-We have passion, says big brother and master watchmaker Lars Christian when I ask how Tidemann Watches managed to establish a luxury watch boutique in record time. Tom Andre, is both the younger brother and manager of the boutique. He nods. Ironically they opened the doors to their boutique on Black Monday of 2008. Dow Jones took a plunge on Monday 6th of October 2008, and the rest of the world markets followed. This date will forever go into history as the day when the stock markets crashed.
When I visit the store 7 years later the brothers have just received the first delivery of watches from one of the leading manufacturers of luxury watches. The delivery from A. Lange & Söhne marks Tidemann Watches position in the norwegian luxury market.
Glashütte Original was the first brand the brothers signed.
-We worked hard with this brand. We established Glashütte Original in the norwegian market, and we established our boutique with this brand. Says the brothers. Their success with GO was noticed in Switzerland and more brands followed. Today they have Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre, Cartier, Piaget and Frederique Constant. Signing on A. Lange & Söhne is the icing on the cake.
-The fact that we managed to sign all these great brands is something we are incredibly proud of, says Lars Christian.
-Look at these watches from A. Lange & Söhne. The bear every sign of great workmanship. Lars Christian’s eyes glow. We are back to the passion. His arms wave in every direction and he runs to the back of the store, where his workshop is, to show me a pocketwatch he is servicing.
-Look at this beauty! An A. Lange & Söhne 1891 pocket watch. Look at this. The movement looks as good as new. Look at how the balance swings. He is almost shouting now.
Already a watchaddict, Lars Christian and a friend started hanging around in the boutique and the workshop of Alf Lie as kids. He graduated a watchmaker in the late 90s and took over Norways oldest workshop in Fagernes.
Tom Andre have always had the interest for watches. But he ended up a lawyer. A chance meeting with a Lange 1 in the storefront window of Wempe in Germany made his destiny.
-Right there and then I knew I had to get A. Lange & Söhne to Norway. That was my life goal. Now we are there, he says with a big smile on.
-Now we have two of the top brands in the watch industry. Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne. It is exciting how these brands manage to make contemporary and innovative watches still with a deep respect for their history and heritage. These watches are all top level workmanship. Art.
-In a time where you change your smartphone once a year these watch brands represent the antipode. The mechanical watch symbolize something lasting. They last for hundreds of years and for generations.
In 2008 the brothers had a goal to sign on the first top brand within 10 years. It had been the dream of Tom Andre since his trip to Germany, but the Tidemann brothers never expected A. Lange & Söhne to the boutique in just 7 years.
-We hoped for one of the five big ones in 10 years. It is usually 50 years to build a portfolio like ours. The brands we have now is the brands we aimed for 7 years ago. Mission accomplished.
Tidemann Watches is located in between Mulberry and Louis Vuitton in one of Oslos main streets for luxury. The brothers did not have an easy start in this location.
-With the world economy at it’s knees there where no banks willing to invest in our project. We had to roll up our sleeves and do the job ourselves.
-It has been an extreme amount of hard work and we have both sacrificed a lot to get this boutique to the level we aimed for. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you are driven by passion. At the same time we have to realize that we need to be here for our customers and it’s been nice to experience how well both the norwegian and international customers have welcomed us. We are happy to create lifelong relationships with our customers every single day, says Tom Andre.
What Tidemann Watches have managed to establish in just 7 years is nothing but spectacular. They have both been an important driver for the growth in the norwegian watch market and they have challenged the established businesses in the industry. The result is a larger variety of brands over all in norway. The victor of all this is the watch enthusiast.