Great Joy...Great Saddness: Part II

You may recall my little soap opera left off with the ref 6694 WG Batman watch on it's way back to the service center to have a piece of debris removed from the dial.  I was greatly relieved to have it back in good order after a week!  The only mystery remaining was the case of the missing certificate of authenticity.

After a few emails, it was revealed that my request for a certificate (actually four requests) had been forgotten and was not passed on to the factory while the watch was there for service.  The solution offered was to again send it back to the factory.  Too bad a watch cannot collect air miles!

At this point I'm very reluctant to have this weary traveller bumped around in transit again.  There is a risk each time, and I get anxious just waiting for a safe return.  One slight hope rests on a request to see if the service dept and heritage dept can collaborate to produce the desired certificate.  Not knowing what is involved, I cannot even guess at the outcome but, as VC didn't create the problem, I would understand if they don't wish to get involved with this inconvenience.

Now I've sent the Sinatra watch (ref 6694 diamond dial, gold bracelet) in for service.  And a certificate.  I wonder how that will turn out?
That's not acceptable...
10/29/2008 - 02:44
It iis understandable that V&C (and others) require a physical inspection of a watch before producing a certificate of authenticity, but in your case an exception obviously should be made. They know the watch, as it has recently been in for service, they have the serial number and have already checked it in person, and the mistake was theirs, as you had originally requested a certificate! While I certainly would defer to Alex's judgement, I'd be strongly inclined to contact Dominique Bernaz, and see if this problem might be resolved in a reasonable manner. Good luck!
Trying to be philosophical....
10/29/2008 - 17:38
Just stepping back from my own situation, I wonder if this experience perhaps indicates the state of integration between Richemont and VC?  The holding company's service centers manage many brands in the same manner.  It must be difficult for Vacheron to make promises of superior service when the people that have contact with their customers at the front end aren't their employees. It also brings to mind the issues of marketing vs servicing.  It seems nowadays that more money is spent creating the demand for a product than satisfying the ownership experience once the demand is met.  In fact, if you just look at it as a short-term financial equation, the brand image is an asset in terms of how it creates a desire for the products, but once the desire is achieved, maintaining the brand experience becomes a corporate liability requring long-term investments that reduce short-term profitability. I hope the recent market difficulties teach this one lesson; that sustained profits are based on sustained performance.  Obviously the long-term view is what Vacheron Constantin was built upon, over 250 years ago.
Completely agree with you
10/31/2008 - 20:41
while their product is Grade A, the post-sale service of watch companies is often C, D or E... It really doesn't serve well these companies in the long term. I hope VC will do the right thing in this case