Sooner or later, someone will put this on the table...

There's an interesting poll on another well respected site that does do well for Vacheron.

Needless to say: Luca has his opinions, but he would be more interested in your opinion.
Define "do well"...
04/26/2010 - 18:47
With over 275 responses to that survey at this moment, I'm not too sure how to interpret the results for VC.  They are currently preferred 4th overall for luxury watch brands, below Patek, Audemars and Lange.  And actually, they are closer to the 5th place JLC and Rolex (tied for now), than 3rd place Audemars. OTOH, several questions focus on Richemont brands, so perhaps there is no controversy; who cares which pocket the money goes into when it's the same pair of pants  
One thing to keep in mind...
04/26/2010 - 18:58
is that VC's production is materially lower than all those brands but for Lange, which may impact how some of those questions are answered. Bill
Re: One other thing to keep in mind:
04/26/2010 - 20:19
There is a very strong AP presence at PuristsPro. That is, several of the influential members especially favor the brand and it gets excellent exposure. The members of that site seem to have very little interest in VC and there is almost no traffice on the site's VC forum (perhaps because of the existence of the Hour Lounge).
We need to give the Devil (Don) his due...
04/26/2010 - 20:47
When did that well known and respected other site loose their VC Moderator?
Re: Define "do well"...
04/26/2010 - 19:39
Only because of my very fisrt "real" watch being a Vacheron, do I care. Not for any monetary reasons, but because of my respect for longevity. My Patek trained Uncle Art, that inspired my love, put me on a Vacheron 1st. That was 35 years ago and up until the last decade have been very disappointed. Patek is Patek and AP, regardless of their great movements saved by RO series. While VC was searching for direction, along came Lange. Talk about good timing. IMHO Vacheron was not living up to it's wonderful history and I was disappointed. That being said I believe that Vacheon is back on track and we should all be happy.
Lange came with a huge bang in 1994 and they were a huge kick in the
04/26/2010 - 20:00
bottom of a Swiss watch industry sleeping on its laurels. Gunter Blumlein was the genius behind this revival, he had a flair, an acute eye and a knowledge few idustry leaders posess today (I still wonder what Richmont watches would be today had he been still alive as he was to head the watch depatrment after the acquisition of LMH - JLC, IWC, Lange - by Richemont). If any watch brand lost its position on the market it was after a fair fight! They created an instant icon:the Lange 1 who even today, 16 years after its launch, remains contemporary and probably one of the most beautiful watches currently on the market. However, Lange maybe came with too much of a big bang because the post Blumlein years seem to have lacked the WOW effect, their new Zeitwerk seems to represent some kind of revival for the brand, let's cross our fingers and see how things go...
Luxury watches and online retailing
04/26/2010 - 18:57
click here to see the poll posted on PuristsPro (on a side note I have no issues with people posting links to posts on Time Zone or The Purists - as long as its not shilling, they are not only great sites but I have great friends among the moderators or admin) The internet has come a looooonnngggg way: Just 10 years ago luxury watch brands considered the internet as a dirty word and fit only to sell fake watches and cheap articles.  The internet watch forums started changing this. I remember in 2002-2003 when I was at SIHH and Basel for The Purists brands either kicked us out of their booths or looked at us with condesendance as a bunch of geeks who were wasting their time. A magazine editor also openly called us "useless". Starting 2005 these sites exploded, not only were they not useless but the content quality was very high, articles were in depth and documented by "amateurs" for whom this was a hobby! Even most important the members and participants were actually buying (or not) depending on theses articles and shared experience. The internet was also no longer the terrain of cheap replica sales but also of grey market dealers and second hand/vintage dealers. And people bought watches sight unseen from these virtual shops. The luxury market has finally opened its eyes and considers the internet as a fantastic tool, not only for communications but now as a sales medium. Hothouses such as Harry Winston, Hermes and Cartier have opened e-boutiques, more brands will certainly follow. The question is how do you deal with your retailers? The later have inversted heavily in creating brand awareness and what happens when a brand starts sellin on line? Do the latter just pull the plug on their retailes? Will the retailers push brands who do not have e-boutiques? How will the 2 co exist? Lots of interesting questions and developments to keep an eye on.
Well covered Alex...
04/26/2010 - 20:08
Online and social networking has surpassed most other traditional forms of information sharing and thus opened the door to new, and I believe more democratic, means of consumerism.  The biggest challenge for those invested in the status quo is to respond to these cultural changes quick enough to ride the wave instead of wallowing in the trough . It will take a HUGE attitude shift for most traditional brands to first embrace, then exploit, the new opportunities presented by the online community.  Quite frankly, I don't see that paradigm happening yet...
