Does personalisation reduce the "exclusiveness" of the Quai de l'Ile?

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who was also at SIHH and we started talking about the QdI, for him the fact that a client can actually choose the look of his watch and personalise it was a negative point in his book. He told me that it cheapened the product.

I find the concept to be fantastic, close to ready to measure apparel, not bespoke but not off the rack either. But as my wife says "who cares what you're thinking?" (Does personalisation reduce the "exclusiveness" of the Quai de l'Ile?) so dear Lounger's what's you're take on the possibility to personalize your timepiece?

Palladium -Titanium

Does personalisation reduce the "exclusiveness" of the Quai de l'Ile?

Rose gold / Titanium

Does personalisation reduce the "exclusiveness" of the Quai de l'Ile?

No, on the contrary! It is certainly something which brands should
04/14/2008 - 18:03

never have stopped doing.

I've heard that Kari Voutilainen personalises his amazing observatory watch to the client's specifications (dial, hands, case material, movement finish etc...) that makes his watch even more desireable not less! Same with the QDI the concept is awsome and worth every penny!!

In the world where everyhting is being "pushed in your face"
04/14/2008 - 18:13

VC gives a sense of freedom for the customers to choose how they want their watch to look like. Some customers may think, "I would love the watch more if it were more...bla...bla..." this is where VC comes in. Of course, some are just like zombies, buying eveything a certain brand offers...they may be forced to like it.

VC's customers I think are more "mature" in a way that they can have their own different opinion/taste, different to most mainstream brands, that they refuse to be dictated. Am I off the line here?

Anyway, I am sure before they released this new line, they had already thought of it carefully. If VC does what PP, AP and the others do, then what's so different about VC? The market keeps

... reduce the exclusiveness ...? No, I don´t think so.
04/14/2008 - 18:34

I like the concept and the watch. The "made to measure" concept is nice and probably one step before "bespoke". I was wondering who will be the first with a concept like this. My compliments for VC!

But to be honest I´m not that crazy about unique or Limited Edition. For me the design, the haptic, the movement, the look & feel on my wrist, ... is much more important. What I have seen so far looks marvellous great. After I saw the pics of the watch I realised that it was a bad idea not to go to SIHH this year

Dark case with a dark dial and ruthenium movement is my favourite. No surprise for people which know me and my watches.

I´m looking forward to see one in metal and especially on my wrist

Some questiones in my head:

  • When and where can I see it, touch it, ... in metal? Any german dealers?
  • How does it look on my wrist?
  • Could it be my first VC?
  • What will be the price range? How much will they charge for the concept?
  • Dark case, does it mean Titanium for me? Does it feel heavy enough on my wrist?
  • ...?


with all due respect to your friend...
04/14/2008 - 18:45

...I don't know how one could think that the product is cheapened because of the ability to customize... Berlutti shoes are not worse than others because one can choose a different leather color... Same things with cars - why would a Porsche (I took that car as an example because I know DOc likes them) be cheapened because the client has the choice of color, and can add a spoiler, or all the other extras???

The only way this personalization brings down the price, or "cheapens" the wtach, is the firm not being able to run a few variants of the base models and call them "LEs" and charge a nice premium for it, but obviously that would be closer to what Hublot and the likes do... and this is of course not in the best interest of the client...

In my opinion, the question is more if the personalisation is worth it... Taking for example the palladium model, instead of having a full palladium watch, people will pay a 20% premium to replace half of the precious metal with, let's say titanium... So in the end you pay more for a watch whose intrinsic value is less... But that's down to personal taste...

I think this personalization service was long overdue in the watch industry, and I am very happy that VC made the move first.

Alex, don't feel bad about what your wife says - I get the same abuse from mine (and that's when she does listen to what I have to say)

Personalize Bad - Customize Good
04/14/2008 - 18:49

I'm wondering if VC has used the wrong words to describe the buyer's options for customizing their watch.  To personalize is to make the watch identifiable as belonging to one person, i.e., an inscription or engraving.  This has, in the past, greatly diminished the value of a collectable watch unless the person is of importance (value not in the watch but the name) or the technical merit of the piece is so great that it overcomes the personalization.

VC is offering buyer's the chance to customize the look but this will not mark the design as being theirs only unless the combination of materials is only allowed once....not the case AFAIK.

Any other thoughts?

Re: Personalize Bad - Customize Good
04/14/2008 - 19:10

hmmm... thanks for clarifying...

actually, I think VC allows you to do both: you can change the tiny writing on the dial to personalize the watch if you want to, and also just customize if you onky want to change some of the case parts, metal movement or color of dial...

While on the subject of the QdI...
04/14/2008 - 19:18

...I forget whose idea it was (Alex?), but the suggestion came up at SIHH that the Hour Lounge Limited Edition could be a customized/personalized QdI (coming of course with a nice BIG group discount).

