Lange & Söhne is a brand which produces a limited number of watches per year, the production volume being less than one-tenth that of Patek Philippe. Despite this, one of the fundamental issues faced by the German brand is the renewal of its customer base. Many customers follow the brand, almost since its rebirth or the early 2000s. They have accompanied its development, its evolution and generally have several pieces. However, a brand, whatever it may be, can not be content with its historical clientele. The risk of erosion is much too high and new sources of growth have to be found. For Lange & Söhne, the goal is to convey a dynamic image while retaining the key messages of tradition and quality inherent to the manufacture. That's why for several years, Lange & Söhne has been increasing its presence and visibility in the small world of the classic cars. There is of course the partnership with the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, one of the most prestigious. But the Italian organization leaves little room for partners even if Lange & Söhne offers a watch to the winner of the "Best of Show" category. Thus, the brand from Saxony wanted to increase its influence and geographical scope by becoming a partner of other events such as the "Schloss Dyck Classic Days" and since last year the "Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace".The cubic booth of Lange couldn't be missed:
The timing of the involvement with the Hampton Court event was in any case perfect since the first edition with Lange & Söhne as a partner took place 3 months before the opening of the Bond Street store. I had the chance to spend a day during the last edition of the Concours of Elegance with the Lange & Söhne team and I was able to understand the relevance of the partnership. First, Lange & Söhne took advantage of last year's experience to better understand its organization, its visitors (without forgetting the owners of the cars) and make the most of this exhibition. The place, absolutely superb, is less partitioned than the configuration of the Villa d'Este. Thus, Lange & Sohne was able not only to setup a large cubic booth that allowed visitors to discover the brand but also a magnificent "House of Lange" that plunged us much more precisely into the world of manufacture. Its history, its values, its Saxon roots ... and especially the characteristic elements of a Lange & Söhne watch were put forward. The presence of a watchmaker and an engraver was thus of great importance. Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of Lange & Söhne took part in a panel discussion on the world of the collection, a way of strengthening the link between the brand and collectors in the broadest meaning:
I could actually see the power of seduction of the brand to a public in love with beautiful mechanics and having, I must admit, a certain purchasing power. In addition, for many of them, it was a discovery. It is often assumed that a brand like Lange & Söhne is well known to an audience that can be interested in watchmaking and finally, the reality is different. This is paradoxically good news: there is a real potential for development.
Lange & Söhne's strategy seems to me to be the right one. At the same time, it allowed to change the visuals and the decoration of the boutiques which had a real need of rejuvenation. All that remains now is to concretize more tangibly this link with classic cars by offering a watch that could be inspired by the automotive world. But by thinking about it, the Datograph and the Triple Split can play this role thanks to their peripheral tachymeter scale ... This new line of communication from Lange & Söhne is definitely very appropriate!
I suggest you to browse the pictures I took during the day spent at Hampton Court.
Welcome to Hampton Court!
The cubic stand of Lange & Söhne was ideally placed since the cars made a turn around during the parade. It was hard to miss it:
A watchmaker highlighted the know-how of the brand:
One of the main novelties of the year, the Zeitwerk Date, welcomed visitors:
The House of Lange was much larger and included several workshops whose purpose was to explain the history and the specificities of the brand without forgetting its Saxon roots:
A watchmaker presented several flagship movements of the brand:
For example, that of the Zeitwerk:
Or Lange's famous chronograph movement, known for its jumping minutes counter and the precision of its pushers:
The visit of the House of Lange allowed me to discover the last watch presented in the context of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Lange One, the Little Lange One Moonphase:
It is with pleasure that I was able to try again some novelties ... including my favorite, the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds in white gold:
The engraver presented me several beautiful engraved casebacks. We tend to forget but it is possible to customize his Lange watch with an engraving:
Of course, I had the opportunity to see other beautiful pieces from the manufacture. I was accompanied by the 1815 chronograph (first edition):
And the platinum Lange One:
Other watches worn by guests including the famous Datograph Lumen:
The organization of the event was perfect. The English organizators have a unique know-how which always allows to be in a chic and relaxed atmosphere, elegant and never stilted.
It is now time to discover the stars of the event. This year, the competition gathered more than 300 vehicles: about sixty who participated in the Competition itself, then those of the clubs and finally the Bentley, Aston Martin Zagato and Ferrari which contributed to the retrospectives organized during the 3 days. Here is a selection of photos I took during the day, in no particular order.
There is something very British about these pictures: an Aston Martin in a bucolic and magical place!
Contest entrants arriving at Hampton Court!
A powerful Bentley:
There is in England a real passion for the automobile:
I love the color of this Miura!
For me, on the key vehicles of the Concours was this extraordinary and rare Stout Scarab from 1936.
Several decades were represented:
A beautiful sketch in perspective:
One of my favorites, the Delahaye 175 S Grand Luxe Chapron:
Not to mention the Bugatti Type 37:
Some cars were really surprising!
The Aston Martin Zagatto retrospective was impressive:
I was under the charm of this Pegaso Z-102:
A McLaren F1:
This AC Ace Bristol belongs to Wilhelm Schmid:
This Aston Martin is perfect for a holiday journey:
This Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with aluminum parts was spectacular:
The end of the day was approaching, I had a small task to do!
I couldn't leave Hampton Court without taking advantage of the Lange & Söhne postal service and send a souvenir:
The involvement of Lange & Söhne in the Concours of Elegance is therefore easily understandable. The event is qualitative, perfectly organized and corresponds well to the values of the manufacture. It is therefore not surprising that this involvement has grown this year, all in line with the brand's strategy.
I would like to warmly thank the Lange & Söhne team for the quality of its hospitality.