“The pass­ing of Wal­ter Lange had a pro­found ef­fect on the fair, as the watch in­dus­try lost one of its few gen­uine icons”

DA MAN - Caliber - - FAIR -

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.

TiM­ing clo­suRe

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.

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