No VC in the auction catalouge

I found it quite astonishing by the absence of VC in May auction catalouge for an up and coming auction house in Asia.  I of course asked the person in charge "WHY???"

The answer that I received is basically that: he doesn't know what is the direction of VC.  VC's direction seems going everywhere.  The bidders here are not paying attention to VC.  He only hopes that the China market will help the situation.

Hmmm... does it mean that VC still has a lot of works to do?  Or the above remarks merely came from one individual and can be taken as a pinch of salt?



VC still has some work to do but I think the statement should be
05/06/2008 - 18:02

taken with a load of salt!

In the past years the VC's auctioned in Hong Hong by Antiquorum and Christie's have been doing rather well and each year we see rarer and more high end VCs appearing in the Hong Kong auctions...granted that they are mainly modern watches.

However I can understand that some may be thrown off by the direction VC is taking as when you look at the VC production pre and post 2004-2005 there has been a huge change but for me its rather the pre 2004-2005 production which was all over the place with no significant direction or brand genetics. In the past years the brand has done an immense job (IMHO) in building a specific identity and image and once again in my honest opinion they are doing the right thing.

It is only very recently that VC has started becoming an auction market darling (basically it started in 2003 and building up), the vintage watches are doing very well (starting with the chronographs, repeaters and Cioccolatone models followed by rising prises of the time only ones) so there isn't much arguing here, as for the modern pieces I think that it may still be a bit early to see where the market is heading.

Watches from 1990-2000 are doing OK (the enamel dialed Mercators are doing well so are the platinum Chrono Historique, as well as  the complicated tourbillons and repeaters, however with the other timepieces there are some good bargains to have). The post 2004-2005 watches are doing very good, the Jubilé 1755 sells above list and I have seen the Chronometre Royal 1907 with the red 12 (only 100 made) also selling above list on the secondary markets. The upcomming Antiquorum auction on May 10-11 with the Saint Gervais and the Patrimony Excellence Platine will give us a better idea on the attraction of the ultra limited VCs but once again you need more that just one sale to set a market price. Would be curious on what other Loungers think

i agree with alex and i speculate.................
05/06/2008 - 19:55

1. the auction house that u mention may not be a significant auction for watches and is not representative as when one consign watches to auction house, one will choose one with a bigger audience and followship.

2. that vc watches are tightly held by collector because i scour the internet now and then for vintage or collectible vc and i rarely find one for sale at a bargain, they are fairly price which mean they are collectible.

3. when one watch is widely auctioned, it may mean that the prices are speculated and the watches are inviting speculators to buy them and resell them at a profit, it may not mean that they are collectible in the purists sense.

just my 2 cents worth.

VC is strong in its vintage pieces but ...
05/08/2008 - 03:34

for its contemporary pieces, they don't do well in Asia.  Patrimony and Malte collection are relatively stronger models.

It is also true that not many VC buyers will actually sell their watches in second hand market.  This could be either they love VC so much or they know VC has less satisfactory second market value.

Pre 2005 until end of 2006, I saw a lot of pieces stuck in VC boutique here for months.  Now the boutique has closed down end of last year.  So, I can't really compare pre 2005 and post 2005 situation.

I really find it a great pity that VC boutique only managed to survive for such a short period of time (from 2004 to 2007).  It is due to a couple of reasons that I do not wish to discuss here.  But one of the main reasons is the lack of awareness of among the collectors about  VC here.  I cannot believe that Tag, Omega, JLC and AP boutique are doing better.

I believe that VC has a lot of work to do in order to gain the confidence from the collectors, at least in this part of the region.  I sincerely hope that VC will not predominantly concentrate in China market.



I'm in Hong Kong
05/08/2008 - 04:46

and VC sells very well here matter of fact it is their largest market and I know the sell very well on the mainland also Japan. Alot of people in Asia (globally as well) are into ROO & Paneria sized and looking watches at the moment and that is just not VC style.  Patek is Patek doesn't matter if you like them or not they are where they are deservedly.  It will be along process for Vacheron in "asia" if they manage to build in Singapore I feel they rest of SE Asia will follow since they seem to set the trend for that region.

I have come to believe that the VC buyer/collector is very
05/06/2008 - 18:33

different from those collecting other mainstream brands, that they tryly appreciate the work (mayit be the technical aspects or the art work ie: enamel dials...) that goes into creating a VC and that's why we rarely see newly released watches from VC at auction.

The Saint Gervais was launched in 2005 and its only 3 years later that one shows up, had it been a PP or AP it would have been at auction 2 months after release and still wrapped in plastic! I've been on the look out for a Grand Explotaeur model for the past 4 years and I have not seen a single one for sale, I would love to find a second hand biretrograde and have never seen one at auction either, I guess this means that the buyers are keeping these watches and enjoying them...

