German luxury watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne on July 31 opened a new watch academy—for retailers, not budding watchmakers.
Located in Glashütte, Germany, the school’s classrooms—in a building once used by the brand’s watchmaking school—grew out of guided factory tours Lange & Söhne has given its dealers and their staffs since the 1990s.
There’s a close link between a retailer’s product knowledge and enthusiasm and a customer’s decision to buy, says chief executive officer Fabian Krone. So, the new academy’s curriculum trains its watch retailers (140 worldwide) and their staffers as specialists in the brand.
Three courses, each several days long, cover the design and features of Lange & Söhne watches; explore their technical side; offer hands-on experience with watch movements and time in the watchmaking area; discuss after-sale service; and review the history, philosophy, and cultural environment of the company. The first course (Lange Ambassador) provides basic information. The second (Lange Coach) enables students to pass on their knowledge to others. Each person who completes the third course leaves as a Lange Expert.
Students can take one course per year. The cost to attend is covered by the brand’s participating national branches. The first graduates of the Ambassador course were representatives of Lange & Söhne retailers in New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.