My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

I've been to UAE and Singapore for over a month, and as a Vacheron fan, without question, visited two Vacheron boutiques in the areas. So, I'd like to share some pictures with Loungers, who have no boutique in the neighbourhood like me, in the hope of give a clue of what official boutiques look like.

Due to the shoping centres' policy, no photograph inside the stores are allowed, so outside pictures only, but hope you enjoy.My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Here we go.

Mall of the Emirates; one of the upmarket shopping centres in Dubai

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Inside of the mall where VC boutique is located

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Entrance

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Showcase1: Toledos & Malte power reserve and date

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Showcase2: Malte Chronograph with diamonds & Malte openface retrograde perpetual calendar

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Showcase3: Malte Tonneau openworked tourbillonMy visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Boutique in Singapore; it used to be managed by Sincere, but now jointly-run with Cortina

Sorry, but I forgot to take showcase pictures. 
My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

In these butiques, I saw many remarkable VC watches, and the experience teaches me a renewed recognition of how beaufifully and exceptionally VC watches are made; the total balance as well as the meticulous attention to the details.

Please share your nearest boutique photos if you have.My visit to VC boutiques in Dubai & Singapore

Thanks for the pics...
07/29/2008 - 14:38

I've never been a big fan of malls, I prefer nice little shopping streets. However, I must admit I was impressed by the Mall of the Emirates (even considering the tacky ski slope...). The VC Boutique is small, but very nice.

Thanks Taku, here are some scans of the Geneva boutique
07/29/2008 - 23:16

the bench in this photo is supposedly the one Jean-Marc Vacheron worked on!

Thanks for taking us to the boutiques Taku, Alex..
07/30/2008 - 02:58

Hi Taku and Alex.

Thanks for the pics.  It is a little sad that VC does not have a boutique here in Japan, considering that it is a market for which VC has offered special commemorative (LE's) models on a yearly basis.  On the other hand, since most brands put up their boutiques in Tokyo, it probably won't make much of a difference to me living here in the boonies called Osaka.

I guess given the strong dealer network and the fact that the Japanese luxury goods market has been on a decline as of late, it will be hard to maintain a boutique here.  Indeed I have read stories of boutiques being eerily empty of customers and interesting products alike (eventually dying a natural death too). 

Still, even though we do have a competent dealer network, not having a boutique means that we do not get to see the "boutique models" which, so far, have been very stunning IMHO.

I was told that VC is streamlining its dealer network here in Japan.  I believe VC is trimming down on the number of ADs so as to emphasize quality service and a wider array of stocks per AD.  IMHO, this is a good move since I see some multi-brand carrying ADs with only a few VC pieces displayed in a small showcase (it gets ridiculous when my tiny VC collection outnumbers the ADs display!!).

Anyway, it is nice to see pics of the Geneva boutique again.  I really miss the Geneva boutique and its staff and I hope I can visit them again after a while.

Cheers!

Kazumi

Re: Thanks for taking us to the boutiques Taku, Alex..
07/30/2008 - 09:01

I was in Japan a couple of months ago, and made a special effort to visit the ADs in search of VC.  While other watch brands were well represented with their own boutiques, including Omega, Blancpain, F P Journe and of course PP, I was a bit disappointed VC did not have a boutique in Japan. 

Richemont has a huge presence in Japan through its other brands - hopefully one day they can add a VC boutique in Ginza.

Everyone except VC has a boutique at the Ginza!
07/30/2008 - 18:39

The Swatch Group recently opened a building in the Ginza which houses most of its major brands (Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, etc.).  Of course, since I am located in Osaka, it doesn't really matter much!

Richemont brands like Cartier which offer jewelry as well as watches have many boutiques in Japan but it will probably be difficult to maintain a specialist watchmaker boutique like VCs, on its own - especially given the slowing Japanese economy.  Maybe Richemont can follow the Swatch Group and open a multi-brand super boutique for VC, Lange, JLC, etc....in OSAKA!

Cheers!

Thanks Alex for sharing Geneva photos & people
07/30/2008 - 19:35

living in or visiting Japan have a opportunity to experience hospitality and specialized knowledge of watches provided by sales associates IMHO, especially in Ginza district. I agree with Kazumi-san on the point, an official boutique in Japan (Osaka maybe) is more than welcome, and some ADs carry merely a few VC watches indeed, but Japanese "Malte Corss Guild" ADs compare favourably with official boutiques, in terms of store fixtures and the number of watches they have. And what I felt during my trip was ADs in different countries have different attitudes on selling watches; some countries place emphasis on fashion, and others stress on technology for example. So I'm somewhat satisfied with Japanese ADs, though they are not boutiques, as long as they provide me with information and customer-oriented services I expect from them (it could be Japanese style, though).

FYI, Lange will open its official boutique in Ginza in this September.

as you said...
07/30/2008 - 19:54

...the important point is that the AD can provide you with good services, and that they have a good selection.

the other plus with ADs is that they are usually more "commercial" than the official Boutiques...

Kazumi, looking on the bright side...
07/30/2008 - 13:57

...if I had to choose between access to the Japan LEs and the Boutique editions, I would go for the Japan LEs in a heartbeat.

And not having a Boutique in Japan gives you the excuse/opportunity for a little trip to Geneva once a year

Hope to see you next year at SIHH!

Cheers,

Francois

Re: Kazumi, looking on the bright side...
07/30/2008 - 18:44

Hi Francois,

Hmmm...that is a difficult comparison as the Japan LEs blow hot and cold.  Last year's Overseas models were quite nice but the previous years' offerings were so-so at best (IMHO).

One thing is for sure, one can never have enough excuses to visit the Geneva boutique.  I am not sure how soon I will be able to visit it again, but I do hope to meet everyone again when I do get to return.  Don't hold your breath though...

Ciao!

Kazumi

Japan may not have a VC boutique but other than the special VCs you
07/30/2008 - 17:08

have those ultra cool Seikos / Credors which can only be found there!

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!
07/30/2008 - 18:30

Yes, we do have many funky Seikos, Credors, and G-shocks (ad nauseum), but I would give them all up for the watch in my avatar, which you can only get from a VC boutique.

I know Seiko, Credor, etc. have their share of fans and their simpler no-nonsense models offer the best value IMHO.  However, some of their attempts at breaking into the high-end market are just way off the mark...often a case of trying too hard to be different.  I think Japanese watches still have a way to go as far as making iconic designs.  All IMHO, of course.

Cheers

kazumi

Speaking of Seikos...
07/31/2008 - 19:01

I am in love now with Seiko...grand seikos, spring drive...even simple automatics...help!

Good luck, my friend ;-) nt
08/01/2008 - 02:30

k

Domo, Kazumi!
08/01/2008 - 06:21

Waiting to buy one when I visit Japan again, to make the watch more memorable...much like your Patrimony boutique ed.

Add a Discus Burger to your list :-) (nt)
08/01/2008 - 13:57

.

Saw that while in Tokyo but not my cup of tea.
08/03/2008 - 08:09

I am a simple man & it reflects in my choice of timepieces... My latest Seiko is simple, too simple to some.

A friend of mine told me once, "What an ugly watch! I usually see you wear expensive watches (he thinks big sports watches are always expensive), what happened to your taste now? I bet that thing would only cost less than $500. Am I right?"... Oh, btw I was wearing Patrimony Contemporaine...Kazumi, your comment?  I just said, "Right, this thing I just picked on the street for a bargain"

LOL, you've been seen too often wearing your
08/03/2008 - 16:51

AP Barichello in RG :-)

Thanks for sharing Taku!
08/09/2008 - 12:25

Love the entrance of the Dubai VC's outlet! :)