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.