Chronometre Royal pocket watches - VC's highest volume product?


Being inspired by Dean's post below about "Fabrique Pour Vacheron Constantin", the Charles Constantin quote from 1916, and some production figures that Alex provided in his Chronometre Royal 1907 article:

Is the CR pocket watch VC's highest volume production watch ever?  (Over 10,000 were made from 1907 - 1919)

That averages out to be about 70 CRs per month, every month, for over 12 years.  I can't imagine any other VC watch being produced in 5-digit quantities.  (I recognize the CR came in different sizes and different calibres, but still the volumes seem huge for VC and still not enough to meet the overall market - hence "This intelligent solution" that Charle Constantin refers to).

BR, Dan
Considering that the CR pocket watches were made for 30+ years I
04/20/2010 - 20:07
would think that it represents the highest volume product.
CR, the Chevy of V&C !! (nt)
04/20/2010 - 23:45
Re: CR, the Chevy of V&C !! (nt)
04/21/2010 - 13:44
With production volumes being so relatively high, if the CR was the "Chevy" of VC from a mfg. point of view, was it perceived as such by customers and the market during that period of time as such?  It is a simple, but technically very accurate watch at the beginning of the 1900s.  I don't think it would be considered a common piece, but may I'm wrong when compared with VC's other offerings of the day and/or U.S. manufactured Railroad pocket watches? BR, Dan
Dean, somehow I don't think VC and Chevy go well in the same sentence
04/22/2010 - 17:16
unless it is to say that you spend so much on your VCs, a Chevy's the only thing you can drive...
Thanks, being the curious person that I am:
04/21/2010 - 13:17
Dear Alex and others, Current VC production is roughly 17K-18K watches per year. 10 years ago, if I recall correctly, the volume was roughly 5K-8K per year I remember Doc once posted that one year during the 1930s, only a handful were made (less than 20 I believe) With the CR pocket watch being produced at roughly 70 per month, or 840 per year, during the 1910s decade - what were total production volumes for all of VC's watches like then, also how much did the "Pour Fabrique VC" add to that? Any idea what the highest volume wristwatch model is? I know, I know - VC may not be willing to provide this information, but I thought I'd at least ask. Best Regards, Dan
the 5-8k production numbers were in the 90s. To get the VC production
04/21/2010 - 13:29
from the 1910s-1920s-1930s would be possible but that would mean counting each watch produced and sold at the time and that's a huge task! The highest volume wristwatch is probably the Overseas (I'm just guessing as VC doesn't give this kind of info)
I guessed it would be the OS, but wasn't 100% sure
04/21/2010 - 13:39
Thanks for the quick feedback! BR, Dan
Subscription Hour Lounge Watch
04/21/2010 - 23:32
Both Patek and Vacheron used Brazilian retailers to sell unique pieces in South America.  Patek's became known as the Chronometro Gondolo (trademarked in 1902) and eventually branched into wrist watches, while Campos specified the Chronometre Royal pocket watch from Vacheron.  In both cases, though, the watches were sold using what was called a Buyer's Club, which was a form of subscription lottery.  It apparently was a very popular and even amusing way to aquire a robust yet valuable pocket watch. The lottery worked with a minimum number of participants that all agreed to a fixed monthly payment for a period of two years.  However, after the first installment a lottery was drawn every month to award a watch to one subscriber.  The number of participants was reduced by one every month until the last person left after 24 months received the last watch by paying the full subscription.   What would my fellow forum members think about asking VC to reinstate this novel method for our yet-to-be-announced-but-sure-to-come Hour Lounge member's watch?
while I find the system amusing...
04/22/2010 - 17:14

...I would prefer that all HL members get their HL watch at the same time. At the rate things are moving, the HL special edition should be produced in 2013-2014 at the earliest. If on top of that there's one guy who's gonna have to wait an extra 24 months, that wouldn't be too cool

Having just gone through a three year wait for a watch..
04/22/2010 - 19:48
I think I am well conditioned to wait up to five years now for an HL watch! Bil
I beat you my friend - I had to wait 5 years for mine ;-p
04/27/2010 - 04:15
Did it once, got the t-shirt, and wouldn't want to do it again Cheers,  Francois
if there ever be a HL watch, i wouldn't want to wait either.....
04/22/2010 - 18:23
However, i must must like it and despite a heavy financial commitment this year, i will sell some blood to finance it :)
Just a little warning I got nearly 10 years ago !!
04/26/2010 - 00:14
I was huntinng a Chronometre Royale, when I was told to keep out of those who came from South America! This because the climate there had affected most of the watches badly, often not seen on photographs, and since most them are from South America, I settled for my huntingcase in original box from 1920. This OTH has never been in any pocket at all, I guess! It's beautiful and as new, real mint condition, a word to often miss-used. Cheers Doc
Absolutely Beautiful!
04/26/2010 - 07:45
Hi Doc, Great advice for anybody interested in one of this CR pocketwatches!  Your watch is beautiful!  I bought my CR pocketwatch from an antique dealer in the U.S., but don't know if it spent time in South America.  VC restored the watch for me and it looks and runs beautifully right now.    It needed work, but apparently nothing weather related. I would have ideally liked an original Chronometre Royal (or "Imperator") in a hunting case, but have never seen one and don't know if they were ever put into hunting cases.  I know you are reducing your VC collection, but hope you keep this one Doc.  I believe any collection of representative VCs must include a pocketwatch.  Afterall, PWs were predominant for at least 165 out of VC's 255 years of history! BR, Dan
Stunning PW
04/26/2010 - 17:41
Geez Doc, that watch is gorgeous .  I've been bitten by the pocket watch bug hard so please keep sharing pictures!  Also thanks for the great advice about South American pieces; we have the same advice about buying East Coast automobiles, which can rust. Say Aaron, now that you mention it I haven't seen a hunting-case Chronometre Royal PW either.  Looking through the catalogs, I did find a picture of a hunting-cased Imperator though...lot 68 of the Quarter Millennium Antiquorum sale.
I do hope, my dear Doc, that this is one of the VCs that
04/27/2010 - 04:14
will remain in your collection... Absolutely superb Cheers,  Francois