On October 9, 2018, Watch House had the honor to interview Wilhelm Schmid, the global president of Lange, in China. Mr. Wilhelm Schmid was born in Julich, Germany in 1963 and has been the president of Lange since January 2011. Regarding the future development of the Lange brand, we asked Mr. Schmid the following questions.
Wilhelm Schmid, Langer Global President
Watch House: Lange is a traditional brand that only uses precious metals to make watches, and Lange launched a stainless steel watch this year. What is the market strategy behind it?
Wilhelm Schmid: This 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ orphan stainless steel watch introduced this year is specially designed to commemorate Mr. Walter Lange. The material composition of this watch is very interesting, although the case is made of fine Made of steel, but the dial is made of precious black enamel. Mr. Walter Lange actively devoted himself to philanthropy during his lifetime. This steel orphan was also sold at a high price at a charity auction in Geneva in May this year. Apart from this special commemoration of Walter Lange, Lange currently has no other production strategy for stainless steel watches.
Watch House: What are the characteristics of Lange’s target users in different countries or regions such as Asia, Europe, and the United States?
Wilhelm Schmid: Lange’s target users vary greatly from country to country. In Europe, our customers are about the same age as me, about 50 years old. In China, Lange’s target users are relatively young, and Lange’s design is more targeted to the characteristics and needs of young people. Therefore, the difference from Europe in this point is the biggest, and our target users in the United States are similar to those in China.
Watch House: For the current Chinese market, Lange has relatively few specialty stores, so what is your sales strategy for young Chinese users?
Wilhelm Schmid: We have opened Lange stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Chengdu. However, our current production is relatively small, producing only 5,000 watches per year. Therefore, we must carefully consider every point of sale, because we must guarantee the supply of watches. We expect to increase Lange’s global sales points, especially in China.
Home of Watches: The sales performance of other high-end luxury watch brands’ e-commerce channels is very impressive. What do you think of the sales of e-commerce? Will Lange consider developing or cooperating with other e-commerce platforms?
Wilhelm Schmid: Honestly, we have not seen the urgency of cooperating with e-commerce. Our loyal customers do not have the habit of buying products through e-commerce. Many customers will know the product parameters online and know where to buy the products they want, but in the end, most of them tend to buy watches face to face. If customers have the need to buy watches through e-commerce platforms, we will move in this direction. Customers can learn about Lange’s product parameters, sources and points of sale through various online channels such as e-commerce platforms. So far, we have found that our customers, although young but relatively traditional consumers, tend to understand Lange watches from people who know watches and have professional knowledge and experience. They will also check product information on the brand’s official website. . If they look at our products, they don’t want how stylish our products are, but they want us to provide technical information about watches. Therefore, at the moment, I don’t think they will buy Lange watches through e-commerce platforms.
Wilhelm Schmid, Langer Global President
Watch House: The cooperation between Lange and the Antique Auto Show has a long-standing reputation, so what is the future direction of development? Will it continue to consider other aspects of commercial cooperation?
Wilhelm Schmid: Through the antique car show, we learned that people who like antique cars will also like mechanical watches. Therefore, for us, this is a good platform to create a good environment for sales. This year we participated in an antique car event, there will be two next year, one of which will be held in Germany. We once held a photo exhibition in Beijing, which shows that Lange also organizes cross-border activities, but these activities must be consistent with the spirit and tone of our brand, and also be favored by our customers. As far as we know, although antique cars cannot be introduced to China, through these activities, I can see that Chinese guests are also very interested in antique car shows.
Watch House: Many high-end luxury watch brands now appoint suitable spokespersons for the Chinese market. What do you think of this situation?
Wilhelm Schmid: Everyone who wears a Lange watch is our brand spokesperson. This is our product slogan. Our brand ambassadors are our customers.
Watch House: For younger users in the Chinese market, have you considered lowering the price?
Wilhelm Schmid: Actually, if you see the process of producing our watches, we are all using the best materials, using limited resources to ensure brand profits, and not to lose money. Therefore, there may not be too much on the issue of price reduction. Out of space.
This conversation with Mr. Wilhelm Schmid gave everyone a better understanding of Lange. We all know that Dresden watchmaker Ferdinando Adolf Lange established the Lange watch factory in 1845. This laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry. His great-grandson, Walter Lange, continued his spirit of excellence in technology and aesthetics, which made Lange an irreplaceable place in the world’s top watch stage. I believe that Lange brand will launch more sophisticated timepieces in the future to revitalize German The glory of the watch industry.