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.