Swiss Watch Super Empire Creator

LMH Group can be said to be the core source of Richemont’s advanced watchmaking strength. The success of these modern big factories can be said to come from one person’s vision: Günter Blümlein. gunther blumlein
The successful rebirth of Lange’s Walter Lange published a memoir in 2005. In addition to his late wife, Jutta, and his late business partner Günter Blümlein. Although it may seem strange, anyone who has worked with Günter Blümlein will certainly feel this way: Respect his business style and the achievements he has made in his lifetime. For Walter Lange, reviving the family heritage and rebuilding Lange Watches is not just a business, but a lifelong dream. For thousands of artisans in the Glashütte region, the regeneration of A. Lange & Söhne is not only a sign of livelihood, but also a pride of Germany. Whether at the time or now, when Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein revived Lange’s watchmaking in 1990, the visionary and experienced manager saw many business opportunities, but he never forget that The significance of artisan watchmakers.
Günter Blümlein and Lange are only part of this epic story, which involves three brands, a group of talented watchmakers, visionary entrepreneurs, thousands of movements and the best watches in the world. This story about the ‘LMH’ group and its main leader Günter Blümlein began in the 1970s.
A long time ago in Switzerland
First is the quartz crisis. According to Hannes Pantli, IWC’s current council member and spokesman, ‘not necessarily,’ he explained: ‘Some people say it’s a quartz crisis, but there are other reasons, and that’s the Bretton Woods agreement (which created the International Monetary Fund Organization, pegging the US dollar to gold). The exchange rate and the price of gold were originally fixed, and have always been converted to 5,800 Swiss francs per kilogram of gold. However, when the fixed exchange rate was changed to a floating exchange rate, the price of gold climbed to 43,000 Swiss francs per kilogram. ‘Three times more expensive in Swiss dollars for Swiss watches.’
AnneHannes Pantli joined IWC in 1972, and is one of the main promoters of IWC’s road to modern watchmaking. VDO manager Albert Keck said at the time: ‘No one knows the future, so we first made a tuning fork oscillation model, and then replaced it with a quartz watch.’ In 1978, IWC began the formal sale process, and VDO Adolf Schindling AG (a German automotive group) received Under this sale, look for suitable partners in an attempt to build a strong European watch group that can compete with Japanese competitors. The plan involves several small German brands, almost all French brands and one or two top Swiss companies, and even the major carmaker Matra Matera is actively involved. Hannes Pantli recalled: ‘The French government instructed Matra to rescue the French watch industry, and they had a long-term cooperation with VDO on the production of automotive instruments.’
SThe Swiss Sapphire Group, which owns Jaeger-LeCoultre and Favre-Leuba, is also participating in the program. Hannes Pantli recalled: ‘Later, the situation became a bit like a Babylon tower, because the French couldn’t speak German, and the German couldn’t speak French.’ And that’s why Günter Blümlein stepped in. He was previously Junghans. The engineer, then at VDO, was fluent in both languages ​​and had extensive knowledge of watches and clocks. Although the great renaissance of European watches and clocks has not yet arrived, VDO acquired IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Günter Blümlein, 37, took over as president at that time, preparing to bring these Swiss brands back to great glory.
Improve the situation
先生 Mr. Günter Blümlein quickly discovered that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s biggest problem was that although he knew how to make wonderful products, he didn’t pay enough attention to developing his own ‘brand’. They provided the movement to Cartier and Vacheron Constantin, but he realized that relying on the supply of the movement would not make a lot of money. The first thing he had to do was re-establish the brand value, and the true success of Jaeger-LeCoultre followed. ‘Recalls Hannes Pantli.
Jérôme Lambert, current President of Jaeger-LeCoultre, recalls how Günter Blümlein revitalized the Le Sentier brand. ‘First, he stopped the supply of movements of other manufacturers and suspended 45% of all business at that time, and came to persuade VDO and Audemars Piguet (Audemars Piguet had a 10% stake in Jaeger-LeCoultre) to invest millions of Swiss francs for the transition It’s time. Then he repositioned the company’s existential value. ‘Jérôme Lambert likens Günter Blümlein’s corporate business plan to the theme of a wonderful classical piece of music. ‘When he talked about the series and products every year, it was like explaining a main melody, and the team around him and then president Henry Belmont both understood the melody and retouched it, and played with other musicians who formed the orchestra. A complete and moving symphony. ‘
However, the resurgence of IWC must be attributed to the cooperation between Porsche Design and the production reorganization plan of Günter Blümlein. In addition, he repositioned the troubled brand in Schaffhausen, changing its product policy to focus on precision technology, with a special focus on men’s timepieces.
In the IWC commemorative book Engineering Time since 1868, author Manfred Fritz described Günter Blümlein as: ‘IWC’s wise boss once said that his favorite thing to do is to pick a retired train and make it ‘Get back on track and run in the opposite direction.’ This paragraph describes Blümlein’s strategy and actions against the troubled IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Extraordinary watchmaking
TerWalter Lange describes his long-term business partner as a ‘real entrepreneur’, an idea person, a perfectionist and hard worker, and he is a ‘marketing genius’. After the reconstruction, Lange joined two sister companies of VDO’s LMH (Les Manufactures Horlogères) group, and LMH was specially created by Günter Blümlein as a base for these three outstanding brands.
