Posted on: May 13, 2024 Posted by: mysun08481 Comments: 0

A Few Words On Lange As It Opens A New Salon In San Francisco

A.Lange & Sohne watchmaker David Weber has been with the brand for almost 20 years. His father was a watchmaker, too. I briefly met him at Lange’s Salon opening in San Francisco where he was giving movement assembly demonstrations as well as performing the impressive party trick that only Lange watchmakers can: as a client took the Lange off their wrist, Weber would look at the hand-engraved balance cock for a few minutes and tell them who engraved it in  high quality replica watches Glashutte.
Weber grew up around watches and spends most of his workday fixing them (or training others to do the same), but he admitted to me that he loves them so much he can still be found working on vintage wristwatches in his spare time. He said he enjoys working on vintage watches for reasons that will sound familiar: you can just feel the craftsmanship, the handmade qualities, and their charm.

In short, these same qualities are what Lange instills in its watches perhaps better than any other modern “group brand.” To me, Weber’s passion, and the connection he sees between vintage watches and Lange illustrate everything that makes Lange Lange. It’s managed to translate the long tradition of mechanical watchmaking into beautiful modern watches. It’s why the brand still only makes about 5,000 watches a year (for perspective, it’s estimated AP makes about 50,000), and why Lange has so many loyal collectors just 30 years after its re-emergence.
At the grand opening of Lange’s Salon on Geary Street in San Francisco, CEO Wilhelm Schmid and I talked for a few minutes about the brand’s shift in retail strategy, continuing the conversation he had with Ben a few months ago. Unlike a boutique, the Salon is on the third floor of a building in San Francisco’s Union Square. While it’s available for walk-ins, it seems designed more for chatting watches with existing clients. Lange has a strong core of wealthy collectors around Silicon Valley who have supported the brand since its early days.  high quality replica watches

“It’s a journey that started in 2017,” CEO Wilhelm Schmid said of Lange’s move from wholesale to direct-to-consumer. For example, Lange cut ties with its previous Bay Area retailer (as it has everywhere in the U.S.) as it prepared to open the Salon. The San Francisco Salon is the brand’s first in the U.S. and Schmid said that Lange is now near the end of building out its desired footprint in the U.S. “We had plans to do it over ten years, but when Covid happened we realized if we don’t do it now it might never happen. So we accelerated our plans and did in five years what we had planned for 10. Now we’re at the very end of it, at least in the U.S.” Lange now has eight boutique locations in the U.S. with plans to open at least one more in the next 12 months or so. While the retail business is interesting, for Lange it always comes back to the watches, so we also talked about this year’s Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon in Honeygold.

“It’s the ultimate Datograph. To celebrate 25 years, what more can you do?” Schmid said. We talked a bit about the reworked caliber L952.4. As Mark pointed out in our intro, the new movement has 45 fewer parts than the old one – Schmid said that only about 20 of those are due to removing the power reserve indicator. With a bit of a wink, he said that Lange has “learned a lot” in the past 10 years to make for a better movement, even if we can’t see (and he wouldn’t share) the other improvements. Clearly, Lange takes pride in its manufacturing, even in the parts of its watches you’ll never see. One more thing: Schmid also brought up Enquirus, the Richemont-supported initiative to help declare and search for lost or stolen watches.  high quality replica watches

“We’re supporting it heavily,” Schmid said. “The one thing that’s always a concern is if you can’t wear a nice watch because you feel you’re a target. That’s not good. If we can influence that by making sure there’s not a market for stolen watches, that’s a great thing.”