the Goodies section has been updated with

- QdI film in the Films section

- Geneva Seal tutorial in the Dedicated website section

05/22/2008 - 12:25
05/22/2008 - 15:17
Thanks, the guy facing the wall (choosing his futur QdI) reminded
05/22/2008 - 10:32

me Tom Cruise in Spielberg's movie Minority Report.

Is it an accident ?  a plagiary ?

Five minutes of happiness...
05/22/2008 - 14:40

... thanks for the video

This type wall will be real soon (Microsoft Surface) Lin ^^

Geneva Seal...
05/22/2008 - 12:25

Thanks Alex for sharing these goodies.

It is ironic that you posted the microsite about the Geneva Seal as some friends and I were just talking yesterday about the seal and VC's use of it.  Over the last few years, the real horological value of the Geneva Seal has diminished due to various brands utilization of the requirements as a checklist as opposed to it being a guideline for superior quality.  Now, Patek has announced that it is walking away from the Geneva Seal and VC might be the best positioned manufacture to help redefine the real meaning and value of the Geneva Seal.  It would be wonderful if the certification became meaningful once again and was no longer just another marketing ploy used by certain brands.

I will remain hopeful that VC's efforts to create the new site is an indication of the brand's commitment to the original intent and values of the Geneva Seal.

Duncan 

I whole heartedly agree Duncan, this is a question I had asked
05/22/2008 - 13:41

Christian Selmoni in my interview (for those who missed it see the All Articles section).

VC's finish today is above Geneva Seal standards however, unfortunately, other brands who have the Geneva seal seem to have a rather lax interperetation of the requirements and as such the Seal looks like a marketing gimmick than a sign of excellence.

The trouble is that VC actually is putting the Geneva seal standards where they should be. The question is will the other users of Geneva seal will be obliged to hike up their quality of their finish or will VC fight this battle alone?

In an ideal world...
05/22/2008 - 16:11

the powers that be should revisit the criteria for the Geneva Seal and ensure that the fulfillment of them are done to a standard and level for which they were originally intended.

Having Geneva stripes is a wonderful decoration but if they are not straight, then should the watch receive the Geneva Seal?  I think not...

I am hoping that some of the problem will be rectified with the Richemont Group's acquisition of the Roger Dubuis manufacturing facilities...

At this point, I see it as both a challenge and an opportunity for VC to take a leadership role in the restoration of the Geneva Seal to its true prominence, standard and value.  Few brands have the credibility and historical relevance in the world of horology as VC and the they can be very influential in this area.

Just my two cents worth...

Duncan

LOL looks like we were speaking of the same brand without
05/22/2008 - 16:28

mentionning it

Your suggestion is definately a solution that works, VC may also lobby and put more pressure on the Genevan authorities regarding the attribution of the Seal.

I wonder what Loungers think about Cartier having movements with the Geneva seal (I've heard that its one of the reasons Patek has decided to move away from the Geneva seal)?

Yes, Cartier seems to have been a catalyst...
05/22/2008 - 17:23

for Patek's move.  It might have been a case of Cartier being the final straw after the other brands, including RD.

Would love for VC to take a leadership role in the continuing evolution of the Geneva Seal.

Like you, I am interested to hear what other members here have to say about this situation.

Duncan

If the Geneva Seal standards are such that more or less anyone can
05/22/2008 - 18:20

apply them then its time to find another criterium to define a well finished movement.

The problem with the Geneva Seal is that either the authorities who grant it don't take a close look (RD is the perfect example) or the criteria which were stringent 100 years ago are no longer relevant and maybe the citeria need to be modified.

To my untrained eye VC's inhouse movements have the finest finish among mainstream brands in Switzerland (not comparing to Dufour here :-) ) and pretty much on the same level as Lange granted Lange has a more technicolor aesthetics (blue screws, gold chatons etc...).

I personnaly find the GS to be just a marketing ploy but maybe either VC wants to keep its close affiliation to the city of Geneva or (and this is more plausible) the clients really think that it is a plus.

From my point of view...
05/23/2008 - 02:12

The Geneva Seal does not need to be replaced or for there to be yet another alternative certification of quality.

The criteria for the Seal can be refined and then the key is in enforcement and application.  Any rule, law or certification is only as good as how it is used and applied.  In the past, the Seal was seen as a genuine statement of the highest quality.  However, over more recent times, it has been granted to watches which were not of the highest quality but had simply met the absolute minimum to qualify.  This has deteriorated the value of the Seal and has led us to where we are today whereby many folks see it as just a marketing ploy.

It would be wonderful if the Geneva Seal can be returned to its position of prominence as a true, genuine statement of watchmaking at its highest level.

Placing VC in the company of Lange and Dufour is a statement that I think all 3 would be happy to hear.

Duncan

Re: Yes, Cartier seems to have been a catalyst...
05/22/2008 - 18:20

Is the Patek news official now? With regard to the Geneva Seal as long as companies respect and honour the standard set I don't see any problem with it. The Cartier model that features it seems to up hold the standard, hanen't seen it in the metal. As for it being used as a marketing tool isn't that what VC did by puting it on the dial of the 250 anniversary models?

