VC sells entire year's production by 2nd day of SIHH. An article from

article taken from this monthe Haute Horlogerie Magazine: click here for the original article


Two days into the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, and Vacheron Constantin had already taken orders for the entire year's production. Does this mean a return to quotas is in sight?


When CEO Juan-Carlos Torres talks about business done at the 2011 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the superlatives fly. "Vacheron Constantin has again reached new heights. It's almost indecent. Two days into the Show, we'd already sold our entire production for the year. I honestly don't know what we're going to do. Reintroduce quotas? The most welcome news is that interest has been from all countries. If we take the US market as an example, with a 35% increase in orders, we're back to 2008 levels."

Elegant yet technical
He goes on to give another example: "We had planned to produce 50 of our new Quai de l'Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar, yet we already have requests for 300. We have seen a definite tendency for brands to jump on the "classics" bandwagon. What sets Vacheron Constantin apart is that this has always been the heart of what we do."

This year, Vacheron Constantin is indeed presenting elegant though no less technically accomplished timepieces, beginning with the Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time, "a mechanical self-winding movement with the capacity to indicate the 37 time zones, including those offset by a half- or quarter-hour, thanks to the new Calibre 2460 WT which is hallmarked Poinçon de Genève," the Manufacture explains. Vacheron Constantin has been at pains to make this an enduring model. Should Venezuela decide to catch up the thirty minutes that separate its time zone from that of its neighbours, Vacheron Constantin will adjust the movement cam and the position of the city names around the dial accordingly.

A month-long exhibition in Singapore
The second complication unveiled this year is effectively the Quai de l'Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar, which is fitted with the new Calibre 2460 QRA, also stamped Poinçon de Genève. It joins a collection whose particularity is that its timepieces can be personalised. "This unique and unprecedented opportunity in the field of Haute Horlogerie is made possible by the original construction of the Quai de l’Ile case and its seven-part middle. In addition to these seven elements, the 43 mm-diameter case comprises the bezel, the back and the crown. Combined with certain dial elements, this construction enables Vacheron Constantin to offer its clientele 700 potential variations within the complete Quai de l’Ile collection" which also includes an Automatic Calendar and a Day-Date & Power Reserve.

Completing the line-up of new models for 2011 is the Patrimony Contemporaine Perpetual Calendar (Calibre 1120 QP), an extra-thin model, this being a speciality of Vacheron Constantin, and another "Historiques" timepiece, the Aronde 1954, a fine evocation of vintage timekeeping. Vacheron Constantin is determined to further highlight its founding values when the entire collection of its Museum takes up residence for one month at the National Museum of Singapore this summer. The exhibition will include a special section on the métiers d'art, another field in which Vacheron Constantin excels. ■

