India?
If so, are you in a position to name the retailer? It’s going to be announced very soon, but we have a strong project with one retailer in the Indian market.