The Horologist: A. Lange & Söhne CEO Wilhelm Schmid
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We asked A. Lange & Söhne CEO Wilhelm Schmid to give us a lesson on better timepieces. Based in Glashütte, Germany, Schimd says that while he wouldn’t necessarily call himself a collector, but for “as long as I can remember, I have been attracted to mechanical timepieces.”
In your opinion what are the three most important elements of a fine watch?
An in-house developed movement, the practical benefit of its functions, and best design quality.
What essential elements of horlogerie should people look for when looking to buy a good timepiece?
The watch you buy should always please yourself because it is an expression of your personality. When it comes to questions of quality and value retention, one should pay attention to timeless design and a first class manufacture caliber. There is only a small number of manufacturers who, like A. Lange & Söhne, build their own movements, regularly launch interesting technical innovations, use precious materials, and guarantee the highest level of quality craftsmanship.
Why is a timepiece’s movement important? What distinguishes A. Lange & Söhne movements?
Like the engine of a car, the movement represents the heart of the watch. This is the reason why we pay so much attention to its design and production. Our movements feature the arguably highest degree of decoration in the watch industry. Furthermore, we adhere to the principle of double assembly: To make sure that the movement presents itself in flawless beauty, some parts are endowed with their ultimate surface finish only right before the final assembly. All movements are adjusted in five positions to achieve the highest possible rate accuracy and ultimate precision. At the end of the production line, every watch undergoes a final test program to assure its functional integrity under real-life wearing conditions.
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What is considered a good, respectable “starter” watch for a young entrepreneur?
From our range, a Saxonia Automatic, an 1815 and even a Lange 1 would be a good way to enter the world of fine watchmaking.
When choosing a timepiece for daytime business dress, what should men look for?
What timepiece properly pairs with black tie?
A straight-lined thin watch in white gold or platinum would make a perfect match. From our product portfolio, the Saxonia Thin in a white-gold case would be a good example.
Which timepiece do you personally wear on a daily basis?
I have more than one watch. However, my wearing habits are determined by continuity. The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar I am wearing right now is a dream come true. By featuring the iconic Lange 1 design it is a most sophisticated timepiece that reveals its technological potential only at a second glance.