Another element to keep in mind is that people who have high end watches rather go to an internationally reknown auction house where they are sure to get greater coverage rather than a local one.

I agree that before the 250th anniversary VC's direction was going everywhere if I were to quote your contact but this does not seem the case today.

VC's performance is not so rosy in this part of the World.
05/08/2008 - 03:43

I agree that for unique pieces, you can't see in the second hand market.  For example, Great Explorer pieces, I have not seen a single piece in the auction.

Can you believe that the collectors (may be traders) are willing to pay much more for Panerai, AP ROO limited edition, PP stainless steel watches and some cheap PVD coated watches?

Is it something wrong with the brain of these people or is it something wrong with VC?



Auction houses
05/06/2008 - 18:41

sell watches that are brought to them if no one bought any VC's there will be none to sell. I really doubt they turned VC's down saying they don't sell or we don't like the direction their taking.

Mario, you would be surprised that...
05/08/2008 - 03:44

VC owner has been turned down.



Re: No VC in the auction catalouge
05/06/2008 - 20:32

Hi Ling,

I think the general consensus among seconday market dealers and auction house's is exactly as he said. Vacheron was directionless and the product lines had no strong identity. I believe that has changed since the 250th anniv. with the jubilee line along with the "metiers d'art", Saint- Gervais, and the Tour de l'lle. Whats interesting is Vacheron had some very interesting watches in the 90's and the beginning of 2000 but they were not getting anyones attention. The obvious ones being the historique chronographs, mercators and the perpetual chronograph, and I am sure there are others. I believe they didn't get the attention because the rest of the product line was not that mainstream.

This will all change once they realize they can make money off the Vacheron market like they currently do with Patek and Rolex. I am not sure if thats a good thing. The draw back is finding good watches and auction houses do that for us. So finding intersting vacheron can be a challenge.

I also have always noticed on the secondary market the amount of Patek for sale vs. Vacheron, its like a 5 to 1 ratio in favor to patek. I think there are several reasons for this. Pateks are looked by many people as an investment, I don't see that with the Vacheron. Vacheron makes approx. 18,000 watches per year vs Pateks 38,000. Vacheron vintage market is so much smaller than pateks, perhaps Doc can help us out there. Also during the 30's through the 90's patek made some icon perpetual, perpetual/chrono (1518,2497,2438,2499,3448,3450,1436,1463) watches in decent volume. Vacheron had their Chrono's but not much else to compete against them. This gave many high end collectors a variety to choose from. These watches have sky rocketed in price and it didn't hurt that Patek was buying many for their museum (which I do not think is a bad thing having visited it and loved it).

To the positive side of things. Vacheron has come out with some exceptional product lines in the last several years and are getting some attention. Some of their vintage and contemporary product are getting noticed. Prices are still very affordable compared to Patek. There is not a flipper mentality within the Vacheron group. The new management team under "Charlie" is world class and have a passion and focus on the product lines that to be sucessful is a requirement.

And lets not forget our ace in the hole, we have Alex.


John, I agree with you.
05/08/2008 - 03:52

All I can say is that most of the VC buyers are not flippers or traders.

We buy VC really for the love of it.  It does not matter how much it will fetch in future or in the auction house.  Unlike other collectors or traders disguised as collectors for other brands (I may have offended a lot of collectors), they can love their watches so much but sell it the next month "to fund another purchase".



I don't believe a word of this !
05/06/2008 - 21:44

The big problem the auctionhouses have, is to get nice VC's.

Rember my dear aficionados, there are not so many VC's on the market,

and that, I personally love

It is a true feed back that VC owners keep their watches,

and let them often stay in the family,

as a 100 year younger, and much more advertising, and productive brand,

want us to believe of their watches.

PP you always can find 30-50 pieces of at each auction.

To me it's a negative feed back.



I am with Doc 100% on this one, nothing else to say! (nt)
05/07/2008 - 00:53


Doc, you better believe it.
05/08/2008 - 04:02

There is some truth in it even though I don't believe everything he said.

Doc, I agree to what you said.  VC collectors seldom buy VC as an "investment".  I am sure PP owners do.  Just quote a few examples, PP5050, PP5070, PP5712, PP3970 and PP5970, do you think the owners buy them and keep them for the next generation?  I don't believe it for one second.

I think VC owners are more purists.



05/09/2008 - 00:52

PuristS is a dangerous name here

No, I'm with you,

but why not say,



Remember this...
05/09/2008 - 06:06

VC is for passion, AP/PP is for investment though you do have die hard passionate collectors in PP/AP. It's the market condition for us to blame