My firts contact with Lange was through the magazine commercials and nothing more. I live in a city with 4 Lange retailers, a Patek Philippe store, a Breguet store a Blancpain store and some of the nicest watch stores I have ever seen but strangely there is absolutely no watch culture in this country!!
Then I discovered the internet and always read wonderful stories about the Lange und Söhne experience but for me something was wrong. Germans dont make watches, they make cars. Watches should only be made in mountainous places where they make chocolate and have banks!! This didnt make any sense
I continued my research on this brand, was this yet another marketing hype? The internet communitys new flavour of the month? Or really a company bringing new meaning to haute horlegerie and shaking up the high-end industry that was more than resting on its laurels?
Surprisingly I never actually went into a store to try one on, I dont know why but I was afraid that the vendors selling blabla would have an adverse effect and kill the interest (which was growing bigger each day) that had sparkled in my mind.
What had attracted me the most to Lange was the fact that they had not attacked the market with an ultra complicated tourbillon, chronograph espresso making piece but a perfectly executed timepiece with one of the most original dial layouts I had ever seen (ie: the Lange1)
I finally read everything I could find on this brand, asked questions all around and finally made it to Wempe to try on the
Cabaret! Yup! It wasnt the Lange 1 I was into but its unpopular younger brother. In general I have a preference for form watches and the Cabaret was something of the likes I had never seen, very generous proportions, a perfect dial lay out with big date at 12 and sub seconds at 6, very interesting 40s inspired lugs, thick case and an absolutely gorgeous rectangular movement the exact size of the case. Here I was face to face with perfection (I dont want to start a new debate here on the meaning of perfection but for me it was as good as it gets).
The piece sat perfectly on the wrist, the rose gold case, black dial and touches of white (sub dial and date aperture) made an excellent mix. I talked a bit with the salesperson who was untarishable on the merits of Lange, I thanked him and walked off with a Lange catalogue under the arm determined that a Lange was what I needed to make my horological life complete.
That night I practically devoured the beautiful catalogue and by 3 oclock in the morning my mind was made up, I need a Cabaret! I returned the next day just to try the watch on once again, as they say buy with your heart but pay with your head (Im not sure who said this but I know Ive heard it somewhere
) and I really wanted to be sure that Lange was worth it (stupid huh ?) but for me still Germany and Horology were two words that didnt go together.
I took the whole week to think about it and finally one fine Saturday morning walked into the store and ordered the rose gold Cabaret with black dial and cognac coloured strap. I negotiated a small discount which became a big one since Lange raised its prices by 10% 2 days later. Anyway, I agreed with the salesperson that I would wire them the funds and would come and pick up my watch in a week. Needless to say that I had a very restless week and that it was one hell of a never ending week, felt like a whole damn month!!
I decided to make the big day into a small event and treat myself to a nice lunch with my better half, go pick the watch up then go for a drink with a WIS friend to show him my new masterpiece.
One thing I enjoy doing when I buy a new watch is not to wear it right away and keep it in its box for some time (call me weird). So for almost a week the Cabaret was in its beautiful grey Lange box, I wound it everyday admired it very often and finally after about a week could not hold back longer and on my wrist it went.
The Cabaret is a bit the black sheep of the Lange family, I have never met a Lange owner who likes this watch, my wife hates it but none of my other watches gets more compliments than my Cabaret!
And this started the madness
but thats a whole different story