Juan –Carlos TORRES CEO of Vacheron Constantin talks to us about the launch of The Hour Lounge and his hopes for the forum.
Alex Ghotbi: Can you tell us why Vacheron Constantin decided to launch The Hour Lounge?
Juan-Carlos Torres: Even though excellent web discussion forums already exist we wanted to reduce the distance between us and the community members. What is important for us is the relation between the aficionados and the people at Vacheron Constantin – the watchmaker of the timepiece and its buyer. These are people who unfortunately never meet and we wanted to open the manufacture with discussions and debates which should be treated in perfect transparency and honesty.
AG: You speak of transparency and honesty but community members may be worried that criticism or negative opinions would not be allowed on an in-house forum.
JCT: We should be totally frank and open on The Hour Lounge, there would be no meaning to launch a discussion forum where only glorification of the brand would be allowed! Without the right to criticise there would be no worthy praise. Criticism is welcome because our goal is to have the community members express themselves. However, in return we would want a right of response to explain why certain things were done in a certain way or even not done at all; it’s a two way discussion between the brand and the members. 3 words will define Vacheron Constantin’s engagement towards The Hour Lounge: Independency, Transparency and Honesty.
AG: Do you want to educate users and eventually find new clients via this forum?
JCT: It would be pretentious to want to educate people. What we want is to share our knowledge, history and most important our passion with Vacheron Constantin aficionados and watch lovers in general. The Hour Lounge should be a platform where people share opinions, interests and information. On our side we open our doors and supply as much information as possible to the members.
AG: So for you The Hour Lounge is not a mean for marketing or publicity?
JCT: With The Hour Lounge we are setting a direct link between the public and the brand. We are putting ourselves in a difficult position because we will need to assume criticism and even question ourselves, but this will enable the brand to go forward because we are happy to put the spotlight on our positive aspects but also our negative points. What would be dangerous would be to hide these negative aspects because in the long run honesty and transparency always pay off.
AG: Any special words for our members?
JCT: A big and warm welcome to lovers of the art of fine watchmaking and horological excellence, to those passionate about horological authenticity and also a big welcome to the moderator who by his neutrality and approach will make The Hour Lounge not only a success but THE platform for discussions of all matters regarding Vacheron Constantin. And most of all… be free to have pleasure!
Copyright The Hour Lounge April 2007
Appreciate your kind words Mr. Torres and look forward to being part of the community.
Thank you Juan-Calos,
Even though you and I only met briefly,
I know that you are the open person that will lift Vacheron&Constsntin.
sorry, spelled wrong again, as the vintage man I am :-)
You also have a teammate among all the others,
who in my opinion is outstanding,
and that's Dominique Bernaz,
who I count as a personal friend.
You two, will in the coming years do what I have dreamt of for many years.
You will dare.
Dare to chose the way, that nobody else will chose,
or even thought of.
Dare to transform, the history to a timeless,
still modern and avant garde production.
We, as true aficionados, will always stand by you.
Hour Lounge, with the most utmost aficionado of then all (?),
Alex, my close friend, can't be more than a success !
You are lucky to have such a fine person in the frontline!
Congratulations to you as "Leader of the pack",
and to Vacheron Constantin,
my second love!
Thanks for bringing M. Torres' words to us, Alex. I heard him briefly in New York at Sotheby's and was very impressed.
And I look forward to meeting him again as well as others from VC in June.
And Doc is right about Dominique Bernaz. I have had some email discussions with him about a custom design which I now have to forgo because of the cost. But M. Bernaz was always honest and gracious and a pleasure to deal with. I look forward to meeting him soon.
I should add that all in all I was very impressed with the staff from VC that I met in New York (see my little article and report on the Purists forum) and they simply reaffirmed my confidence in the company and what a wonderful group of artists and artisans they are.
...and a very wise position for Vacheron Constantin to take. This is exactly the spirit which should be behind any brand's in-house forum! Congratulations on taking such an enlightened approach to the discussions which will be held on this forum.
transparancy is for me maybe the most important word in this interview
I really hope that Vacheron will chance its policy regarding to receiving original papres with the vintage models
wouldn`t that be a big releave for the serious collector and an upgrade for vintage models en therefore
for Vacheron itself
I am very much looking forward to the future
I'm very glad that we have the place where we can talk only about Vacheron Constantin. Regards Mariusz
How nice to see you here.
BTW, it's always nice to meet you anywhere :-)
Hope we make one day,
in real life !
Very forward thinking, and you couldn't have gotten a better moderator!
Congratulations, Mr. Torres, and all the best.
I may be reading this interview more than a year later, but I am knew to VC with my first watch the Overseas Chrono. This is a tremendous demonstration by the company's CEO to us that there will be meaningful dialogue and appreciation of what can be offered in a healthy exchanged. I am proud to be a part of this forum with all of you and our moderator Alex. In my short time, my experience has been excellent and I am pleased to be here. Thanks again, Matt