Why are we so keen on VC getting the proper recognition???

Having spend a little bit of time on the Lounge, there seems to be the recurring topic of VC pieces being undervalued compared to Patek Philippe (a point I do agree with...). One might say even that sometimes it feels like we Loungers have somewhat of an inferiority complex towards the “Undisputed PP King” Why are we so keen on VC getting the proper recognition??? (guys, don't take this the wrong way...)

Last time this was discussed was a few days ago, when a few voiced their pleasure at VC prices increasing in the recent November auctions.

Which makes me wonder, what is the best outcome for us: VC brand recognition staying where it is or  equalling – if not exceeding – PP’s reputation?

1) VC brand value increasingObviously, with brand recognition comes price increase. And so on one hand, for all VC owners (and I am about to become one), it is always good news to hear that what we hold is increasing in value and is more in demand (even if we don’t want to sell it).

On a pure theoretical level, it is also very satisfying when proper recognition is given. This is ultimately down to personal taste, but in my opinion VC deserves much more credit than PP – I prefer by a mile their timepieces to the “industry leader”...
So there are definitely positives to having VC brand value increasing (there might be more, but for me these are the 2 obvious ones).

2) VC brand value remaining at its current level
Same argument can be made for VC as when one is in the housing market: it is good when the price of one’s house is going up, but if that person is looking to move to a bigger house, then ultimately it is better for him if the market is crashing (ends up with more money in his pockets…). And so if one is planning to increase the size of its VC collection and acquire further models, isn’t a GOOD thing if the price of the VC pieces in the auctions remain much lower than PP’s? . And this is especially true if we do not want to sell our current VCs…
And it is not like VC’s name is being dragged in the dirt – it is always mentioned in the Top3, and many will say it is The clear no2… Is that such a bad position to be in?

I might be missing some pieces of the puzzle, but I think that if I could choose, I would select Option 2.Why are we so keen on VC getting the proper recognition???

I am young and I want to buy lotza VCs… And so I am happy for VC to remain “our little secret” and keep its disappointing no2 position– as long of course as this doesn’t impact the quality of the work of VC over the long term…

Anyway, this is my 2cents on a question I have been asking myself recently...



Now THAT is a VERY good question! Me thinks that
11/18/2007 - 18:02

the reasons we want VC to get the recognition which we think it deserves is two fold

1) Rarely a person buys a VC as his first nice watch and often the VC owner has had different watches from different brands and styles and has had time to build up his tastes and knowledge before buying a Vacheron Constantin and therefore has an accute view on what is offered on the market. And once you know of the history, quality, variety and the extra "oomph" which attracts us then it is a surprise that in the past VC has not had the recognition it deserves but things are definately changing....

2) Personnal ego: I think also that in a way we like to think that we "betted on the right horse"

For me personnally its not as much the price on the secondary markets which interest me (even though I'm quite happy to have been able to buy many of my vintage VCs at the "old price") but the path the brand is taking with much sexier and well designed watches, beautiful inhouse movements with superlative finish and an overall consistent and harmonious brand line.

VC may no longer be the Swiss watch industri's best kept secret but its still good to be part of it  

Ego speculative passion schizophrenic reaction
11/18/2007 - 19:14


Re: Why are we so keen on VC getting the proper recognition???
11/19/2007 - 01:30

Hi Veillotron,

I agree with your findings.  Though I'm a newbie, I've read very often that watches should not be viewed as investments, but chosen depending on how much they talk to your heart.  This is advice I've taken to heart and also one of the reasons I've become such a VC fan.  I like the Hour Lounge because they seem to me to be an ecletic group of fine gentlemen who appreciate quality, variety, history, and the uniqueness that VC has to offer.  (It is the exact opposite impression from many in the PP crowd that seem to be in it for the investment.)

I know VC is the #1 luxury watch brand in China, and that scares me as I see many nouveau riche wanting it just for the brand image and are willing to pay premium prices just to say they paid a lot for a watch. 

I truly hope the investment and brand-name seekers will not take over the VC marketplace!

BR, Dan

My 2 yen's worth...
11/19/2007 - 05:57

I am happy that VC seems to be getting more well-deserved recognition.  However, it is not enough that VC has a glorious past.  It must continue to live up to its colorful history by constantly being a leader and not a follower.   To this end, I am happy that, particularly after the 250th anniversary, VC has awakened to flex its manufacture muscles with new models and model lines, many featuring its new in-house movements.

