Really? Patek Philippe is arguable the best, and they pretty much only run sales through ADs worldwide.

Apr 03, 2020,12:21 PM

Although most popular sports and grand complication models do not need discounts to sell, you would have found that almost all other models could have been purchased from AD directly with slight discount even during the height of the nautilus hype.
I do not know where the Lange executive got the idea to go all boutique with no discount policy from (trying to copy from their friends in Le Brassus?) and FYI boutiques still gave discounts, albeit alot more controlled compared to ADs. A couple of years ago, when Lange first went into the American market, where they had long standing ADs, the boutique staffs tried to poach existing clients from the ADs and needless to say that did not turn out well for Lange America team, I am not sure they have learnt from that yet.
I have been a fervent fan of the brand, collected watches from almost every Lange families from Lange 1, Zeitwerk to the original 1994 PLM tourbillon. When I first got into the Lange enthusiasts' group and my local boutique's clientele circle, the family warmth was clear and evident. Overtime, the circle grew in size, but never lacked that fervent passion and warmth that made the Lange family distinctive. Somewhere along 2-3 years ago, a few key executives left, new ones were appointed. Sadly, quite a few of them were simply clowns who had no business experience in the watch industry at all. They lasted merely a few months before getting the axes. Mr Schmid is definitely a very affable guy, well spoken, always politically correct, but I do not think he is a watch watch guy to bring Lange to the next level. Look at AP's Francoia, or VC's Christian, and even IWC's Christophe, when you watch their interviews, you can almost feel their enthusiasm and love for the products oozing out from your computer screen, and I think Wilhem lacks that quality.
But my issue is not with him, it is with these so called global head of sales. I take issues with 3 of their decisions lately. First, they tried to oversell that Lange 1 25th anniversary as a 1 million euro set, and as a set only. Only to revert that decision to sell each pieces individually, presumably because they got no order at all months after SIHH concluded. Talk about damaging the brand image and exclusivity.
Second, they are bundling pieces in the boutique, but why do that when you even have trouble selling your best limited editions? I have also been told that new boutique clients have to buy entry level pieces to qualify to buy a datograph perpetual or tourbillon. Just what world are these sales executives living in? Lange has no brand equity to bundle any pieces for goodness sake, and since they pride themselves as a collectors' brand, they should be delivering pieces to collectors who are genuinely keen to purchase these watches. You cannot say officially that you do not want to compete and become the next 'Patek' or 'AP' and then try to copy their marketing and business tactics blindly.
Thirdly, this is the second price hike in a short span of around 12 months. Some may criticise Rolex because they recently recently increased their retail price globally by ~4% as well. But please remember that Rolex has not had a price hike since 2015/16. The previous price hike saw a drastic increase in certain popular models such as the 1815 boutique edition chronograph when compared to other models. I think it simply looks cheap and short sighted for the management to single out a model and increase its price by with a higher % margin just because it sells well.
Sorry for the long rant but this is not simply my opinion, but opinions that a lot of my Lange friends share. Most of us have stopped supporting the brand altogether, nothing against the watches but we have simply lost any interests whatsoever with a brand that simply has no idea where it is heading as a whole. I still have alot more to say but I think I shall end it here.

More posts: 1815DatographDatograph PerpetualLange 1nautilusZeitwerk

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Lange increased prices on March 1st of this year.

 By: als1678 : April 2nd, 2020-21:13
I have been a lurking member here for years. Learned an enormous amount. Was always troubled by the prevailing notion that for a purist value doesn't matter. Because if you ignore price, whether retail or after market, it is impossible to talk about value... 

Your frustration is not misplaced.

 By: Bill : April 2nd, 2020-21:18
These types of practices where exiting customers are not appreciated as they can always find new customers is a bad approach. You have a relationship with your existing customers and in the technology world of today nourish this one on one relationship an... 

Precious metals prices....

 By: Clueless_Collector : April 2nd, 2020-21:30
This was part of the reason, I think. Topic has been brought up here in the forum back in 3/1. I’m sorry you felt that way but they must have a reason. Maybe they will adjust down again later like what PP did in 2015 when the CHF revaluation.

Its interesting though why they thought they could do it

 By: Reuven Malter : April 2nd, 2020-22:35
The increase was actually quite big

You can see the new and old prices here...

 By: CR : April 3rd, 2020-20:54
... see the "Historic Data" or "Annual Prices" tabs at . Copy/paste/save the favorite/bookmark "http: /" (remove the space) for periodic updates.

Not surprised at all since it clearly reflects the arrogance of the current man in charge

 By: Maltie : April 3rd, 2020-01:41
Bad timing and I’m sure the watch community might hold this decision against them. Their watchmakers and watches are the finest the industry has but the top of this company seems sicker then I thought they were. My two pence.

