Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the ‘king of crystals’, died at the age of 78 following a serious illness. For 35 years he led the company during its peak growth phase. Great-grandson of founder Daniel Swarovski, born in Wattens in Tyrol in 1943, Gernot Langes-Swarovski had already joined the Board of Directors at the age of 24. Under his leadership, the first store in New York opened in the 1980s, as well as the museum of André Heller, the Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens. Gernot Langes-Swarovski, who received various honors in Austria, was president of the football club FC Swarovski Tirol and founder of the airline Tyrolean Airways.