Although I am content with VC being our "little secret", I don't think our collective egos would mind if the person next to us would be able to recognize that we are wearing a VC and not just another nice watch.  I remember checking out an AP RO in Vegas and the young salesman said to me, "Why would you want one (AP RO) when you've got a watch like that!!"...(he was referring to my Jubile 1755).

However, and unfortunately for me, any eventual increase in prices brought about by the greater demand will probably put VC beyond my my meager budget.  What's worse is if VC becomes harder to come by because many new rich start buying VC's, not because they appreciate it as a VC, but only because they heard its the best (and they want to show they can afford one), as is what is happening now with PP.  I think Dan mentions this happening in China and indeed, ADs in Japan have told me that it is getting harder to compete for stocks with the increased demands from the burgeoning rich in China.

With that in mind, maybe I wouldn't mind VC just being our little secret.

I guess there are always two sides to any coin...


VC is aware of the problems AD's are facing as to getting stock and
11/19/2007 - 09:29

there are plans to shut down certain AD's as to allow the others to have greater stock.

As for China, it is true that there is hige demand but VC says that they want to treat all markets equally and it won't always be the same who get the pieces. Furthermore I was told that contrary to Russia for example who wants only the really high end complicated pieces, the Chinese (mainland China) are interested in acquiring the most simple to the more complicated pieces.

Re: VC is aware of the problems AD's are facing as to getting stock an
11/20/2007 - 08:43

Hi Alex,

I'm sure your sources have more complete, factual, information and what you say about what is actually selling in China may be true. 

My knowledge is only based on anecdotal information.  I've had a chance to speak with some supervisors and sales people at the AD's in Beijing and Shanghai and they tell me that it is not uncommon for actual purchases (vs. window shopping) to be made spontaneously by people that don't know much about VC when they enter and buy based on what they see in the store displays - which cannot represent all the watches that VC has to offer.  These stores also do not necessarily have the really high end complicated pieces in hand, so the customers may not know what other options they have from VC.

Would VC like to commission a marketing study?  (I'm sorry, get the consultant in me OUT of the lounge!)

BR, Dan

VC value is definitely gradually recognised......
11/19/2007 - 12:01

maybe not as much as many here wishes, but a search on the net for beautiful pieces definitely reflects this fact. then, there are not many pieces on sale to reflect the surge in value fully.

i certainly wish that VC insisit on their style persistently, not swayed by the big sport watches fad, which is not their forte, but captalise on their forte of art-decor romantic dress watches and set trend for others to follow. that way, the value of the brand is preserved and the value of our holdings will hold their value.

speaking from my mind, though i will not sell pieces i like from my collection, but when i leave, i certainly do not wish that those pieces paid with my hard-earned money goes to dust and be kept in my watch box.

so, for me the tussle between finding value when VC remains our little secret and price increase is a no-brainer to me, i'd rather it realises and preserve its value. at least i know i  will be leaving a chest of treasure to my family when i am gone and i am fore-sighted enough to realise the intrinsic value of the brand. 

hope my post does not offend any loungers.

Thanks guys for your feedback :-)
11/20/2007 - 14:23

Always nice to see what you guys think…

I share the same fear as Dan and Kazumi, that demand and prices will be driven by the “nouveau riches”. However, in the end, if it happens and VC takes over PP as the recognized industry leader, I will be very happy for VC (as it deserves it plenty), and as a.ler said, we who bought VC at the right time will be rewarded for our for-sight… Thinking more about it, I found out that I really like watches because of the fact that they are a “hidden secret” (and this applies to PP also)… For the same price you can buy a Lamborghini or a VC … The Lamborghini is a very flashy car that will cause a lot more heads to turn than the VC… but that’s not what VC is about… A VC watch is “understated perfection and beauty”, but it doesn’t scream “look at me!!!”. People can (and will) notice its beauty, and from time to time someone “in the know” will recognize what you are wearing and will acknowledge it (as for Kazumi and his Jubilee 1755 anecdote in Las Vegas). I do like the fact that one can wear US$100,000 worth of watch on his wrist and appreciate it everyday, and most people will not even have a clue.

Having said that, I do like sometimes to be flashy and flamboyant (I shall be wearing my 47212 with the white bracelet more than once, Miami-Vice style!!!) And Miki – also if I had a SuperBowl ring, I would wear it from time to time…

Amen to that. (nt)
11/20/2007 - 15:50