‘The next important development came when the Berlin Wall fell.’ Hannes Pantli recalled: ‘Keck, Blümlein, and I were in a restaurant at the time. We learned from the radio that the Berlin Wall had collapsed. Since I visited Lange in 1976, I said without hesitation: ‘This is the best time. ‘They looked at each other in Lange’s 10th anniversary publication, and I’m glad to see Blümlein credit me for his achievements, because I think anyone might have the idea. Just a year later, Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein officially registered the Lange Watch Company on December 7, 1990. At this point, all three LMH brands have finally arrived.
WCIWC is responsible for guiding Lange’s development and operations. ‘I had to take off my hat to IWC,’ recalls Walter Lange. ‘They were like our teachers. The first technicians we hired were sent directly to IWC for training. The effect was great. I thank the IWC staff.’ Created Da IWC legend Kurt Klaus of the Vinci Perpetual Calendar watch personally trained Lange movement designers Annegret Fleischer and Helmut Geyer, and the three of them even created a movement equipped with the Lange 1 model.
Jérôme Lambert was the young treasurer of Jaeger-LeCoultre at the time. ‘In the era of Günter Blümlein, IWC grew up, communicated and cooperated with Jaeger-LeCoultre.’ He clearly remembered: ‘No member of the Lange team came from Jaeger-LeCoultre or IWC. These Germans have a solid and refined system very different from Switzerland. Watch culture, and retain most of the expertise and technical background. This structure is like a fertile land for plants for our three brands, and Mr. Günter Blümlein’s vision can just blossom from it. IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre may just be I was responsible for watering, but the main reason for Lange’s success was the combination of the land and the plants with Mr. Günter Blümlein and Glashütte. Frankly speaking, we just poured some water: their strength, culture, vision and ether Stealing the skeleton !? The four Lange watches that appeared in 1994 symbolize the regeneration of Germany’s most famous brand and the dream practice of Günter Blümlein and Walter Lange.
Change hands
2In February 1999, Vodafone Group acquired Mannesmann AG (VDO in 1994). Vodafone’s core business is mobile communications and it wants to divest investment in non-relevant areas. Therefore, the LMH Group was sold, causing a bidding war between Richemont Group, Swatch Group and LVMH. The final winner was the Richemont Group, owned by Johann Rupert from South Africa. At that time, the group already had watch brands such as Cartier, Piaget and Baume & Mercier. ‘Rupert paid 3.08 billion Swiss francs to buy the entire group,’ recalls Hannes Pantli: ‘The price was crazy, it had reached seven times the turnover (not the profit)! But now it is obvious that this is absolutely Right investment. ‘
知名 Other well-known brands such as Roger Dubuis, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin quickly caught up with LMH, making Richemont one of the most important groups in the luxury watch industry. In 2000, the LMH Group acquisition brought Richemont’s excellent movement technology, and Günter Blümlein also remained responsible for the operation of the three brands.
ÜnGünter Blümlein served as chairman and representative of the three LMH Group boards at Richemont’s Geneva headquarters, and subsequently became the executive director of the three brands, but he died shortly afterwards at the age of 58. Walter Lange misses his business partner very much, and the current President Jaeger-LeCoultre Jérôme Lambert, who worked with Günter Blümlein when he was 56 (Jérôme Lambert was only 27 at the time), noted that Günter Blümlein has extraordinary vision. ‘Everyone will describe him this way.’ Jérôme Lambert reiterated, ‘It is he who defines the future of Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Lange. Today we remain in the vision he defined for Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1997, and Lange also stays In his vision for Lange in 2000. After ten years, Lange has indeed become the blueprint company in his mind, which is really amazing. ‘
Welcome to the future
Walter Lange stated in his memoirs that Lange’s rebirth must be attributed to two factors: first, the extraordinary cooperation with IWC; and second, Günter Blümlein, his best partner, on October 1, 2001 Sudden death caused a major blow to close friends around. In memory of Günter Blümlein, his life-size bust was placed at the main entrance of Lange’s headquarters in Glashütte, and his spirit will continue to coexist with his three brainchildren.
Martin Huber wrote at the end of Walter Lange’s memoir: ‘I think the relationship between Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein is one of the greatest experiences in my life. For me, the rebirth of Lange is the story of these two people, an ideal Combining it with reality also allows us to see that even in an uncompromising style in the mall, they are also managers with strong emotions.
‘The spirit of Blümlein can be seen everywhere.’ Jérôme Lambert said: ‘Every attitude comes from Blümlein. You must be humble, learn, feel and rethink your thoughts based on his expectations for the brand. He planned what Lange looks like now and in the future. He is an all-rounder. ‘Walter Lange said,’ There were two radiant experts in the modern Swiss watchmaking industry: one was Nicolas G. Hayek, the other It’s Günter Blümlein. ‘


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