Personally, I have not seen confirmation direct from Patek...
05/23/2008 - 01:59

But it has been widely reported and discussed in the industry.  The people who I have talked with about this are all treating it as fact and not just as rumor or gossip and these folks are intimately involved with the industry.  Supposedly, it has been confirmed to a select group of people around the time of the fairs.  At this point, I am convinced that this is a reality.

I have not seen the respective Cartier model and therefore cannot comment on it.

As for the Seal being used as a marketing tool, the current situation can be an opportunity for the Geneva authorities and perhaps VC to restore the Seal to its real prominence as a genuine certification of quality.  It can and would still be used as a marketing tool but then it would at least have some real value as a legitimate differentiating factor amongst watches and brands.  At least, that is my thought and hope...

Duncan

let's hope the Seal authorities will head this way (nt)
05/23/2008 - 11:51

e

VC too has been "guilty" of marketing the seal...
05/23/2008 - 19:07

by placing it on the dial of certain models.  Just my opinion, but I found that a gaudy display.

I certainly respect your opinion...
05/24/2008 - 02:42

but I had and still have a different reaction to it.

Since the Geneva Seal is typically hidden, I enjoyed and appreciated the way VC proudly displayed it on the dials of their 250th Anniversary pieces.  A very special occasion warranted a special expression, which those watches certainly are.

Of course, it all comes down to personal preference and I am certainly a fan of the anniversary watches.  The beauty of watches is that there is literally something for everyone, no matter what one prefers and likes.

Duncan

Well spoken Duncan...
05/24/2008 - 21:40

however, I am reminded of the difference between Cadillac and Aston Martin.  The former embellishes the exterior to imply a sense of quality within, while the latter quietly knows the quality is already there.

I recently acquired a lot of fifteen 1980's and 90's auction catalogs and have enjoyed many nights looking through the pages.  After a few volumes, I can pick the V&C watches simply by their style...a similar trait for all the watches of the 1930's through to the 60's.  With the era of conglomerate ownership, I sense that brand marketing became more of an issue and the visuals, especially dials but also case designs, became subject to fashion trends.  The result, I suggest, is that the brands have lost rather than established their sense of identity.

OTOH, without loud designs worn by celebrities of unrelated merit, perhaps many wouldn't consider any brands beyond Rolex?

I suppose that it is part of the evolution...
05/25/2008 - 01:51

of the industry. 

Thank you for sharing your views and I hope that you are enjoying your vintage catalogues.

As you have said, it is a challenge for individual brands to maintain their own identity in this modern era of the Richemont, Swatch and LVMH conglomerates.  However, I know that the brands are striving to differentiate themselves.  Ideally, we will see the brands enjoying certain economic and logistical benefits from belonging to a large group, while still retaining some individuality.

Using Richemont as an example, I think that you see some of this happening.  VC and Lange are very different brands from JLC and IWC and I will not even touch Panerai...

Ultimately, we should remember that these are ongoing commercial concerns for the companies and they do need to keep an eye on the bottom line.  In talking with Mr. Torres, I do believe that VC is trying very hard to ensure that their watches will always be clearly VC.  It is a delicate balance and not an easy one for VC or any brand to always strike.

Finally, I must add that in some ways, I feel that the industry is a victim of its own successes.  So many folks are trying to cash in during this bull market in watches.  Personally, I am looking forward to a consolidation, after which the strong will survive including manufactures such as VC.

Just a few rambling thoughts very early on a Sunday morning...

Duncan

thank God for Richemont! The romantic view of the little independent
05/25/2008 - 03:22

maker can be a powerfully evocative one but thank God VC was bought by Richemont because its under Richemont leadership that VC became a real manufacture and what it is today, before it was a great name with a great history but sorry to say, the majority of its watches withot the smallest of interest, the brand's shareholders being more interestested in its real estate that watchmaking capacities.

Richemont has done a good job with its watch brands...
05/25/2008 - 05:21

as they have been allowed to thrive and retain a lot of their own unique qualities.  Their acquisition of the Roger Dubuis manufacturing facilities was a very wise move in my opinion and they managed to avoid overpaying for the brand itself.

By comparison, look at LVMH.  In the eyes of many, Zenith has been completely transformed (and not for the better IMVHO) since their acquisition and time will tell what happens with Hublot...

Duncan

A very nice movie Alex!
05/22/2008 - 15:17

I like the end with the maltese cross gathering all the combinations!

BTW, this guy is too tall to even look like to Tom Cruise, Lin (at the beginning of the movie...)

Alex, I see you added some comments below your avatar: how do you do?

I didn't know either you 've got a new nationality (maybe for avoiding paying some extra charges...) 

Cheers

Lol, for charges and to be more "authentic" I think LooooL...
05/22/2008 - 15:36

... a French as moderator on the official forum of a Swiss brand LooooL

I'm not even French! (nt)
05/22/2008 - 16:01

e

No, I think I'm more French than you ! LOL !!
05/22/2008 - 21:19

V&C

LOL!!! 150% with you Doc!
05/22/2008 - 22:03

But we like Alex as he is, even he is not French...

Yes, everybody can see Alex is from Sicily :-)
05/23/2008 - 00:47

V%C

Sorry, I though that you were French.... Alex's secrets LoooL (nt)
05/23/2008 - 10:46

-