Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

I went to the Grand Opening last night of 796 Huai Hai Lu (aka Twin Villas) last night in Shanghai.  It was a fairly large media event and covered the entire Villa that has been converted into commercial use.  The Villa was built in 1920 as a private mansion for a French gentleman.  Now it houses boutiques for Vacheron Constantin, Alfred Dunhill, an Art Gallery, as well as a private club and Richemont's China offices.

The sidewalk view/entrance from the street is a small archway as the Villa itself is approximately 100 meters from the street.  I could not take a decent picture of the Villa's exterior as it was at night and there was a light show displayed on the Villa.  VC's Boutique takes up 3 out of the 4 floors on the right hand twin.  Talking with some of the VC people at the event, this Flagship Store is quite unique in what it offers.

The first floor is where the watches are displayed - and there is a very wide selection to choose from, including over 20 vintage pieces that came directly from VC's museum in Geneva and are available for sale!  (see the pictures below)

The second floor has a full repair and maintenance center that can service everything in-house from simple watches to tourbillons.  Alexandre Kerguen is in charge of this department and just moved from Geneva to Shanghai 2 months ago.  The reason for this high level service center in Shanghai is to be able to provide real support for local customers.  Due to Chinese Customs and other issues - it is extremely difficult to send watches in and out of the country.  VC has recognized this and put some serious resources into resolving this matter.

The second floor also has something unique to VC - a Vault/Storage service.  It will operate essentially as a safety deposit box for customers to store up to 18 watches in a secured vault on the premises.

The third floor is occupied by a private club, Kee Club.

The fourth floor has a VC Private Salon that was not completed yet so it was not open to the public last night.

My wife Daisy and I had a great time and thank all the people we met that made it possible - Juliette LePrince-Ringuet, Vincent Brun, Anita Porchet, Jeanne Ulrich and Alexandre Kerguen.

Now for the pictures - there were so many watches that I had to focus on those that I thought would be of most interest.  I've broken them into a few categories (thank Daisy for taking all the pictures, which allowed me to have the time to talk to so many wonderful people at VC):

People:
Anita Porchet and her Enameled Scorpion:
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Juliette LePrince-Ringuet - VC's International Events Manager, Daisy, me, and Jeanne Ulrich - Engraver
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Vincent Bruns - VC Marketing Manager, Daisy and yours truly
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Special Editions:
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

QDI:
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Thank you Vincent for letting me play with the QDI configuration computer for such a long time - Shanghai is the first location in Asia with this capability
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Vintage:

Daisy loves this one for herself, its a man's watch from 1952 but is only 36mm in diameter.  I'm seriously considering it. Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

I really liked this one:
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Pocket Watches
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

1909 Chronometre Royal, very much like my 1908 version
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

These Art Deco pieces were on the second floor and were not available for sale
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Complicated/Grand Complications:
Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)

Well that's it.  Hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions about the event, please let me know and I'll try to answer the best that I can.

Best Regards, Dan
10/19/2008 - 13:19
10/19/2008 - 13:42
Rei
10/19/2008 - 06:32
10/19/2008 - 13:43
Doc
10/19/2008 - 14:32
10/19/2008 - 19:23
10/31/2008 - 21:16
Re: Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)
10/18/2008 - 12:46
Hi Dan! Wow!  Thank for the absolutely fantastic report and excellent photos! (Thanks to Daisy!)  I particularly like the second picture of the enamelling of the scorpion! I look forward to visiting Shanghai one day, and the Twin Villas will definitely be my first stop! Best regards JAMES
Thanks James, PM me if you come to SH, I might be there (nt)
10/18/2008 - 13:04
 
Pictures of the VC vault that I forgot in my original post
10/18/2008 - 13:09
Here are pictures of the VC vault that I mentioned but forgot to include.  The vault is not active yet as VC needs to work out some of the regulatory and legal issues with the government. Vault doors open - 18 boxes are available Vault doors closed
the intersting thing about the vaults is that VC will also service and
10/18/2008 - 15:31
mantain the watches deposited there.
Many thanks Dan for your pix and report.
10/18/2008 - 13:15
I am definitely looking forward to making a trip to Shanghai soon and visiting the Twin Villas. Looks like you and Daisy enjoyed yourselves and it is nice that she found something that she liked too.  I am sure that there was no shortage of pieces that attracted you as well. Thanks again, Duncan
My pleasure Duncan!
10/18/2008 - 13:25
I get the feeling you are a very popular/active person, but feel free to contact me whenever you go to Shanghai or Beijing. This is also an open invitation to all Loungers - please feel free to contact me if any of you head this way. If schedules allow, I'd be happy to meet up with any other Vacheronistas!
Many thanks Dan, it is always good to have another...
10/18/2008 - 14:15
contact in China.  Looking forward to making a trip up your way soon. Cheers, Duncan
It is such a good idea from VC...
10/18/2008 - 14:01
...to propose vintage timepieces to their customers !!!! Bravo, bravo, bravo, BRAVO !!!!!! Bernard
Bernard, I was very happily surprised as well! (nt)
10/19/2008 - 13:13
 
