With all due respect for the big independent brands, the lion's share of today's market is de facto owned by just a few watchmaking groups. And it’s quite logical to start a long conversation about their origins and structure with the largest one: the Swatch Group.
Unlike some other big names, manufacture has never seized watch production in more than 225 years of it’s existence. Tons of calibers, 80 patents, and of course some horological milestones that have drastically changed the industry.
Any brand has a piece that shines a little brighter than the others, an essential watch that a company is associated with most and foremost. For A. Lange & Söhne such pillar is clearly the Lange 1 with its complex asymmetric dial and a grande date. So the 25th anniversary of a legendary watch that obviously coincides with 25th anniversary of brands’ re-opening is more than welcome.
To commemorate such a milestone the brand with a 185-years history has created a unique piece for the Longines Master Collection. The watch is not meant for sale, instead it goes straight to the Longines Museum's, housed within the company's walls in Swiss Saint-Imier.
In the watch world there are some statements that generally come undisputed, almost like common knowledge. Talking about Franck Muller people usually tend to discuss his self-proclaimed ‘Master of complications’ title or the technical prowess of his movements. While all of this is true, we often miss the other important: the man was really the very first superstar in modern watchmaking, defining the industry landscape of what we now know as the independents segment.
A native of the Swiss La Chaux-de-Fonds, Pierre Jaquet-Droz has made history not only with the highest level of decoration imaginable but with creation of several automatons – moving mechanical figures of people or animals, often mistaken by contemporaries for wonders or even witchcraft.