The waiting has begun....

Dear all,

In an earlier post some time ago I told you about my latest addition: ref 6782. Because it did not have the original crown and the movement could benefit from a service, I sent it to Richemont Europe, who forwarded it to Vacheron. They inspected it and posted a complete overview of their findings. All this within 5 weeks after sending it to Richemont Europe btw. The plan will be a general overhaul of the movement and gentle renovation of the watch (new glass, cleaning etc). Looking good untill I received the timeschedule........it stated that it will take 24 to 26 months to complete the works. Now, that will be a loooooooooong time waiting. However, on the other hand, considering the time I spent to find it....;-)

I will post pictures of it as soon as I get it back......in a year or so. For now I have only this "before" picture.

Kind regards,

Mark

The waiting has begun....

there is only one solution to this...
01/18/2008 - 12:40

buy another watch while waiting for this one to return

Good luck on your wait!

Good advice..
01/19/2008 - 01:53

..will do that..;-) Indeed a better way to spent the waiting time.

Kind regards,

Mark

2 years? Why so much time?
01/18/2008 - 19:29

To be honest, I am a little bit shocked.

I am sure there is a logical explanation, but still, 2 years seems like a mighty long time... I mean, it doesn't take that much time to produce new watches, starting from scratch...

Alex, it seems your 4240 had a LOT of problems (including a missing dial), and still that took 11 months.

How is servicing/repair work carried out at VC? Is it a separate unit doing the work (in which case a backlog of orders could help explain the reason for the long timescheduled) or it the work carried out by people working on models to be sold (in which case could it be that delivering new pieces takes precedence over taking care of older models)?

Whatever the reasons are, VC should try to improve on those deadlines. 

Being used to having to deliver my work within tight deadlines (as most of my fellow Loungers) and not being the most patient individual, I am always amazed when I hear the time it takes to service or repair a watch. And this comment is not just directed at VC, but at the whole watch industry. We pay big bucks for some of these timepieces, and I would hope that a good and efficient after-sale service should be part of the package...

I am not writing this post to bash VC, but rather to better understand WHY SO LONG???...

Mark, I hope you get you watch back sooner than this!

some replies on the after sales service and a question
01/18/2008 - 23:46

To answer Francois' question:

the after sales service is a special department composed of highly skilled watchmakers based in Geneva who work only on vintage pieces. These watchmakers are requested not to have only watch making skills but also who know the history of wathcmaking, its evolution, the different techniques as well as the different methods of fabrication since some pieces will need to be remade from scratch. Sometimes for the really old watches no descriptions exist and parts will need to be remade based on archives written in old French (vieux francois ....no pun here ), but this isn't Mark's case.

Also since the 250th celebrations it seems that everyone and their neighbor has a vintage VC which they want to have overhauled which creates a huge backlog, ther's just so many watchmakers and so many hours in just one day!

When speaking with Dominique Bernaz who heads the Maison Vacheron Constantin, he told me once that restoring vintage watches was more a cost center than a prfoit center because sometimes restauration takes so much time which you can't invoice.

Mark: did VC tell you what needed to be done? 9-12 months can seem "reasonable" 2 is a bit long... but at least your watch will come back as if it was NOS

Re: some replies on the after sales service and a question
01/19/2008 - 01:52

Dear Alex,

No, VC did not state more details. Your explanations seems reasonable.

What I will do is to phone them on monday. I will keep you updated.

Kind regards,

Mark

thank you for the quick response
01/19/2008 - 15:55

I am happy to hear that there is a special department focused only on vintage pieces, and that the main reason for the 2 years  schedule is the huge backlog...

I find it honorable that VC decided to offer this service at a reasonable price rather than trying to turn it into a profit center

What a terrible dilemma...
01/18/2008 - 21:36

you must have faced upon hearing of that huge delay!  As they already had  your watch, it would just waste time to ask for it back.  And who would you send it to?  I would consider, like you did I'm sure, that the factory is THE best place for such a restoration.  But the time involved...so much can happen in two years you might very well find yourself taking Alex's advice and purchasing another watch.  And if this fantasy purchase is another vintage Vacheron that needs refurbishment?  So the cycle begins anew.

I did follow advice and checked with RGM to overhaul and redial my ref. 6394 and it's 1072/1 movement.  They quoted up to six months if they had to send the dial to a specialist in Germany but all the movement and case work would be done in Pennsylvania.