I am not saying we should discard the ideas we voted upon when we had the contest last year, but if ever this proves to be too much of a challenge to convince Mr. Torres, this could be an easier and cheaper solution...

Mr Torres was very gracious and didn't not discard the idea of the HL LE... however he was very non-committal and CEOish in his response when asked by Radek if the project would go ahead...

So maybe something for people to think about: a certain QdI type, made "LE" by the personalization on the dial (an eloge to Alex? the names of the Loungers? whatever...)

To be honest, I wouldn't mind that as a solution... as long as the discount is right

It was Mr Torres who actually suggested a personalised QdI for the
04/14/2008 - 19:30

Lounge. Many present said that they would love a palladium/titanium automatic QdI (the automatic version is currently not open to personalisation) and he sais why not make one specially for HL?

I love the idea and may prove cheaper than the HL watch we had worked on and even more important he's the one who suggested it . I just wish I had recorded his words....

How could I forget it was Mr Torres who made the suggestion?
04/14/2008 - 19:38

Shame on me... And me going on, saying his answers on the subject were CEOish...

Only problem, as you say, is that we don't have his answer an offical record...

Given all the positive feedback the watch has been receiving, would be worth it to put to vote again?

I would be all for the day/date model, as it is the cheaper of the 2...

I have it on record...
04/14/2008 - 20:13

in my mind only, unfortunately :-)))

Anyway, I think you're headed the right direction. QdI as a HL watch would work just fine for me, too. Palladium/titanium case, grey dial or light dial, date only automatic. That's cool...

Just to touch base on Alex's subject. It's sort of childish to claim that personalization/customization lower the value/perception of a certain watch... It does, on the contrary, increase it in my opinion. To me it's the biggest value in this line of VC watches actually (not to mention in-house calibers with Geneva hallmark, outstanding design as well as innovative dial imprints and open-face dial insight and so on...)

We should actually call all Loungers up on another HL contest: create your favorite HL QdI personalized watch...

How about that? Afterwards, let's give the BIG BOSS the choice: previous HL favorites or QdI HL personalized watch?   

I like the way you think, my friend! (nt)
04/14/2008 - 20:19


04/14/2008 - 21:07

Did you have time to post a mail to Mr T.?

I am waiting for everyone to get back from the fairs...
04/14/2008 - 23:30

and dust settle. I remember all about it my friend ;-)))

Radek, you are onto something here, I am all for it.
04/14/2008 - 22:11

Lets start a new thread to vote on our favorite combination QdI. Also whether we go with the previous HL or a new QdI.

Be careful of insults!
04/15/2008 - 01:07

"It's sort of childish to claim that personalization/customization lower the value/perception of a certain watch... It does, on the contrary, increase it in my opinion."

I just came from an automobile forum that saw a nasty flame war over the weekend when one person characterized another in such a manner, based on differing opinions.  It's not necessary to insult someone to bolster your opinion!

Please pour yourself a tea, sit down and relax, then re-read my post and you'll find it doesn't say what you are implying.

thanks for the thoughtful insight...
04/15/2008 - 12:59

Hope not too many touchy Loungers around here ;-)))

And most of them read one's intentions well!!!

Moving on...
04/15/2008 - 18:52

Just testing to see if you really have "lastworditis"   But of course not...that would be childish.

No way, personalization is great
04/15/2008 - 05:41

As long as VC doesn't let people write poor taste jokes in Swahili

ALBERTO leave Felipe's body...Now!! :-) (nt)
04/15/2008 - 10:43


Re: Does personalisation reduce the "exclusiveness" of the Quai de l'Ile?
04/15/2008 - 11:54

I think personalisation only enhances the exclusivity of the individual timepiece and of the brand.

Take the example of the the automobile industry - in the early part of the century. there was the concept of 'coachwork' for someone who bought a Rolls Royce or Ferrari - that the automobile and its design was in response to the customers requirement.  Then over the years this concept went away - and again, beginning 1990's onwards, the exclusive brands have started this again.  Within limits, a customer of a Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Bentley (+ other brands) can customise their vehicles, and in special cases, can even commission a bespoke automobile.  

I am sure the history of timepieces is also similar to that of automobiles above.

Within limits (as long as the values of the brand are not taken away) - giving the customer what he or she wants cannot diminish the value of the brand. 

No!! At all...
04/20/2008 - 12:45

Personalisation is very great I think, "our" QdI will only be closer of what we imagine and want!

And more, as explained it to me a watchmaker at SIHH, the client can't either make what he wants! He has to respect a certain coherence in the choice of the materials. That avoids damaging the iamge of the QdI.

Pesonalisation = More variety and choice!!