Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Aside from SIHH, Alex was able to arrange a tour of the Manufacture (and Maison) for me (although it was with buyers from Japanese and Russian ADs, I think).  It was a quick tour and I must apologize for the sloppy photography.  Actually, my camera was already running low on power (...and all those other excuses).

Anyway, we were given the tour by Michael who has been with VC for 3 years now and is actually a watchmaker working at the shop inside the Geneva Boutique...I think.  He was also around at the fair for the demos.  Michael was really lucky as he joined VC just before the 250th anniversary, so after only a week or so at work, he got one of those nice employee's 250th anniversary patrimony watches.

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

If you watch the video in the goodies section, you can see some good footage of the manufacture so I will

just post a few shots of the work that goes on in the workshops.  Actually, I was told that the workshops are

now full and they hope to do some expansion in the near future.

*Warning: I didn't take any notes so my narrations should be taken with a grain (heaps) of salt.

A lady applies perlage on the base plates...

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

(I thought she was also doing some QC for Durex Japan, but the pink stuff are actually protection...for her fingers)Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

I think he is either polishing or filing/beveling some components...(No, the reporting won't get any better guys..)

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

You can appreciate the work being done when you see how small some of the components are.  These ones

are smaller than the cuticles on my working-class finger!

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Here is where the engine-turning is done.  I guess the machine is the engine and the guy is the turner...Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

A simple pattern takes about a day to complete while more complicated patterns take several days to finish.

At the time of our visit, they were working on a prototype design...sorry can't tell you any details...

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

The enameler's work table.  Although there were no finished samples, you can tell that the enamelers have to

try out many combinations to come up with just the right colors (not to mention having to eat a lot of jam for breakfast)...

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison 

Some familiar beauties...

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

They are coming up with new themes for the Tribute to Great Explorers...

Maybe an hommage to Kazumi's 24-hour journey to Geneva via London Heathrow's Terminal 5 (a bermuda triangle for luggage...fortunately mine arrived two days later)!

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

I was so lucky to catch a first glimpse of some familiar but oh so elusive faces!!

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison 

I was also given a tour of the Maison but since the collection on display can be seen in the video in the goodies section,

and since I know none of you can take any more of my reporting, I will just end with a picture taken at the Maison with

the very knowledgeable Expert Master Watchmaker, Mr. Rudolf Bull (he's the gentleman with the red tieTour of the Manufacture and Maison)

Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

By now I have probably blown any chances of being contacted by VC to be the next THL moderator but I hope

you enjoyed the pics as much as I enjoyed posting them.  I must say being able to go around SIHH, the Maison,

and the Manufacture was a dream come true.  Like a kid in Disneyland or a teenager at the Playboy Mansion (okay,

lets not get into that...).Tour of the Manufacture and Maison

Best Regards,


04/17/2008 - 04:30
04/17/2008 - 06:04
04/17/2008 - 13:08
My boss just ran into my office wondering if I was having a nervous
04/16/2008 - 19:47

breakdown I was laughing so hard

Brilliant write up Kazumi

As Paul Vitti would say: "You're've got a gift kid"

Paul Vitti? ROTFLMAO!! Kazumi I agree that was one hilarious write
04/17/2008 - 12:01

up. Thanx

Thanks Kazumi for the report (nt)
04/16/2008 - 20:35


With Rudolf Bull you could spend a week ! Thanks ! nt
04/16/2008 - 21:09


Yes, and I would have wanted to spend more time with him
04/17/2008 - 07:21

and Michael at the manufacture but unfortunately we were on a "quickie" tour since the guys I was with had to hurry back to the fair to place their orders.

Nonetheless, it was still a great experience to see the heritage pieces as well as the work being done at the manufacture.  You have an idea of the work they do, but you are still amazed when you see things in the flesh.

Hats off to the hardworking VC staff!

Best Regards,


nice pictures, informative and witty comments...
04/16/2008 - 21:54

thank you Kazumi!

I am sure Alex could use your reporter's skills in need ;-)))

PS. The comparetive Mercator and Grands Explorateurs picture is just great.

Thanks, Radek. Actually, those two where my favorites in the group
04/17/2008 - 07:24

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the next generation of the Hommage Aux Grandes Explorateurs and Les Masques but no such luck.  Well, its only a few months to August anyway.

Re: Tour of the Manufacture and Maison
04/17/2008 - 01:05

Thanks kazumi for your reports. I do appreciate the touch of humor you have put in !

I just sat next to Michel at the Vacheron dinner in LA
04/17/2008 - 03:30

a few weeks ago!  We had a great discussion about watch servicing.  What a great guy!

Thanks for sharing your pictures and experiences Kazumi.

Yes, he was very accomodating and low-key
04/17/2008 - 07:32

I hope we get a chance to meet up again here in Japan.


LOL. Great writeup!
04/17/2008 - 04:30

And it was a pleasure to meet you in Geneva Kazumi.

Thanks, Felipe. It was also great meeting you at last
04/17/2008 - 07:34

Too bad I did not get a chance to spend more time with you and some of the other members, but at least its a start.  Hopefully, this will not be the last.

Great reports Kazumi!
04/17/2008 - 06:04

Thanks. Any idea which VC is next?  Temptation must have been big!

Not exactly the next VC, but I'll post the "souvenirs" I got (nt)
04/17/2008 - 07:38


It is time to let us know how goes the "souvenir" (nt)
04/17/2008 - 21:33


thanks for the light-hearted report.i enjoyed it. nt.
04/17/2008 - 07:18


Thanks Kazumi for a laugh during the middle of the day! (nt)
04/17/2008 - 10:51
Thanks Kazumi for the writeup...
04/17/2008 - 12:14

which I found it highly entertaining.

Congratulations on your intimate VC experiences. I'm green with envy.



Thanks Kazumi
04/17/2008 - 13:08

Best, most insightful report on the Manufacture ever done!

Definitely good jokes...

Forget the HL moderator position, I think Revolution is gonna call you pretty soon!

By the way, I have a question: if there are supposely only 25 sets of Les Masques done, how come every time there's a VC visit/exposition, they show up? Did VC keep a set for marketing purpose? I would have thought that by now all 25 sets would have been produced and shipped to their owners...

great narrative and photo's. Thanks Kazumi
04/17/2008 - 15:15

Perhaps Alex could use an assistant!!!!!!!

Nice and relaxing comments, Kazumi!
04/18/2008 - 21:42

I laughed somewhat by reading your review, and I think it's the first time I see such visit report of a manufacture...