We better get used to it

May 05, 2021,14:11 PM

Lange is doing everything they can to force people to shop at their boutiques rather than ADs. Once at the boutique, it's pay to play. You buy one regular model, you can buy one LE. Next LE you want, you need to buy another regular model first. Certain regular models don't qualify for certain LEs. For example buying a WG Odyseus will not qualify you for an in-demand LE. VVIPs are expempted, but you can impagine what kind of spending it takes to get there.

I can see why they're doing it. No one in their right mind would buy a regular model from the boutique when they can get it at a significant discount down the street at the AD. I see the current policy as their attempt to address some persistent issues the brand has faced:

1. Significant disounting by ADs (>20% was not uncommon in HK)
2. AD stock showing up a grey dealers for even greater discounts
3. Significant depreciation on the second-hand market

These things all reinforce each other and it's a vicous cycle. I'm not happy about the solution they chose either, but it does appear to be working. Lange has never been stronger on the secondary market. For new buyers it doesn't seem so bad to have to pick up say an 1815 chrono to get that LE, since the 1815 now holds value pretty well.

Unfortunately it heavily punishes loyal AD customers and those who purchased second hand in the past. If you already have your Lange 1, datograph, zeitwerk, etc. you're left with a lot of unintersting choices for your bundle. You either buy something you don't really love or you flip it right away and factor that into the price of the LE. Not fun.

More posts: 18151815 ChronographDatographLange 1Zeitwerk

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Love Lange timepieces, seriously disappointed with their customer management

 By: afaleh : May 5th, 2021-09:43
I have to say, as much as I apreciate every Lange I own, I am just heartbroken the brand grew to the extent they are now ignoring their customers. I faced an issue with ordering a Lang watch and sent a thorough email to Lange, I would expect at least a re... 

I totally understand.

 By: fuigo : May 5th, 2021-09:51
Got a friend who is a big collector in Taipei. He wanted a limited edition while he was visiting the Tokyo boutique. He couldn’t because he had no purchase history at any boutique. They didn’t care that he had bought many pieces from a Taipei AD, from sim... 

Their boutique setup really doesn‘t fit their boutique strategy. It‘s a german brand, but there‘s less boutiques in all of Germany (2), than in Seoul or Tokio (3 each)

 By: nafetS : May 5th, 2021-10:19
And the two german boutiques are at the eastern and southern border of germany. If you live in the west or the north, they‘re a weekend trip away.

I know a purist who sold his ALS pieces off after bad experiences.

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : May 5th, 2021-11:00
He has a nice Mortiz Grossman, among others now. Meanwhile, FPJ has a list of my purchases from anywhere. They were very nice about it.

That's up to them!

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : May 5th, 2021-11:55
Lange customer service wasn't satisfactory and they moved on. I don't recall the details, my apologies. I think as ALS has moved to this model of application pieces, it makes sense they would have policies to avoid this kind of negative experience. I note... 


 By: afaleh : May 5th, 2021-12:15
FPJ has great customer communication practices and truly value their clientele

I couldn’t disagree more with FPJ.

 By: CaptainNemo : May 9th, 2021-09:27
I very much regret current ALS sales communication and behavior. But I never experienced a more ignorant watch brand than FPJ. They simply ignore you completely. Response, reaction or whatsoever - nada. They seem to be this “hot”, that they do not need to... 

Thanks for this tip

 By: CaptainNemo : May 11th, 2021-16:39
The next boutique is quite far distance, traveling in Corona times anyhow not recommended. It is more than a day travel ... This is why I normally first contact the target shop before startling the travel. Please allow me my point of view by expecting min... 

Thanks for explaining!

 By: Reuven Malter : May 5th, 2021-13:58

You should be angry, but not blaming ALS so much, neither the bigger boutique.

 By: Reuven Malter : May 5th, 2021-11:08
its just a bad situation - the only problem is, that your ad does not seem to get the wanted piece. When we talk about this more often, going to the Ad can become more of a strategic thing. I personally bought many watches (and Omegas) from an Ad that doe... 

Nope, Lange and any other watch brand should have a centralized database of customers

 By: CastorKrieg : May 5th, 2021-13:22
In this case he cannot get a watch because his AD cannot sell it, and the other AD will not recognize his prior purchases.

But as long as there are ADs, how will lange force them to sell to a particular customer?

 By: Reuven Malter : May 5th, 2021-13:55
This is not gonna happen. So your solution would implicate, that watches should only sold via Boutique - and this would be an even worse solution (you have to travel more, no discounts)

ok, i agree! thanks

 By: Reuven Malter : May 5th, 2021-16:52

I am not blaming ALS for the watch availability

 By: afaleh : May 5th, 2021-11:27
But I do expect two things: !- Any retailer who is marketed on their site should be able to order any watch, even if the chances of getting it are close to nil. Thats how Patek dose it, no customer is totaly ignored. 2- Most importantely, a communication ... 

Walk away and never look back! They should beg for your money not the other way around

 By: ZSHSZ : May 5th, 2021-11:33
I experienced the same thing not long ago, I laughed in they’re face and said goodbye! Richemont brands are trying to make themselves exclusive by copying the Rolex and Patek strategy, but sadly, have no clue how to do it right! I say hold on to your cash... 

Totally agree on this reply. The issue is precisely their chasing exclusivity by trying to look like Rolex and Patek...and they don't even make an effort to conceal how artificially they are doing it.

