As it readily admits, A. Lange & Söhne makes replica watches for men, the vast majority of whom are collectors. If the ladies in their life appreciate them too, well so much the better. At Watches&Wonders, however, the brand very nearly strayed from this principle with two curiously “feminine” models.
A. Lange & Söhne has some decisions to make. Re-founded in 1994 after half a century as an East German state-owned firm, demand for its products is such that it can no longer keep pace This means setting priorities, which it apparently has no trouble in doing: “We manufacture men’s Rolex replica watches which might possibly interest women too,” declares Chief Executive Wilhelm Schmid. “Because we can’t satisfy everyone, we’re obliged to make choices and, true to our origins, without any hesitation we lean towards a male clientele.” A feeling that is clearly mutual. Without going as far as to say the brand pre-sells all its ranges, many of its timepieces struggle to make it as far as retailers’ windows as collectors hurry to get in first, particularly where complication watches are concerned, as Wilhelm Schmid confirms: “It’s true, certain of our watches are hardly ever seen in stores. In a similar vein, when early in the year we announced a second generation of Lange 1 watches equipped with the new L121.1 calibre, our fiftieth in-house movement, the old ones flew off the shelves.”
And for good reason. Connoisseurs picked up on the potential of a fake watches online destined to become a collector’s item and a symbol, being one of the four timepieces to be launched in 1994 as part of the brand’s rebirth. The company goes to considerable lengths to stay in touch with this community of collectors. “Our worldwide distribution network covers 230 points of sale, which includes the fifteen A. Lange & Söhne boutiques,” says Wilhelm Schmid. “This network is structured to ensure that every collector is within easy reach of an A. Lange & Söhne retailer.”
A definitive answer
Fans of A. Lange & Söhne in Asia, where the replica Omega watchmaker has put down roots in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, are already in the starting blocks. The brand came to Watches&Wonders with a boutique special edition of the 1815 Chronograph in white gold, distinguished by its blue numerals and pulsometer scale. Taking exclusivity a step further, A. Lange & Söhne also presented a second edition of the 1815 “200th Anniversary F.A. Lange” in honey gold to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founder of the Saxon manufacture. Following on from the platinum version with black dial that debuted early in the year, this limited edition of 200 pieces features a solid silver argenté dial with a grained surface and a case crafted from an innovative gold alloy.
Twenty-one years on, there can no longer be any question as to the serious intentions of a brand that had lost everything. “If we go back to the 1990s, to a time when the vast majority of watch brands were sourcing their movements from third parties, A. Lange & Söhne presented four new in-house calibres which were immediately positioned at the high end of the market. It is this vision that has brought us to where we are today, and which enabled us to produce our Grande Complication two years ago. This replica watches sale is the definitive answer to any outstanding questions.” Women too perhaps found answers to their questions at Watches&Wonders, as A. Lange & Söhne slipped into the mix a Little Lange 1 in gold, measuring 36mm and with a mother-of-pearl dial, and a boutique edition of the Saxonia, also in gold with a grey dial and 37mm diameter. But as Wilhelm Schmid remarks, perfectly straight-faced, men also appreciate “small” watches with a touch of mother-of-pearl. Who are we to argue?