Christophe Roulet

© 2011 All rights reserved
Congratulations VC!
02/07/2011 - 13:21
This means I might be dead wrong about the new QdI full dial approach if QdI make up for a substantial part of the yearly order Anyway, it is great to hear that VC is doing so well.  Will this result in enhancing the production capacity? Rather not, as I have head before JC Torres say he doesn't want to increase the volume of production, rather its quality and unfortuantely, I guess, the price. Oh well, demand always drives the prices up...
this will neither lead to production nor price increases. In the
02/07/2011 - 15:52
coming years production shall increase but maybe by a few hundred watches per year, the problem is finding watchmakers who then undergo a 2 year training program at VC after they finish school. As for price increases they are currently linked to the gigh Swiss franc so its just an exchange effect, the prices in Swiss francs remain stable but since the currency is going up the increase shall be felt in the Euro zone and the US (haven't been following other FX though).
I read this article earlier as well and think its fantastic
02/07/2011 - 13:37
for the Brand.  Way to go VC! I really hope that VC doesn't try to chase this demand and increase production at the cost of quality.  Increased production vs. the value of exclusivity is another matter and something that I'm sure VC's management has already thought about in terms of long-term strategy.  Personally, I'd prefer exclusivity...but then, I'm just a collector and not running the company.  It's a great problem to have and congratulations to the management team for putting the company in such a position. BR, Dan
Congratulations to VC
02/07/2011 - 14:30
It is fantastic to see. Gary
Re: VC sells entire year's production by 2nd day of SIHH. An article from
02/07/2011 - 15:14
That's the reward of years of positive developpment and of amazing novelties! Since more than ten years now, Vacheron Constantin went from a conservative image to an innovative high end image but always with strong historical roots. A good long terme vision, no "easy product" following a mode, that is very difficult to realize but it was perfectly done. The communication also is very good, there is a certain honesty in VC communication, only best brand can afford it. Congratulations ! François
Re: Re: VC sells entire year's production by 2nd day of SIHH. An article from
02/07/2011 - 16:33
A big congrats to VC!!! 
Re: VC sells entire year's production by 2nd day of SIHH. An article from
02/07/2011 - 21:58
Very nice to hear that news! They are certainly doing something right! Did that happen after you joined VC, Alex ?
Amazing
02/08/2011 - 08:31
That's amazing! Congrats to VC! I'm thrilled for the brand, though a bit concerned about what this might mean for the less well-heeled or well-connected collectors (such as myself) who might find pieces becoming too inaccessible or prices rising too high. So if they eventually implement quotas, Hour Loungers will be at the front of the line, right?
as Alex stated not sure this will result in higher price but rather
02/08/2011 - 10:56
less discounts as the brand is in higher demand. Kudos to VC shows they're doing it right
Pricing
02/08/2011 - 17:39
Yes, I saw Alex's post stating that pricing (in Swiss Francs) should stay the same. But I'm a bit afraid that if the price is sufficiently far from supply/demand equilibrium, we'll simply see lots of flippers trying to profit from the difference.
that could be the down side but until now the VC crowd seems rather
02/08/2011 - 18:12
"gentelmanly" and hasn't yet been infected with the fake collectors. However the price of the American 1921 seems to be quite firm on the secondary market but I have yet to see sealed VCs at a premium on the market. If that ever happens I think I'm goind to stop collecting VCs as I really can't relate to these people....
Let's hope they stay gentlemanly! [nt]
02/08/2011 - 18:32
nt
Nice reading. Could we have anything to do with all this?
02/08/2011 - 10:03
It's an amazing reading. You can't but wonder, if a a exclusive forum, especially for the brand and the continuos ongoing engagement in Vacheron Constantin, seen by over 50.000 visitors per month, has anything to do with this interest for the brand? I think so. Doc
Congrats to everyone at VC!
02/08/2011 - 15:25
A wonderful result, and a tribute to VC's ability to understand its targeted customers and anticipate their desires. Looking forward to many more years of the same! Best, GaryG
A full order book doesn't fall in your lap!.....
02/08/2011 - 16:21
It's a wonderful position to be in - a clear endorsement that VC are providing product that people want. This inturn will lead to HL becoming busier as the upsurge percolates through the system and that underpins the fact that every sector of an operation has a role to play in it's success or failure. There's no escape! Therefore, in retrospect, it's well done to Alex and the collegues of HL for their contribution towards the successful outcome at SIHH.  Tony
Now that's what I call good business!
02/10/2011 - 03:46
 Well done VC!  Now the question is, should they increase production and flood the market or stay with the present number? Hm...tempting indeed.
production will certainly increase in the coming years but
02/10/2011 - 09:58
with probably only a few hundred pieces more per year. The problem is finding good watchmakers and then having them follow the 2 year VC training program... its a long process....
Perspective on Production Numbers
02/13/2011 - 00:44
Just to put VC production into perspective, I believe the annual output is currently around 18,000 pieces and the stretch goal would still only be in the vicinity of 20,000 per year.  Each and every VC timepiece is a rare item!
Watchmaker candidates
02/13/2011 - 05:55
Hey -- I know 11 guys who have gone through 1.5 hours of the 2-year watchmaking curriculum, giving us a head start on the rest of the crowd! The only bad news is that I'm not sure that the VC pinion production factory could keep up with our breakage rate... :-) Best, Gary