Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

What started out a few years ago as an informal dinner amongst friends has become a set date for Vacheronistas. For the past 4 years the Loungers gather for an evening of fine food, wines and conversations on the Sunday night before the opening of the SIHH.

This year 12 Loungers as well as yours truly. Christian Selmoni Artistic Director and Juliette Capillaire Head of Retail Development gathered on Sunday Jan 16 for a meal.

Pre dinner drinks: check

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

table set: check
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

wine uncorcked: check
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

menu printed: check
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

goody bags ready: check
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

The guests started arriving at around 7PM. First one being the very first poster on HL: Alberto!
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

SJX
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Gary H
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

the vintage Big Daddies: Dean and Dan
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Bart and GaryG
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Joseph, Tim and Lin
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Radek (the female VC staff suggested he be invited forever to abolutely every VC event Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011)
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

We then moved up to the first floor for dinner and a presentation we did with Christian Selmoni on the decade that chaged watchmaking

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Christian Selmoni
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

After dinner we headed back down for cognac and cigars

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

The Maltese Cross was every where!

on the cigars
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

the cakes
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

some Loungers had even integrated it into their sartorial attire
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011


Dean surprised us all with a kind and thoughtful gesture. he had brought us all a Canadian "touque" 

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

But we had to call it a night as a lot was awaiting us the next day.

Monday January 17, the team gathered at the manufactory for a tour and a watchmaking workshop where they would learn how to diassemble and assemble a VC pocket watch movement. The general consensus from the teachers were that these gentelmen were not to quit their day time jobs Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011.


Before starting Joseph and Radek gratified us with some jokes on glass eyeballs and electric fences...these guys could go into showbusiness Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

The workbenches
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

the movement
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

let the fun beging...

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

After the massacre was complete Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011 (but everyone seemed to have a good time) we headed to the fair for an exclusive preview of the novelties.


Either Radek is telling another fence joke and cracking everyone up or VC management just announced an 80% discount Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011
Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011

That's all folks.

