Mr Torres gave an interview in Watches International

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What is the interesting information he gives?
05/26/2012 - 14:21
nt
Re: What is the interesting information he gives?
05/26/2012 - 14:47
The production is going to almost double from 19000 to 33000, but through the employment of new manpower not machines in order to maintain handcraft exclusivity. He said the US sales increased 55% while the Chinese market could take the entire production. An interesting thing that I can't remember was mentioned in Alex's post on the Philosofia one-off watch is that the exact time, ie, minutes, can be determined by a three gong minute repeater. That is amazing, In any case, you can download it I believe for free. Best to all Marko
33 000 pieces a year is a goal for the medium term, I don't see it
05/26/2012 - 20:35
Happening any time soon
Re: 33 000 pieces a year is a goal for the medium term, I don't see it
05/26/2012 - 22:33
That goes without saying. You don't go out on the market and hire 500 artisans, you have to create them.
Dec 2009 Mr Torres said...
05/28/2012 - 10:59
 "What is the brand’s production level and where do you want to be?  Currently we make about 17000 watches with only 5% of quartz meaning the time and expertise needed in assembling mechanical watches is quite high. We shall slowly increase production numbers but that will depend on how well we can control quality. If that means continuing making 17000 watches a year then be it. Production will not increase for the sake of increase if quality can not be perfectly controlled and maintained. " This was only two and a halft years ago. He has repeated said that a production of max 18.000 to 20.000 whould be the annual output. Why this U-turn? Doc
Excellent point Doc!
05/28/2012 - 16:38
The way I see it (my best guess ;)) is that the primary motivation is the market appetite for VC products and the reality is that demand far exceeds supply. Clear examples of this are the waiting-lists that some ADs are building up in relation to some models and of course the reports from this year's SIHH about how the whole year's production was sold-out within the first two days. Also, when you consider some of the companies that compete with the same (or largely similar) customer base, their production numbers are much higher (with a 'p'articular company producing just over double) and I imagine from a business sense an argument could be made that if others can maintain quality (this is relative of course) and address demand with higher production, then why not do something similar. Plus lets not forget Richmont's results that showed it sitting on some €3bn in its net cash position - so the money is there if needed. Do I think its a good idea to increase production? Maybe not in the sense of general numbers. I definately would favour growing something like the Ateliers department and boosting capacity there to speed-up delivery, but I'd be hesitant to favour a significant increase in general production especially since VC's offerings, although diverse, to me they are not diverse enough to necessitate this increase. This in my view is based on three key points: it makes pieces less special if there are more of them out there, it makes the 'hunt' less exciting if the piece is easy to locate (part of what I enjoy is the adventure and the excitement), and thirdly, larger production numbers make it even more difficult to control the supply chain and therefore make the pieces susceptible to even more grey market 'action' (I personally like the fact that for VC grey marketers cannot get their hands on certain pieces or that they charge at or around the same price as an AD does; so I don't usually feel like I overspent). Best, Walid
My dream...
05/28/2012 - 21:06
would be for VC to establish an improvement in after-sales support before increasing production, otherwise the situation regarding looooong wait times for service will only get worse.  And while I'm dreaming, I'd sure like to see better support to the vintage side.  Remember Mr. Torres, today's new sales are tomorrow's vintage watches.  Brand equity will suffer if attention is only paid to capturing new sales without supporting sustained ownership.  As it stands, documentation and restoration of vintage V&C is becoming cost-prohibitive for "average" pieces.  Now that I'm on full rant...I expect that more revenues will be devoted to marketing to encourage growth, which could be directed to after-sales support.  Its kinda like paying lawyers to fight negligence lawsuits rather than engineers to improve the product wink.
Good point Dean, I recently found out that only watchmakers having had
05/28/2012 - 22:02
a minimum of 10 years of experience could work in the vintage restoration dept which means few watchmakers and long turn around periods.
Not really a U turn as the 33000 piece production won't happen in this
05/28/2012 - 21:59
Decade considering the number of new watchmakers VC will need to hire, then train!
as long as quality is kept top-notch, VC should expand to meet demand
05/29/2012 - 08:29
VC is a company and should expand to meet the demand. The more people who can enjoy having VC watch, the better in my opinion - as long as no compromise is made on the quality of the watches. It will give the company more means to invest and capacity to serve vintage pieces. And the production will still be a limited number.