German high watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne produces only “a few thousand” timepieces per year, in gold or platinum, and as CEO Willem Schmid told us in 2013, “the ordering process at the SIHH is not always easy; retailers want 100 pieces, and we can give them only 1.“
This year is no exception, and with the brand’s expansion plans for its Middle East and India markets, Regional Director Ramzi Nael is eager to have his share from the new collection presented at the SIHH 2016.
Nael joined the Richemont Group in 2005 in Dubai, working with Roger Dubuis and Officine Panerai Middle East before taking on his current position in July 2014. His experience with other brands gives him insight as to what makes the German brand so special: “We interpret things differently” he replied, “with great attention to finish and complications. With 18 steps of decoration on the movement, Glasshütte ribbing on the 3/4 plates, unique engraving on the balance cock and gold chatons, this is clearly high-level Saxon finishing. We are known for our Saxony precision, whether for decoration or mechanics”, exemplified by the 54 in-house movements created in only 26 years attesting to the company’s motto: ‘Never Stand Still’.
From among the brand’s 7 novelties presented this year, one is “the highlight at this year’s SIHH” continues Nael: “the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon with 729 parts that combines in 1 case the functions of a perpetual calendar and leap year, chronograph flyback, moonphase and tourbillon, all easily legible on a harmonious dial. And with no adjustment required for 122.6 years.”
After 11 years in the region, the brand is present in most countries, with mono-standing boutiques in Dubai and Beirut, and plans to develop in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Who is the A. Lange & Söhne customer in the Middle East and India? For Nael, it “is someone who is already quite familiar with watches, owns several, and is intrigued by Lange’s ‘something special’ that is like nothing else”. In the region” he continues, “the number of collectors is growing every year. And collectors are becoming younger and younger. Ten years ago our customer’s average age was 40 +; today it is the late 20s”.
Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon in platinum. 100 pieces. 295,000€ including taxes.
More information on the A. Lange & Söhne website, and in our full report SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne