Ciao Italia! - eventshoch2 at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Lange Uhren GmbH, Glashütte, Germany in cooperation with BMW Group Classic, Munich, Germany

The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is one of the most tradition-steeped, most elegant and most significant events for historic vehicles in the world. Beginning in 1929, the most beautiful classic cars were presented to a select audience in the Villa d'Este, one of the most expensive and stately grand hotels on Lake Como in Italy.

With its typically Italian picture-postcard setting, the Villa d'Este offers an impressive backdrop and therefore the perfect framework for an event of this class. Until 1949, the Concorso d'Eleganza functioned continuously as a meeting point for car lovers and the well-heeled from the worlds of politics, business and entertainment.

After a break, the festival was then revived at the beginning of the 1990s and has been since then a fixed item in the social diary of the jet set, as well as of fans of classic cars, who come every year from all over the world to Lake Como just for this event. Rarities, individual items, special editions, collectors' pieces, prototypes, special conversions, the most expensive vehicles in the world and not least the passion for the art of automobile construction in itself – these are the reasons why, in addition to the numerous visitors, press and television teams also traveled here from everywhere.

In addition to the admiration of the connoisseurs, car-lovers and fans, there are also some sought-after prizes and trophies to be won by the owners of the old treasures. A. Lange & Söhne awarded the so-called “Concorso Watch” as the main prize this year, a special model of the Lange 1 Zeitzone and elaborately engraved specially for the Concorso, for the winner of the highly valued “Best of Show” trophy.

For the first time, A. Lange & Söhne was in attendance at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2012 as a sponsor of the event. The passion for technology and elegance in its most aesthetic form links A. Lange und Söhne with the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. For this is exactly what fascinates collectors and connoisseurs about A. Lange & Söhne watches. Since A. Lange & Söhne has an international reputation as a brand for elegant design, technical creativity and absolute craftsmanship, engagement as a sponsor of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was more than obvious.

Select customers and watch collectors, as well as journalists from all over the world, were therefore invited by A. Lange & Söhne to Lake Como, in order to have a 4-day experience, including the main event, the Concorso, as well as numerous other exclusive entertainment points.

On the day of arrival itself, the guests, after being personally picked up from Milan airport in chauffeur-driven shuttle vehicles displaying the company logo, were treated to a special gala dinner in the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, which, located directly on Lake Como, was simultaneously also the exclusive accommodation for the guests.

On the following day, there was then a trip over the lake in a specially charted boat to the Grand Hotel Villa D'Este, where the main event, the Concorso d'Eleganza, was to take place a little later. On the boat, the guests were treated to champagne, as well as to the unrivaled view of the numerous luxury villas on Lake Como, all well protected on the shore side against curious viewers (including Hollywood star George Clooney's estate). Once they arrived at the jetty of the Villa d'Este, our guests were given a reception provided by our attractive hostesses. They accompanied the guests directly to an exclusive VIP lounge area specially reserved for the A. Lange & Söhne customers and guests in the first row, which provided the best view of the classic cars and the jury. So they were able to admire all the automotive gems from the pole position.

In the late afternoon, our guests were then personally guided to the exit, where our shuttle vehicles were already waiting to bring them back to Tremezzo, in order to be able to prepare themselves there in peace for the evening event.

In the evening, a festive gala dinner in the 30-kilometer distant Como opera house was on the agenda. All the fixed seating rows in the interior of the opera house had been removed specially for this occasion, in order to make room for a unique podium construction, on which were then placed the tables and chairs for the gala dinner for about 300 guests. The transport of the guests through the typically Italian narrow streets and winding lanes of Tremezzo to Como once again took place in our shuttle vehicles. While enjoying a champagne reception in the foyer of the opera house, the guests were able to watch an engraver skillfully ornamenting the watches from A. Lange & Söhne. Parts which are so tiny that they can be clearly seen only under a microscope with multiple enlargement were skillfully wrought by an experienced hand into unique components, which will later find their place in one of the prized watches. Then the doors to the magnificent hall were opened and the gala dinner began. At the end of the dinner, our VIP guests were once again personally accompanied by our hostesses and brought back to Tremezzo in our shuttle vehicles.

The following day was dedicated to “Personal Entertainment – You've got the choice!” And so the guests could choose between 3 different activities. Firstly, there was the opportunity to visit the well-know botanical garden of the Villa Carlotta with its unique plants. Furthermore, a watch exhibition took place, where the guests were able to admire and try on numerous watches from A. Lange & Söhne. The chief of development at A. Lange & Söhne and a watchmaker were on hand to provide visitors with a highly detailed explanation and presentation of the watches. The limited special editions, in particular, which are no longer readily available for sale, caused the visitors' eyes to light up. Finally, the guests then had the exclusive opportunity to choose their favorite from among 10 different classic cars and then, after a brief instruction by a demonstrator, to drive this one themselves. A Fiat 1100 Siata Aerodinamico from 1939, a Triumph TR 3 from 1957, as well as young classic cars, such as the Ford Mustang from 1965, were only a few of the exclusive vehicles which were available to our guests. With roaring engines, these historic cars were then driven continuously along the promenade of Lake Como. The good mood and happy faces of all the participants during and after the tour were quite evident.

The evening concluded with a festive gala dinner in the Villa d'Este, to which some of our guests were brought by charter boat and some – because of sudden rain – with our shuttle vehicles. The brave boaters, defying the rain, were rewarded for their courage with champagne and with an impressive natural phenomenon – a double rainbow against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Como. During the dinner, the “Best of Show” prize of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este – the Lange 1 Zeitzone with the Concorso engraving – was then ceremoniously presented to the winner by Wilhelm Schmid, the CEO of A. Lange & Söhne. Following the dinner, there was then a large aerial fireworks display, shot into the clear night sky directly by the lake to the accompaniment of music. After the fireworks, all the guests were then invited to “dance the night away!” And so the dancing went on until the early hours, until even the last guest was brought back to the hotel in Tremezzo with his shuttle.

On the fourth and last day, it was then unfortunately time to say goodbye. Three days full of entertainment, emotions and permanent impressions had of course gone by at lightening speed and were over much too soon. After a cordial leave-taking in the hotel, our shuttles brought the guests to the airport in Milan, from where they flew home again in all directions.

At this wonderful event in Italy, our event agency eventshoch2 was responsible for the complete guest management of the VIP visitors for A. Lange & Söhne as well as for all-round organization of the individual events at the venue. In particular, this included:

  • individual care of the international VIP guests in the run-up and during the whole event
  • communication with the international markets of A. Lange & Söhne in the run-up to the event
  • individual care of the internal employees of A. Lange & Söhne
  • procurement, coordination and branding of shuttle vehicles
  • hotel reservation
  • flight reservation
  • procurement and logistics of materials, assembly and disassembly
  • planning, procurement, briefing and supervision of staff on-site
  • design of menus for the gala dinner
  • decoration of the valuable watches according to the directions of A. Lange & Söhne

The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2012 was a great and wonderful experience not only for our guests but also for our event agency eventshoch2. We are already looking forward to 2013, to once again say “Ciao Italia”!