Perpétuel Gallery continues to lead in supporting independent boutique timekeepers – recently, bringing the likes of Fears, Havid Nagan, Lang 1943 and Seconde/Seconde/ to the fore, each with a different appeal for enthusiasts.
In the Watch Pioneers series, we sat down with independent watchmaking brand founders on a recent visit to Dubai. Here, we put the spotlight on Georg Bartkowiak, Co-founder and creative force behind LANG1943 – a brand that pays tribute to mentorship and exquisite craftmanship.
When did your passion for watchmaking begin?
In the mid-1980s, when I got to High School, located in Pforzheim, Southern Germany, which is the centre of jewellery and watch manufacturing in Germany. Numerous schoolmates were kids of jewellery and watch manufacturers owners, and I got in touch with watch production for the very first time and I was simply fascinated by that, while my parents wished me to become an engineer since my father runs a construction company. However, my interest drifted off from brick stone to ruby stone…
How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one than the other?
Before, I always had to share my time for all aspects of business, commercial, PR, creation and production. With LANG 1943, I had the good luck and destiny to work with an amazing little team in which everybody has their core experience and task. I have the big freedom to concentrate on creation and production. With this freedom, my mind and soul are so much more creative, which leads to amazing products, being detailed in every little aspect. This is the purest luxury for a creative soul!
“With this freedom, my mind and soul are so much more creative, which leads to amazing products, being detailed in every little aspect. This is the purest luxury for a creative soul!”
How does the watch space differ in the Middle East compared to other regions?
The Middle East collectors and consumers are more open to new brands and trends, simultaneously they have a higher budget than average. They have a young and curious mind to explore new brands.
What have been the overarching narratives in watch design over the past few years and how does this year’s crop fit in?
The biggest impact was the downsizing from 44mm and more to 40mm and below. Furthermore, we can recognize younger and fresh, sometimes comic-like design styles caused by younger watch enthusiasts. In fact, both had some influence on our brand, such as our 39mm watch case size and a collaboration with hyper-creative Romaric aka Seconde/Seconde/, which has been highly welcomed in the previews.
Is there pressure in scaling the number of quantities you manufacture?
I do not feel any pressure about that. Since we have the treasure of owning a huge stock of mechanical movements built in the heydays of mechanical watchmaking, our strategy is totally different. We have our schedules and quantities adapted to the availability of qualified watchmaker manpower.
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Images: Supplied by LANG1943