Great report and beautiful pictures, Dan...
10/18/2008 - 14:14
You and Daisy must have had a ball at the reception. Thanks for the eye-candy  
Thanks Radek, we had a great time...
10/19/2008 - 13:16
though it didn't really start until after the doors to the boutique were opened to the public (which was about 30 minutes later than originally scheduled).
looked like a fine event, thanks for your efforts Dan and many
10/18/2008 - 15:30
thqnks to Daisy for the photos!
You are very welcome...
10/19/2008 - 13:19
I'm really glad that I could contribute to the HL in this small way since I've learned and enjoyed so much from you and all the other Loungers.
Thanks Dan. Looks like the place to be in Asia. (nt)
10/18/2008 - 17:23
k
Since your so close already, I expect to see you hear soon! :-) (nt)
10/19/2008 - 13:23
 
Thank you for the write up Dan, those are some fantastic watches there
10/18/2008 - 19:34
.
Your welcome and I totally agree (nt)
10/19/2008 - 13:27
 
Thanks Dan, really nice article and great pictures. I was admiring the
10/19/2008 - 02:12
"exclusive" collection relief work on the caseback--most unusual. Looks like a great time was had by all. Best, Tim
It was our pleasure Tim...
10/19/2008 - 13:42
I had a difficult time figuring out what the relief work was.  Being a special edition I thought it was a building or monument in China, before being told it was VC's original building in Geneva on Quai de I'lle.
Xie Xie, Dan!
10/19/2008 - 06:32
Some unusual watches there, really enjoy the pictorial report!
Bu Ke Qi, Rei! (nt)
10/19/2008 - 13:43
 
Beautiful watches !
10/19/2008 - 14:32
Thanks for a great report and magnificent pics of fantastic VC's Cheers Doc
Thanks Doc, we had a great time doing it! (nt)
10/19/2008 - 19:20
 
Yes I can understand,
10/19/2008 - 21:52
and also that you whished you were gentelemen thieves, with so much goodies Doc
Well, I at least wished that they may have forgotten a couple of...
10/20/2008 - 03:09
zeros off of the prices on some of the pieces
Thanks Dan and Daisy for this amazing report!!!
10/19/2008 - 15:01
Such a wonderful place, and by the looks of it VC again delivered on a great event... I wish I could have been there in person... Thanks for all the pictures, they are all wonderful. I love the shots of the QdI and the Malte Perpetual Calendar Retrograde, one of the most underrated VC watches IMHO... But the one I really love is this special edition Malte Tonneau Tourbillon Regulator, that seems to have part of its dial in WG/PT/SS(??)... The dial treatment reminds me of Duncan's LE Malte Tonneau Tourbillon, but without the layer of nickel. (Alex, would it be possible to get more pics of that amazing beauty?) By the way, Dan you look good in a tux, and Daisy you have good taste! Cheers, Francois
You are such a flatterer
10/19/2008 - 19:23
As for the pictures, I believe you were the one that reminded/made sure I'd bring a camera.  How could we think of letting you down?  BR, Dan
Re: Shanghai Boutique's Grand Opening Report (modem burner)
10/20/2008 - 19:58
Thanks for a wonderful report! The photos of the watches show the fantastic range of VC's work, past and present. It was also good to see some of Vacheron's master talents at work! It was great of you to share your experiences. We sometimes have to live vicariously through the eyes of others. Many thanks, Joseph
Thanks JB, this was the least I could do...
10/21/2008 - 19:44
I got my invitation through Alex and the Hour Lounge, as well as have learned so much from all of you over the past 1.5 years (wow, has it really been that long already?).  BR, Dan
Very nice pics Dan
10/31/2008 - 21:16
Some vintages are great pieces. Cheers