 By: FabR : May 5th, 2021-12:54
It's a very good brand, and whoever is in charge at multiple levels, I hope will amend this strategy real soon -- there are much smarter (and more elegant) ways for ALS to be exclusive, while proudly remaining faithful to themselves ;-)

This is the way

 By: Fastwong : May 5th, 2021-16:23

+ 1

 By: Centurionone : May 8th, 2021-10:52

Frustrated? I would be mad as hell

 By: Jurry : May 5th, 2021-12:31
What bothers me most of the entire story is the fact that the Dubai branch doesn’t award you credit for the Bahrein purchases and thus considers you “non loyal” I suspect ALS is using a franchise system which would explain why dubai doesn’t credit Bahrein... 

Same situation over here in Singapore.

 By: sake : May 5th, 2021-12:43
All my past Lange purchases from AD counted for nothing as far as the Odysseus is concerned. Had to start a new 'relationship' with the ALS Boutique over here. However, the boutique supervisor proceeded to key in and register all my past Lange purchases. ... 

That's a very kind solution.

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : May 5th, 2021-13:54

it happened to me as well

 By: benzng : May 5th, 2021-12:59
I purchased a langematik WG perpetual from an AD. when the L1 25th anniversary came out, I went to SG and inquired. They said only purchases made there count, so I need to buy a regular watch before being alloted 1. I asked my AD if I get alloted Odyseus ... 

Not a bad reply but:

 By: CastorKrieg : May 5th, 2021-13:25
1. You misspelled Aquatimer with Aquanaut 2. Mentioning your online handle strikes me as juvenile

Thank you for the correction and observation

 By: afaleh : May 5th, 2021-15:35
However I believe you meant I say “post” rather than “reply” 😄

Yes, they should've responded... but

 By: chap : May 5th, 2021-13:41
This is similar to going to a different car dealer, in a different city, with a different ownership, and asking to cut the line on a hot car, in front of their own loyal customers, taking one of their spots, with no reason why you wouldn't return to your ... 

Don‘t agree with your point to not start public shaming …

 By: flopi3 : May 7th, 2021-22:43
… this is exactly what should happen. The treatment of longterm customers and ADs is not acceptable. Both groups contributed significantly to make L&S what it is today and some fair appreciation should be the minimum. This brand simply turned so arrogant ... 

We better get used to it

 By: Gibraltar : May 5th, 2021-14:11
Lange is doing everything they can to force people to shop at their boutiques rather than ADs. Once at the boutique, it's pay to play. You buy one regular model, you can buy one LE. Next LE you want, you need to buy another regular model first. Certain re... 

Interesting thoughts

 By: afaleh : May 5th, 2021-15:37
I had always rooted for ALS, they where the under dogs in my view in high horology. Now that they are making it I miss the good old days when the connection between customer and watchmakers was tangible.

Not over reacting at all IMO. This is exactly why I was very much against the way Lange implemented this application program

 By: Fastwong : May 5th, 2021-16:16
At a high level it makes sense for the brand and I'm all for rewarding loyalty to a brand but the way it was implemented rewards new customers at the expense of kicking older customers in the nuts. Once Lange created tiers in their product catalog and ADs... 

All of them?

 By: Fastwong : May 5th, 2021-20:40
We're talking about Lange now. JLC, Cartier, Panerai, all the brands other than VC and ALS have had their servicing consolidated into the same US service center so the same person who spends 90% of their time servicing sellitas and ETAs will also attempt ... 

😂 read that wrong. I'm a small business owner so my $ is going to independents. Loving my newly acquired De Bethune, will try to stick with other small brands or watchmakers.

 By: Fastwong : May 5th, 2021-21:06
I don't need to be treated special, just don't treat me like dirt if I try to buy a watch and I'm not on the secret vip list and if I send my watch in for service, send it back in the same or better condition.

Yeah, well my Panerai went back to Switzerland for service...

 By: onnomon : May 5th, 2021-21:16
Because it had a JLC 1877 movement so I have doubts the specialized ALS movements will get serviced at the US center.

To play devil's advocate

 By: saile : May 5th, 2021-19:20
I am currently deciding right now whether to buy a Zeitwerk Date from a boutique or an AD. Buying from an AD gets me a discount, and opportunities from their other brands. Buying from a Boutique gets me better access to the brand and brand specific perks.... 

i would be a new customer and am turned off

 By: Dchang81 : May 6th, 2021-02:10
thought about and still thinking about an odysseus on rubber strap but just this behavior makes it less appealing to me.

You are not overreacting at all - many L&S collectors are upset!!!

 By: flopi3 : May 7th, 2021-22:14
Including myself! Your story reads very similar to mine and I also wrote an email to customer service as well as to the CEO. No answer at all - what an arrogant management. Very sad. But it’s up to us to deal with this. I still enjoy my existing L&S watch... 

Well I look at it this way.......

 By: TonyR : May 10th, 2021-01:55
Boutiques have always been at a disadvantage versus AD'S because they don't discount. This is now their chance to complete for our business by getting on a list for a hot watch which in turn makes up for the lack of a discount an AD will give you. It's ce... 

That assumes boutiques were intended to compete with ADs.

 By: Fastwong : May 10th, 2021-14:21
Rolex and Patek at least have a level-ish playing field - they are all AD's, no brand boutiques. AP, Journe, many brands are transitioning out of ADs and going boutique only. Opposite sales retail models but at least they are committed to a strategy. Trad...