Lange have misjudged this ...

 By: Cpt Scarlet : April 3rd, 2020-02:24
But it’s their choice, as it’s my choice to take my business elsewhere.

I think this is all about Lange moving themselves up the pecking order.

 By: russell996 : April 3rd, 2020-02:43
Everyone raves about the quality of the pieces, the beautiful movements, the amazing service the factory gives etc etc. At some point you need to step up and say 'hey I'm better than the competition and it's time to pay'. As to whether this is wise, only ... 

But surely this only works if you have complete control over pricing and point of sale. Which they don’t.

 By: Jay (Eire) : April 3rd, 2020-03:53
And even then how long of this complete control might it take to increase resale values. Years and years.

Pretty sure that is part of the plan.

 By: russell996 : April 3rd, 2020-07:24
Switching to a Boutique only sales stream seems to be the goal. Total control of the price and distribution of pieces.

If they can do that, and control everything, that can only be good.

 By: Jay (Eire) : April 3rd, 2020-09:58
Assuming of course they maintain production quality and numbers at high and low levels respectively. But it will takes years to improve both the perception and actuality of crappy resale

Would it be different if they had

 By: sc16 : April 3rd, 2020-03:37
Increased the prices on Jan 1st like some of the other brands? Would it have been more acceptable then? Whether or not this is right, I don’t think it’s completely fair to single them out, despite me agreeing with you that they could have handled it diffe... 

Fair enough. But you can look at the news and the markets around that time.

 By: als1678 : April 3rd, 2020-06:29
It was already a different world from Jan 1st. Also when you look at demand Lange is as far from Rolex as one can imagine. It takes them years to sell a limited edition of a few hundred pieces.


 By: sc16 : April 3rd, 2020-08:36
but I am not a fan of the Rolex policy also...Getting back to the subject, imho Lange is (getting) arrogant - they were exceptional in their early year and mid-years, but have kinda lost the feel they had with the customers (not necessarily all are collec... 

Yes, unless you are a tiny independent you can't rely on collectors only.

 By: als1678 : April 3rd, 2020-09:08
You need to be less arrogant and reach out to a larger pool of potential customers.

Oh value does matter, while our respective tolerances differ due to personal situations EVERYONE has a point at which value matters.

 By: Jay (Eire) : April 3rd, 2020-04:01
And nobody wants to feel like they are being shafted. As for ALS, yes. What the..... I agree with what was said above in terms of quality, and wanting to move themselves up the chain. BUT I think this needs to come with complete control of price and point... 

AP managed to do that successfully.

 By: als1678 : April 3rd, 2020-06:24
But it took a long while and it was painful. It started with them buying back inventory years ago ... Being privately held allowed them to make the right long term decisions. But much more importantly they realized that the future is in sports watches and... 

Lange is in a very bad state

 By: Incandenza : April 3rd, 2020-08:59
As a result of the coronavirus, sales will fall off a cliff. It’s going to be truly terrible - there will be weeks and months where Lange makes literally no sales. The critical stage could continue for up to a year. The ensuing recession will last longer ... 

I agree with you. Times are tough and it would be incredibly sad if they go under.

 By: als1678 : April 3rd, 2020-09:13
The current CEO was not doing a great job in the best of times, definitely not the right person to run the company in the coming year.

Yep... [nt]

 By: amanico : April 3rd, 2020-11:50

I think you are describing every luxury goods manufacturer - 12 months of hell!

 By: russell996 : April 3rd, 2020-11:47
As to Mr Schmid, he is very much a ‘watch guy’. You only need to spend time with him to find that out! I guess I’m in the minority, I agree with reducing output and concentrating sales through Boutiques with no discount. You can’t aspire to be the best an... 

Really? Patek Philippe is arguable the best, and they pretty much only run sales through ADs worldwide.

 By: masy7 : April 3rd, 2020-12:21
Although most popular sports and grand complication models do not need discounts to sell, you would have found that almost all other models could have been purchased from AD directly with slight discount even during the height of the nautilus hype. I do n... 

Thank you very much for taking the time to write the above "rant".

 By: als1678 : April 3rd, 2020-15:57
You very clearly articulated what has been happening with the brand in North America and probably elsewhere. You can't just adopt the strategies of your competitors which have been put in place over many years and supported by infinitely stronger brand eq... 

VERY bad business decision to say the least 🤦‍♂️...

 By: holdemchamp1225 : April 3rd, 2020-11:10
I love Lange watches and think they are highly underappreciated but this move to raise prices is just a BAD business move. It is understandable that maybe it was planned for a while, maybe going back to last year, BUT with the current climate and a black ... 

Bad timing and a

 By: MTR : April 3rd, 2020-14:11
... fascinating ... lack of sensitivity. Best Thomas