an interesting chat today re straps.....and shades of titanium

Hey folks - I was speaking to an AD in the USA today and he had a rather unexpected warning for me.  He said that it's quite likely that I will have trouble with the alligator leather strap as it will be deemed either "restricted animal product", "endangered species" etc..........

Has anyone else experienced this and how did the issue get resolved?

Onto another topic - I'm curious as to the very different appearance of titanium Vacheron watches in various photos (of exactly the same model).  I know on my Overseas the titanium bezel is much darker and contrasts strongly with the SS case.  I'd use "graphite" to best describe the colour.

Now I realise that there are various shades/colours of titanium depending on how it's anodized but you'd expect it to be consistent within a watch brand and certainly within the one model.  I also understand that different lighting and flash photography can produce quite different results.  Even allowing for all that I still find it hard to believe the same model could come up so different.

Just wondering if anyone who has seen/photographed a few  titanium Vacherons could share any insight and comment on whether they think I'm crazy or not.

In the post following this one I'll upload a couple of photos of exactly the same QDI in titanium. 
Re: an interesting chat today re straps.....and shades of titanium
11/08/2012 - 05:43
The issue above with the strap was of course with Customs ...I neglected to specify that. Here are the pics - the first courtesy of Paul Boutros who I'm sure wouldn't mind me using here. Even allowing for the light it seems quite a marked difference to me.
Hi Brent, importing alligator straps into any country is an issue
11/08/2012 - 07:49
It comes under CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species), which went into effect in 1973. The issue is proving that the straps come from farm raised alligators and not from endangered species that are illegally hunted. I don't have a titanium watch, so I can't help with that, but I'd expect VC to maintain a sringent standard on the alloy it uses in order to control color and finishing variations. BR, Dan
Re: Hi Brent, importing alligator straps into any country is an issue
11/08/2012 - 09:47
Thanks Dan - I wasn't aware of CITES and was lucky with my first VC as it didn't attract any attention at all.  Maybe because it came with rubber strap and the leather packed away as a spare.  Might get the dealer to switch it to rubber before sending. Cheers Brent
On the color of titanium
11/08/2012 - 12:58
To state the obviously, it will depend on lighting... but I would say that from memory the color of the metal in real life is closer to Paul's picture than the second one - I would think in the second picture the use of flash is making the titanium seem lighter. check the link below (from our dear friend Duncan) - there are great pics of the QdI titanium, and I think they are representative of what the watch looks like in real life: Cheers,  Francois
I think we can safely say
11/08/2012 - 14:37
it's a very difficult watch to photograph.  You can even see in Duncan's photos the dial appearing much lighter (and the colour of the numerical markers changing) with the flash, change in light etc... I'd say Paul's photos are (unfortunately) darker than real life look - that's more like the titanium shade on my Overseas. I reckon that the real life colour is about half way between my two photos and that means that the titanium on the QDI is much lighter than the titanium bezel on my Overseas Dual Time.  I'd rather darker than lighter myself...can't win em all LOL.. Cheers, Brent
Just as in photos....
11/08/2012 - 20:30
the dial will appear darker and lighter depending on the light in real life. If you prefer a dark look, stay in dark rooms. :-) Bill
Re: Just as in photos....
11/09/2012 - 00:04
Thanks Bill cheeky - I was more referring to the case in the first instance.
Thanks for referencing Duncan's thread, one of the great
11/09/2012 - 05:53
threads of all time on THL in my not so humble opinion. Thanks for the reminder sir. Best to all, Tim
The titanium of theOverseas is darker than on the Quai de l'île but
11/09/2012 - 09:43
need to check the reason