Re: Luxury watches and online retailing
04/26/2010 - 23:19
I'm young and probably ignorant, but a forum is open for discussion Luxury's most important asset is always the brand, so building brand awareness in every possible way strengthens the position. An online boutique for a brand, even it doesn't sell (well enough), it provides a showroom with lastest collections and quotes which are basics buyers (of anything) seek, it reaches all corners of the world and it can collect valuable market data easily.  In our time, commodities and services are traded online, businesses will have to  embrace this channel or they simply will be "out", but how far and how fast they are ready to go for it. I cannot ask or answer questions as sharp&insightful as Alex', but certainly we will keep an eye on it, well done, Chef!  
Thanks Miki for pointing me to this survey...
04/27/2010 - 03:09
...I'm not sure if 275 responses si enough to be representative... (sample size seems small to me)? To be honest, I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with VC’s brand awareness: in a way, I do not care – at all – if nobody knows who VC is. I like the fact that I’m not feeling like I’m showing off when I wear my watch, and that the few who know what I’m wearing will actually be in a position to appreciate it. In the same logic I’m not too keen on Rolex watches, as they have become such a status symbol. But on the other hand, each time I see a poll on either Timezone or ThePurists involving a VC, I’m always hoping that it will come up on top, and I’m always hoping that the WIS will give VC the credit the brand deserves. In a way it would be great if VC got the same recognition as PP, but at the same time if it was the case i) with demand going through the roof, prices might go up and then I might not be able to afford the VCs that I want to get ii) it would become more of a status symbol…  So I do hope that VC continues to do well, but if it can wait for me to get 2 or 3 more VCs in my collection before overtaking PP as the leader of the industry, that would be great.  Cheers,  Francois
my feelings exactly Francois, I also have a love/hate
04/27/2010 - 17:42
relationship with VC. Its like your favorite football team you always consider that they can do better, VC is the same for me I sometimes feel that they can do just so much more in terms of design, communications, brand awareness etc...etc... ut then again if they've been around for such a long time and still considered of so highly they're probably doing something right!
Poll now closed...
04/28/2010 - 19:07
A total of 310 surveys were completed.  86% of respondents rated PP as one of their top 3 luxury brands among the 22 brands listed, with Lange moving up to 2nd place at 47%, AP 3rd at 38% and VC pulling up 4th with 29% choosing it as one of their top 3. Of seven brands listed in later questions, 75% indicated they followed PP with interest.  JLC pops up next with 64%, then VC with 47%, but it is important to note that both AP and Lange were left off the selection list. Regarding ownership of the same seven brands, here we have a slight shift...the top brand was JLC with 44% having owned one, while PP moved down slightly to 42%.  VC was again 3rd at 15%. The gap between those that follow and those and own/owned a certain brand was interesting.  For instance, only 32% of those that follow VC have actually owned one, while PP has 56% ownership among those interested in that brand. While price may have played a part in the switch between ownership vs interest levels of PP and JLC, that really can't apply to VC which is priced closer to Patek.  If availability has limited ownership of VC more than the others, I would have expected higher prices in the secondary market for VC pieces.  That hasn't occurred, which usually means availability and demand are in equilibrium. Any theories on the meaning of all this?
I'm not sure if any real lesson can be learned from this as
04/29/2010 - 12:21
there are probably too many differences in responses depending on age groups and country of residence.  But less take the strict numbers and it could mean that VC needs the extra push in terms of communications/marketing to greated the brand awareness and trust for interested parties to really take the jump and purchase a VC watch (on a side note 48% of those who have signed up on HL own at least one VC)
Re: Poll now closed...
04/30/2010 - 01:35
Lies, damn lies, and statistics! I would ascribe the situation to a prevalence for complex mental factoring of the relatively high purchase price with a disappointingly low 2nd hand value causing a predetermination to avoidance of the product by good folk who instead allocate required funds (or part thereof) to what would be considered by the worthy to be more economically or morally sensible needs and pursuits. And, further, people are not wearing enough hats. This is bound to be distorting the results.
Re: Poll now closed...
04/30/2010 - 02:47
My interpretation is a little more simple and superficial. Most people in the world think that Rolex is the best without knowing anything about watches. It would make sense to me IF statistics showed that, of all the people who are interested in Rolex, most of them were owners. I believe that Patek is a similar phenomenon... here, we would be talking about more refined people. Of these people, many think that Patek is best. Therefore, it makes sense to me that more of the followers would be owners. I believe that thought process is "why buy anything other than the best?". Even though VC is comparable to PP in terms of quality, generally speaking, it doesn't have the aura that Rolex and Patek have. So, I believe that when people buy VC, it's because they did their homework (as opposed to getting sucked into the aura created by the marketing department). Of course, people who do their homework sometimes buy VC, but then again, sometimes they end up buying PP, ALS, AP, etc. That's just my naive interpretation. Tien PS: I believe it also shows that Rolex's and Patek's marketing/branding teams are ahead of VC's team.