It was great having you over and can't wait for SIHH 2012 Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011
and the obligatory wrist shots...
01/26/2011 - 16:22
Sarpaneva Moonshine VC ref 4735 Grand Seiko VC Malte perpetual calendar skeleton Malte perpetual calendar chronograph Excellence Platine VC pocket watch VC Chronometre Royal pocket watch VC Chronometre Royal wrist watch Kari Voutilainen Observatory in WG Kari Voutilainen Observatory in RG VC Patromony Skeleton Jubilee 1755 platinum Thunderbird 31 day retrograde 245 Patrimony Contemporaine Bi-Retrograde special edition made for Cortina Chronographe Historique Patromony Traditionnelle Chronograph
I just have to come next year....
01/26/2011 - 18:15
It's disgraceful that I have yet to attend the HL SIHH dinner. Bill
I'll be happy to come up to Mass. and drag you to dinner! :-)
01/26/2011 - 22:05
Bill, you were missed.  BR, Dan
you better come!
01/27/2011 - 10:00
nt
It was such a great visit to SIHH 2011
01/26/2011 - 22:03
To All, VC did a truly amazing job in catering to us Loungers during the entire trip!  If the opportunity arises, I'd strongly recommend it for any serious VC aficianado.  Besides what VC did as hosts for us, it was fantastic getting everybody together, meeting face-to-face, sipping wine, smoking cigars AND the watches that surrounded us all...the Geneva Maison transformed marvelously into our real life Lounge! My only regret is not making it to SIHH earlier!!! Best Regards, Dan
You guys were having way too much fun!
01/26/2011 - 22:12
That just looks like an awesome VC experience.  And the wristshots below...wow, what a humbling assemblage of watches! Thanks for sharing this part of SIHH 2011 with us.   Best, respo
Please mark as a Recommended Thread
01/26/2011 - 22:25
so I don't have to search too long to be reminded of the wonderful experience.   Don't Dan and I make a great couple  And thanks for the photo to prove to my wife that I can actually tie a double Windsor!
can't believe u guys did it without me .....
01/26/2011 - 22:56
I'll keep coming back as long as the female VC staff want me there ;-)
01/26/2011 - 23:03
It is always a pleasure to attend those wonderful dinners and talk watches among other things with HL buddies. It is an amazing experience to meet face to face with people we only know in virtual world and click right off in real time - the conversations have no end. This is truly one of a kind deal! And it can only be carried out through our very own passion and love towards VC... This year was my third HL visit to Geneva and I have to say it was the most enjoyable.  First time was a real thrill (you all know the-first-time excitement, right?) and meeting Kazumi was definitely the highlight of the trip (second one being an introduction of QdI) . I do remember my second visit to Geneva was spectacular because it was there and then when I picked up my Malte Tourbillon and met JC Torres and Christian Selmoni at an infamous dinner at Alex's place. It was also my first time I met our dear Mats aka Doc and that, I have to say, is an experience in itself . Anyway, this year's visit to me was all about the workshop at the manufactory. It was a great learning experience. Really teaches you to appreciate the dexterity and effort that goes into the work of assemblying those beautiful timepieces Wow, keep them coming Alex and VC!!! And let me thank Alex, again, for his immense work that he puts into everything he does. He is an incredible man. He was down with a flu at the time of SIHH and he still carried on with a fashion. It takes guts, gentlemen, and passion. And to me passion, whether it be watches or alpine climbing,  is what makes people interesting and drives us to higher highs. And Alex is right there on top. LOVE, Radek
Radek my friend thank you for the kind words, making me blush :-)
01/27/2011 - 10:11
e
Amen, Brother! (nt)
01/27/2011 - 16:44
nt
It's starting to be an old fine tradition! Hope to join next time! nt
01/27/2011 - 10:38
vc
Nice Report !
01/27/2011 - 10:51
It seems you've had a lot of fun guys ! And so much beautys on the wrists ... HS: I have tasted a Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Les Charmes some years ago... one of the most amazing wine memory. Nearly no tanin, incredible "corps", complex taste, very mineral. And as I prefer these kind of wine to more "tannic" Bordeaux, this wine gave me a great great moment.
Lovely report Alex. Really miss being able to join in on the fun (nt)
01/27/2011 - 13:47
VC always knows how to throw a good party aka gathering
01/27/2011 - 15:36
Seems like everyone had a blast! You can see from their smiling faces. Well done!!!
Thanks Alex (and to all the VC Team) to keep these moments magical-nt
01/27/2011 - 16:36
.
Great report Alex, glad to see you all had such a wonderful time! (nt)
01/27/2011 - 17:36
vc
Thank you SO much, Alex and VC!
01/27/2011 - 17:39
Alex, you are indeed the man!  I will always be grateful to you for this opportunity. It was fabulous to meet everyone -- I've already connected on Facebook and/or LinkedIn with several of the Loungers I met that evening, and hope to have the opportunity to see all of you again in future years. The dinner was delightful -- I had the rare opportunity to sit next to Christian and ask him questions for the better part of an hour, and he was both gracious and fantastically informative.  Thank you, Christian -- I really enjoyed the opportunity. The manufacture tour and "watchmaking" (I'm reminded of the time that Vianney Halter told me that it looked as if my newly acquired Halter Contemporaine had been worked on by a blacksmith...) were wonderful as well -- the engraving and enamel stops were especially cool. Speaking of "cool," I've been back in Seoul where it is minus-15 C -- that toque has come in handy, Dean! I'll post some photos of my own this weekend. Here's to staying in touch on the Lounge and meeting again! All the best, Gary
Thanks for the invite Alex.
01/28/2011 - 08:31
Dinner in the beautiful maison was superb despite my jet lag as evident from the photo. And appreciate you showing me the wonderful collection also. - SJX
Re: Old and new friends, fine wine and watches: the Loungers at SIHH 2011
02/01/2011 - 06:10
That is the kind of event and party I want to attend:)). With every "check", I say thats the way to enjoy oneself to the fullest. Will see that I can join this special group in another SIHH down the road. Thanks Alex for leading such an incredible visit for our Loungers. Warmest regards,  Matt Kurs