Just an idea...

Since I got interested by swiss horology, famous watchmakers as Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe have been the focus of my passion.

Like a lot of people, what appeals me the most are the Grand Complication Watches, so in 2005 I was very pleased with VC for the Tour de l'Ile, which is a magnificent watch, and since that year, VC has been working hard, getting better and better and therefore assuring its space as a Top swiss watch manufacture.

What really annoys me, though, is the fact that Patek Philippe is still advertising as the "finest timepieces" maker, and I know that this is not true. I know that VC has the same potential, same engineering know-how but it still have longer history, and this is what differs the most both brads.

So, I think VC should use this great moment in its history to make its highest achivement. I know it is a bit silly of me to try and ask for something like this, but I am sure that everyone in this forum would agree with me: why dont VC develops a pocket watch to finally beat the PP pround, the Caliber 89?

I am aware of the huge amount of time (and of course, money) that developing such a watch takes, but I think this would finally step VC up to PP recognition level, something VC has not achieved yet, even with the potential.

Thanks a lot.

                                                                                                                                   Rolando P.

Re: Just an idea...
02/14/2008 - 21:48

I think that Vacheron doesn't need of a pocket watch or another complicate watch to compete against Patek.

VC produces top watches as PP. 

I think that prestige of a maison depends on quality of its entry level watches. And now PP is better than VC (1400 it too small for patrimony collection, and now all PP calibers are manifactured).

But Vacheron has a longer history, and its design it's perfect IMHO. So I hope in future! And I love VC vintage!!!

I'll try to say a bit without saying too much
02/14/2008 - 23:34

Ok this is getting complicated

Ronaldo: the creation of the bespoke department has been an amazing laboratory of ideas and developments and in a not too distant future you may see some pieces which will put VC on a whome different stratosphere....

Leonardo: I agree that you should mainly judge a high end brand on its entry level watches. The automatic cal 2450 and variants is an amazing caliber. The 1400 is way too small (even though Philippe Dufour thinks its very well contructed and its finish is top notch) but by the end of the year you  wish maybe fulfilled

Re: I'll try to say a bit without saying too much
02/15/2008 - 01:53

That's right! Whatever we are speaking about very good calibers: but from VC I expect the top!

Wellcome Ronaldo and Leonardo !
02/14/2008 - 23:31

For a die hard Vacheron&Constantin aficionado like me, it's like music reading your posts

Especially since you both points at, what I think is the the foundation,

the History!

No one can take that away from VC, but over the years too many brands,

create their own fake history, since they can't accept that VC is,

and always will be, 100 years older!

In our time, at least the 50 last years, the marketing has become overall important,

and sorrowly VC have failed, at least to be a part of it.

In the 40's if I rember it right, it was first a big exhibition and then a catalogue for Swiss brands,

that VC was asked to participate in.

In both cases they rejected it with the words:

" A good wine sells itself!".

This perhaps was true in 18th, 19th and beginning of 20th centuries,

but now it isn't.

VC has always been a forerunner in design and in my opinion,

outstanding, especially in the art deco period, which I'm hooked on.

This watch from 1936, you can see one with dark dial,

2 numbers after this was made, in the book "World of VC" at page 404,

came back to me today after service, and ticks so nice

Thanks for your words and once again wellcome to Hour Lounge


I think VC made the right decision. Now, who's the finest?
02/15/2008 - 00:01


First of all, the Caliber 89 is not a pocket watch, it is to the pocket watch what the Airbus 380 is to the fighter jet. This thing is 89 mm in diameter, 41 mm thick and weights 1.1 kg!!!!

Anyway, it is a great achievement, bla bla bla.

I think first of all that if VC had tried to make a pocket watch for their 250th anniversary like PP did for their 150th, people would have just said: oh look! VC is just copying PP, how petty!

VC made teh right decision in creating the Tour de L'ile as one of the greatest wristwatch, and to some extent it is actually usable (47mm by 18mm thick).

And then we come onto the super topic: what does "finest timepieces" mean?

Let's look at wine: does France make the best wines in the world? Well, they make great wines, that's for sure, but you can always find a non-French wine that would be better than one of the great French wines. And like everything else, it is a matter of taste too. Who should get the title? The wine making country that has the most wines in the top 3? Or the one who has the most wines in the top 500? I don't know.

What is the finest timepieces? The finest is in the top of the range only? What about the dedication and finishing in the entry-level watches?

Each watch company makes some great watches in their own domains: Tag Heuer made a watch at 360,000 vph... well, PP and VC certainly can't do that. VC and PP can't make watches that go to 10,000m (or whatever the newest stupid number is since nobody will ever go there). VC and PP do nto make watches with the latest super hightech materials like Ulysses Nardin does.

PP made the most complicated pocket monster watch ever. Well, great. So they make the finest monster pocket watches in the world.

VC made the most complicated pocket watch in the world. Well, debatable with some of the crazy stuff that comes out nowadays.

VC makes the finest skeletonized watches in the world.

FP Journe makes the best sonnerie watch in the world.

Most of the watch makers make wristwatch minute repeaters that are almost inaudible compared to pocket watches, so are all their minute repeaters crap? Well, no of course not.

Well, is the calatrava better than the patrimony? Or vice-versa? Should we look at the entire range of watches and try to compare them?

We'll never get out of this. VC and PP are the top two watchmakers, both first. I think your choice of you prefer on the other hand is entirely up to your own subjective decision processes and criterias.

Re: I think VC made the right decision. Now, who's the finest?
02/15/2008 - 00:54

I really agere with you. Its is all a matter of taste in the end, but I get really angry about PP saying they are the best. I men, it is a good achievement to have the Geneva Seal in all their mechanical moviments, but for me, quality is more important than quantitie, and it is clear that VC can make watches in the same level of quality as PP does.

I also agree with Leonardo, that  VC history is somethig that no one can copy, but I really don't think that PP is better than VC today, judging by the entry level watches. Both manifacturesrs hold high levels of quality in all their segments.

I was very pleased to read Mr. Ghotbi's answer about the bespoke department (which I had forgotten about), and how VC is working is great watches. I am really looking foward to these pieces, as his description of a different stratosphere really impressed me!

Lot of talk about the Tour de l'Ile but let's not forget the Esprit
02/15/2008 - 11:12

des Cabinotiers clock. Now that was one amazing piece, technical but not overtly "look at me I'm complicated" with a dash of poetry

more about the Esprit des Cabinotiers


Nico's eyes have phased out into a dream gaze...
02/15/2008 - 21:26


Alex, that Esprits des Cabinotiers almost makes me weep... What a piece! The gillochage and other decorations are mesmerizing and the whole clock is just worthy of the best things done 200 years ago when the time to make things well did not count as much: this piece is already a Vacheron Constantin heritage piece as far as I am concerned. 

Rolando and Leonardo...
02/15/2008 - 01:59

Have you guys taken a look at the VC Tour de L'lile grande complication wristwatch? It is absolutely beautiful and complicated with a total of 16 complications, 834 parts, and the Geneva Seal. Take a look at this piece and let me know what you think of VC.



Re: Rolando and Leonardo...
02/15/2008 - 02:04

I'm agree with you: Tour de l'Ile is a...I haven't words! Better that Sky Moon!

But even quote Nico:

We'll never get out of this. VC and PP are the top two watchmakers, both first. I think your choice of you prefer on the other hand is entirely up to your own subjective decision processes and criterias.