A great looking simple dress watch has a certain “je ne sais quoi”. Of course there’s is only so much you can do as a designer, at least that what most laymen think. And also to us there are some very simple 2, or 3-hand watches that are just… perfect. The size, the shape of the case, that small bevel on the lugs, and that lovely straight-brushed case-band, or any other detail that can just hit the right note. But how difficult is it to find that perfect balance when designing a watch, or anything actually. We set out and asked the experts, Anthony de Haas, A. Lange & Söhne’s director product development, and Bruno Moinard, acclaimed architect and designer. What is timelessness, and how to translate this, in all subtleness, into a design that will remain appealing for decades, or even centuries. Here’s what they told us about this ‘elusive’ property called timelessness.
Let me first briefly introduce both gentlemen. Anthony de Haas, probably no stranger to most of you, is director of product development at A. Lange & Söhne and has been exactly that since 2004 when he started at the German high-end watchmaker. After watchmaking school in the Netherlands he started at the service department of Seiko in the Netherlands, and later he moved to IWC in Schaffhausen. That’s where he met Günther Blümlein (who together with Walter Lange resurrected A. Lange & Söhne after the iron curtain came down) who was at the time managing IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. After IWC, Anthony went to Renaud & Papi where he had the opportunity to do technically more interesting and challenging things, and although Blümlein tried to convince Anthony to join Lange, it wasn’t until 2004, when Blümlein had already passed away at a way too young age, before Anthony joined the Glashütte-based brand. In his function of director of product development he’s responsible for all new watches from A. Lange & Söhne.
left: Anthony de Haas, right: Bruno Moinard
And then Bruno Moinard, who’s probably not known in the world of watches, although he did quite a bit of work for another Richemont company. As an architect, designer, and interior architect, he has created many beautiful things, and in 2002 Cartier asked him to design all of its boutiques (more than 350 Worldwide.) He is responsible for more prestigious design, like for instance the interior of Château Latour in Pauillac, Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, Veuve Clicquot’s Hôtel du Marc in Reims, and the Balenciaga headquarters, Paris. Outside France he designed The Dorchester hotel in London (2014) and the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square (2015), he did several projects in Japan and two hotels in Chengdu, China (2013), as well as chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in Beijing.
More info: www.alange-soehne.com