by John Sealander
The mechanical timepiece has been declared dead many times already. Somehow, despite countless “revolutions” in the watch world, these finely crafted mechanical marvels continue to survive and even thrive. One of the reasons that the old world craftsmanship associated with the watchmaker’s art has experienced a renaissance in recent years are men like Gerd-Rüdiger Lang.
When Lang founded Chronoswiss in 1983, he made a commitment to making extraordinary mechanical timepieces. Although this small German company only produced about 7,000 watches a year, the company quickly gained respect among collectors and among its horological peers. Chronoswiss watches became known among watch connoisseurs around the world for their exquisitely detailed craftsmanship and innovative design.
When Lang, who is now 69 years old, announced his retirement, many feared for the future of this fine company. In today’s fragile economy, there are many who no longer appreciate the value of tradition and fine craftsmanship. Luckily, wiser minds prevailed and on January 30, 2012, Chronoswiss was sold to a Swiss entrepreneurial family who will continue the 29-year Chronoswiss tradition of manufacturing fine mechanical watches at a new, well-equipped factory in Switzerland.
According to watch industry insider Samuel Friedmann, this sale is good for the entire industry. Mr. Friedmann, who also made it possible for another historic brand to survive when he acquired Gevril Horlogerie in 2001, sees the Chronoswiss acquisition as an affirmation of the continuing demand for finely crafted timepieces.
“There is no substitute for quality,” says Friedmann. “Watchmaking is an art, and companies like Chronoswiss are bringing an appreciation for fine mechanical timepieces to a whole new generation of watch connoisseurs.”
Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, although retiring from watchmaking himself, is excited about the sale of the company he created and the new opportunities it represents. To Lang, the transition of Chronoswiss to a new team of watchmakers, working in expanded and greatly enhanced facilities, will be the culmination of a dream. With this sale, Lang’s ongoing commitment to making extraordinary timepieces can finally reach its full potential.
Chronoswiss is distributed in the United States by Chronoswiss of North America.
About Gevril Group
Gevril Group, directed by company founder and long-time creative force in the watch business Samuel Friedmann, is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sporty timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.
Gevril Group is a regular participant at Baselworld and will be available at Baselworld 2012 to familiarize you with our many watch brands exhibiting at the show. You can email us or call 845-425-9882.
Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog updates. Reader comments are welcome.