Resale value and quality of VC watches

Hello and thank you for posting this excellent question.

I must say I am surprised that Vacheron is so cheap for certain models. I must say that the modern pieces - pieces made after 1990 - do not appear to be cheap at all. There is an initial drop however they do seem to hold their own.

I recently bought a vintage Vacheron 6405 18K dress watch. I paid US$2200- for the piece in unrestored condition. Piece had the correct case, movement (K1001) and the original untouched dial. This is an amazing price for an 18K Vacheron with a Geneve Seal movement! I immediately bought it as I always loved the thin Vacheron dress pieces. A similar spec Patek in the same size would be $7500- (for Patek ref 3520) and $7500- (for Patek ref 2451).

There in lies the problem. Fashions have greatly changed and what was 1960s chic is no long chic! Infact 33mm is now considered small. In the 30s/40s 31mm was considered ok for a gentleman!

Vacheron was the leader in ultra thin watches - a very difficult skill to perfect. The arrival of quartz in the 1970s made this trick look like nothing special! The trend then turned to larger watches resulting in "dinner plate" specials.

Vacheron has also followed this trend albeit at a much later stage. Up until 2002/3 the Patrimony series was under 35mm. Today that series is available as a 40mm model!

I am personally amazed that I bought a Geneve Seal Vacheron for US$2200- when a Rolex Submariner 5513 would be double if not more. The Submariner is NO-GENEVE Seal watch! The Vacheron would have been much more expensive when new.

I also see Vacheron as part of the problem. Patek has had excellent information released to customers. The Patek magazine is available to any Patek owner (irrespective if bought new or used). Vacheron has no such initiative. Also the Patek Archie extract is a marketing stroke of genious. Not only does Patek get to charge $100- for a piece of paper - they also get to confirm who owns what! Vacheron only has an $850- verification services that is a pain in the arse! I mean - who is going to send the watch to Geneve for verification if not in Europe! Patek has been very smart by asking for the Case reference, Case serial number, Movement reference and Movement serial number. This is almost impossible to falsify. Why Vacheron does not do a similar thing is beyond me!

So in summary - why does Vacheron not have the same resale value as Patek:-

1) Vacheron does not have a magazine for Vacheron owners

2) Vacheron does not have an "Extract" service for $100-

3) Vacheron's $850- verification service is slaughtered by Patek's $100- extract service

4) Vacheron does not release information freely like Patek

5) Patek is so approachable and accomodating unlike Vacheron

I do love my vintage Vacheron and I am sure Vacheron will address these issues with time. I think the smaller sized pieces and the ultra thin pieces will come back into their own within the next 10 years. Prices should rise and we will be referring to the good old days when Vacheron pieces were so obtainable!
many fake Pateks have shown up with Extracts from the Archives! The
03/09/2011 - 15:28
issue is that all you need to do is look at an auction catalogue to get the case and movement numbers and more and more counterfeiters have used this information to make fake vintage watches (very well made I have to say) with a genuine Extract from the Archives, this extract just says that the watch was born with this case and movement number, it does not guarantee authenticity. As for VC its a Certificate of Authenticity which means the watch is genuine, the brand is legally bound by this. I do agree that it is a pain and expensive but then again I can't see how you can certifiy the authenticity of a watch without seeing it. The stroke of genius from PP comes from the fact that it invests heavily in its own watches at auctions driving the prices up. Also the numerous information material is good for the market.
why this continuous comparaison with Patek? who cares? we buy
03/09/2011 - 17:21
watches or investments? I go to VC for my watches and to my banker for my investments
Yes BUT you can not disconect this 2 issues (nt)
03/10/2011 - 16:08
Re: Resale value and quality of VC watches
03/09/2011 - 18:09
I am curious to know what the board feels is "fair" value for a preowned mint Overseas?  I am about to pull the trigger on one and wan't to make sure, since it is from a AD, that I am getting a fair price.  Thanks Peter
you should take into consideration that unless the watch is rare
03/10/2011 - 01:44
on the secondary market it looses 30-40% off retail
Hello Archie
03/10/2011 - 03:01
I'm not sure if you meant to post this under a different thread, but I don't see the excellent question that you are answering. I agree with you in that VC does not publish very much in terms of technical and production data.  There are many "franken" VCs out on the market and unless one spends a tremendous amount of time conducting one's own research, it can be difficult to identify what is authentic or not.  In this environment, VC's Certificate of Authenticity is much more thorough in terms of inspecting the watch and truly verifying that it is authentic.  As Alex has stated, it has been found that Patek's Extract has been used in the past with non-authentic watches.  If you were to receive one of these at auction, how much do you feel the Extract would be worth? If you just wanted to check if the movement and case serial numbers match, the VC Concierge has helped me on many occassions.  Just send him the numbers and he will check with the Maison to see if a watch properly left VC that way.  The Concierge's email address is available on VC's official website (you may have to choose the North American page).  This information is usually provided quite rapidly (within a few days) and its free. My personal dealings with VC have most often been in regards to having them restore vintage watches and obtaining Certificates of Authenticity.  While things have not always proceeded the why I hoped/expected, I've always been able to voice my concerns (both directly to VC and through this forum).  On every instance, I have been able to receive very helpful feedback and remedies that addressed my concerns.  At the end of the day, VC has always been open, receptive, and willing to address any issues or concerns I've had with regards to servicing my watches. I'm sorry to hear that some of your experiences with VC make you feel that they are not approachable or accomodating.  Maybe somebody from VC will see your post and if you have a specific issue, can help you address it. Best Regards, Dan
How do I contact the VC Concierge ?
03/10/2011 - 15:44
How do I contact the VC Concierge ? I can not find any mention of this on the VC website.
The VC Concierge is based in New York
03/10/2011 - 17:13
And you have to select North America / English under the "Choose your Language" on the lower left hand side of the VC webpage. Although the Concierge is in NY, I think/hope he can provide you with assistance, even though you are located Down Under. Best Regards, Dan
Talk to Daniel...he's terrific! [nt]
03/10/2011 - 17:43
Re: Talk to Daniel...he's terrific! [nt]
03/16/2011 - 23:10
Hello, I just got confirmation from Daniel that my watch is all correct (ie. movement matches case) and the year of production - 1960. I am thrilled to learn all is correct! Thank you for the information.