“The passing of Walter Lange had a profound effect on the fair, as the watch industry lost one of its few genuine icons”
second day of SIHH 2017, on January 17 to be precise, the world learned of the passing of Walter Lange, the man who re-established his family’s legacy in watchmaking by restoring A. Lange & Söhne back in 1990 after the unification of Germany.
That day, after the press conferences, interviews and meetings were over, large crowds gathered at the A. Lange & Söhne booth to offer their condolences and pay their respects. Surely, the passing of Walter Lange had a profound effect on the fair, as the watch industry lost one of its few genuine icons.
In the prevailing climate for watch exports over the past year and a half, the success of SIHH 2017 was by no means a foregone conclusion. As the curtain came down, there is every reason to be optimistic. As seen from the variety of new watches on display, it seemed clear that all the brands reacted to last year’s slump with a two-part approach. First, they’ve given a solid range of interesting novelties, pushing the mechanical and artistic limits of the profession. But, for the second part, while aiming for the future, they were also producing more accessible models and extended their entry-level ranges. These qualities were clearly evident at SIHH 2017 which opened a year that will undoubtedly see fine watchmaking return to a sound footing. That being said, all the exhibiting maisons proved they were able to adapt their products to prevailing economical conditions, suggesting that 2017 will indeed be a year of consolidation.