Vacheron Constantin, the oldest Swiss watchmaker in continuous operation, said it has sold all of its expected production for the year.
The Geneva-based company, which has been in business for more than 250 years, sold out its planned 2012 output of 19,000 timepieces in the first two days of the annual SIHH watch fair in Geneva, Chief Executive Officer Juan-Carlos Torres said today in an interview. Vacheron Constantin expects to have a “great”year and to increase its revenue, though growth in the overall industry may moderate, he said without being more specific.
“It will be a good year, but I think it will be less than last year,” Torres said. China, a key growth driver for the watch industry, isn’t likely to see a sharp slowdown, he said.
The maker of the Patrimony range of complicated watches and Metiers d’Art collection of timepieces decorated with enamel, gems and engraving is expanding its existing watch-manufacturing operations to meet rising demand, according to Torres.
Vacheron Constantin also plans to open about eight boutiques this year, adding to its existing network of 29 stores worldwide. The new boutiques will be located in cities including Macau and Paris.
The watchmaker, now part of Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR), the world’s second-biggest luxury-goods company, plans to add another watch plant to its existing facility in Geneva, according to Torres. The brand’s capacity is set to rise to 21,000 pieces next year and to about 30,000 watches between 2015 and 2017, he said.
Richemont doesn’t break down sales for each of its watch brands, though revenue from the group’s overall watchmaking operations climbed 28 percent during the financial third quarter to 697 million euros ($896 million). Richemont’s overall sales in the Asia Pacific region gained 36 percent during the three-month period. Dermot Doherty