Experience of VC branch on Old Bond Street.

 

Some years ago, I acquired a 453 / 2c (possibly 458 though), 34 mm 18k gold manual winding VC wristwatch, which was made in 1944. Case, back and movement are all signed and numbered. The hands may have been reset at some stage, the strap is new, but the buckle is probably original. Nothing remarkable, as it goes, but lovely to me.

 

This afternoon I dropped into the VC branch in Old Bond Street, with a view to having my watch serviced, obtaining a certificate of authenticity, and possibly a different strap.

 

What transpired was, umm… odd.

 

The three members of staff whom I dealt with did not appear to grasp that I was presenting a vintage watch. To my eyes, she is unmistakably so. Consequently it was a little confusing to have to state her age three times.

 

They did manage to explain, with some degree of clarity, questions about the servicing process.

 

As for the rest? Hard sell. The kind of hard sell that relies on flustering the customer until they relent. In part this was in regard to leaving the watch with them today, though I was adamantly against this, but mostly it was about flogging a strap. 

 

Put bluntly, it felt like scam central.

 

I would be keen to hear your thoughts about this, and any advice on where to leave my watch for servicing, etc..

 

Many thanks,

 

Irène.

I wish I could offer better advice, but...
09/04/2014 - 22:26

First, I am surprised. I've never been to that boutique, but the ones I've been to have never braved that way.  I would probably personally ship it to Geneva for servicing, especially since "she" is a vintage piece.  (I love that you use that pronoun to describe "her") .

Second, we would love to see a picture of your watch. I am sure it is, as you clearly feel, a beautiful piece. A wristshot would be well-received, I am sure. 

Re: I wish I could offer better advice, but...
09/05/2014 - 19:34

Mm, am thinking it would be a good excuse for a trip to Geneva. I do not currently live in London, and popping to Switzerland is just as easy.

Here are some (rather unflattering) images, taken some  time ago. 

 

TESSSTTESSSTTESSST

 

Shall see if I can get a good wrist shot in the next day or so.

Thanks you, she is very beautiful. Wear in good health. (nt)
09/06/2014 - 11:52
Please excuse the appalling quality...
09/07/2014 - 22:33

Away from home, and a decent camera, but here goes.

 

 

 

TESSSTTESSST

 

Delightful. A beautiful piece indeed.
09/08/2014 - 02:31

Thank you for sharing. Looks lovely on your arm - a perfect compliment. 

love the 2 tone dial
09/08/2014 - 09:14

.

Re:
09/21/2014 - 22:52

Thank you, both. You are too kind.

The dial picks up all manner of light, in wonderful ways.

 

 

Re: Experience of VC branch on Old Bond Street.
09/05/2014 - 04:26

I'm sorry to read that you had a disappointing experience at the boutique. They should have enough experience with taking in vintage watches that they could quickly and clearly run you through the process as far as having it serviced by the brand itself, whether or not you were ready to leave the watch with them. 

For both the servicing and the issuing of a COA, the watch will have to go to VC's facility in Geneva. I like to start the process at a local AD or boutique so that someone else handles the shipping and insurance, though you can certainly manage it yourself if you are so inclined. They might not have told you that service on a vintage watch takes A REALLY LONG TIME! My watch from 1950 took about a year from drop off to return. The service and COA cost about as much as a nice new Omega, and it was worth it. FWIW, I had them put on a new strap with the service.

i hope this helps.

Bill

Re: Re: Experience of VC branch on Old Bond Street.
09/05/2014 - 19:54

Gracious, that is a long time, but suspect that your watch is more complicated than mine.

Though I gather that it is recommended to get delicate instruments serviced every few years or so, am somewhat wary of meddling unless a problem has arisen. Perhaps that is foolish?

Something to ponder.

Really sorry to hear this. However for vintage watches the servicing is done in Geneva that is
09/05/2014 - 11:08

why the asked you to leave the watch with them

Re: Really sorry to hear this. However for vintage watches the servicing is done in Geneva that is
09/05/2014 - 19:50

It is ok, these things happen.

They did let me know that she would have to go to Geneva, which is absolutely fine, but I did not appreciate their push to take custody of the watch on the spot. I had to be firm and I had to reiterate my position more than once.

I possibly overstated things when posting last night. Am confident that there was no ill intent, but the experience did not inspire any confidence.

Wishing you all a glorious weekend,

Irène.

It is a shame that you didn't not enjoy you visite to the Boutique
09/08/2014 - 18:52

for what it is worth I can only say good things about the London team, every time that I have gone in the Boutique the service has been excellent and I have been treated like a king...

 

Hopefully your next visit will be a different and more enjoyable experience!

 

Francois