write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

After patting the cats and kissing the wife and kids goodbye I headed to the airport on Friday May 1st for our The Hour Lounge dinner in New York the following Monday.

At the airport I realised that my passport had been lost or stolen! Certainly an act of sabotage from Patek’s secret police!

Needless to say that I spent a horrendous week end feeling sorry for myself, being certain that on Monday morning I would never have the time to have an emergency passport issued and make my noon flight.

Against all odds I end up obtaining a new passport about an hour and a half prior to my flight ….but the airport was Kafkaesque!

Lady at the check in counter: Your passport is not biometric, you can’t check in

Me: Are you kidding?
Lady at the check in counter: Do I look like a kidder?

Me: Call some one who knows

Someone who knows: Sorry your passport is not biometric, you can’t go to the US

Me: Call someone who knows more
Someone who knows more: oh yeah you can fly no problem
At this point I had about 30 minutes before departure but my adventures were not yet over. At the passport control desk the officer took his sweet time checking my passport:

Passport control officer: I have never seen an emergency passport…its cool

Me: I would love to discourse on this fascinating subject but boarding has started

And you think this is over?

Ticket and passport check at security desk before boarding: You can’t board you need a biometric passport
What the hell is this? Has the whole Swiss watch industry ganged up to make me loose the (little) mental sanity that I still had left?

Anyway I finally managed to board, the flight went delightfully well. At boarder control at JFK the guy spend quite some time staring at me and I was expecting some kind of comment about my non biometric passport before being shipped off via the next flight back to Europe but all I got was: "Nice watch you got there…welcome to the US”
New York here I come

We gathered on May 4th at the Core Club, a private club in uptown Manhattan. The pre diner drinks and presentations took place at the library, beautifully decorated and under with Jim Morrison’s watchful eyes. 

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

Guest started arriving at 6.30 for drinks. It was great to put a face on the Loungers

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Keith (left) with VC America's new President: Hugues des Pins

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
William Lind(WHL) looking good with a tie, Russel Kelly (sales East Coast) and Ellen Cohan (Head of Marketing and Communications for VC North America)

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Ashley Schaffer from Marketing and Daniel Adams of the Concierge Service

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Tom (Tommy V) who is obviously happy to be there write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
The glamorous Shao family (Dan - Dshao1 and Daisy)

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
the non less glamorous Jordaos (Felipe and Lorena)

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Andrea

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
someone looks rather happy with his new American 1921!!!

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Ken (left) and Adam

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
the delightful Meri

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Howard (Boa2)

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
someone just told Paul Boutros that VC bought Rolex!!

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Welcome speach by Hugues des Pins

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Ellen Cohan making sure all are paying attention

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
good...they are paying attention...other than Keith on the far right!

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
They were sitting on front row and had no other option than pay major attention write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

After a short presentation and open discussion on the challenges facing Vacheron Constantin in this era of "New Watchmaking" guests headed to the restaurant for a great meal.

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Joseph (JB on the far right) Sorry Joseph but all the other photos I had of you were terrible due to my jet lagged state write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed


write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Ruppert

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed


And some wrist shots from the evening

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Quai de l'Ile in titanium

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Overseas in RG


write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Reverso

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
a gorgeous vintage from the 40s, my flash doesn't enable you to see the superb guillochage write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
IWC Doppelchrono ceramic


write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
31 day retrograde date

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
JB's bespoke piece totally invisible due to my lousy flash


write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
the ultra rare skeleton chrono

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
American 1921

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Overseas chronograph in steel

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
another IWC Doppelchrono ceramic

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Ikepod Hemipod chronograph

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Chrono Malte Excellence Platine

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Rolex Deep Sea

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
AP ROO Safari

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
1st generation Overseas Chronometre

write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
Jubilee 1755

All in all it was a great evening and more than seeing the new VC releases it was fantastic to see old friends and get to meet new ones!

Thank you all for making it such a memorable evening and a great thanks to the VC US team for making it happen.
05/08/2009 - 18:30
05/08/2009 - 18:44
Doc
05/09/2009 - 17:17
Doc
05/09/2009 - 17:30
JB
05/11/2009 - 01:55
Thank you again, Alex.
05/08/2009 - 18:30
It's great to re-visit the terrific evening!
Looks great indeed, 1 question "Daniel Adams of the Concierge Service"
05/11/2009 - 14:03

seems to look like the director of the hotel in the movie "Pretty woman"?

Text of the Speech?
05/08/2009 - 18:44
Hi Alex!  Would it be possible to post a text of the speech on New Watchmaking?  Was it by Mr. des Pins?
that wasn't a speech but a presentation we did with...
05/08/2009 - 19:06
Christian Selmoni Head of Product Development there is no text as it was more a discussion.
Re: write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
05/08/2009 - 20:42
Thanks again to you Alex and the rest of the Vacheron team for a fabulous evening. My next watch will certainly be a Vacheron and I will make sure to post lots of pictures here once I get it It was also great to meet all of you folks from the VC community and I am looking forward to meeting you again in the future. cheers and all the best Rupert
looking forward to that :-) (nt)
05/09/2009 - 11:11
n
Re: write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
05/09/2009 - 02:18
Hi Alex, it was great to finally meet you in person! For the record, I wanted to sit in the back row on the comfortable couch - but Lorena talked us into sitting up front.  I guess you can tell who were the straight A students and who were the slackers in school! It was a great evening, thank you Alex, VC and all the participants. I'm sure we'll see each other again. Best Regards, Dan
The wife is finally one of us!
05/09/2009 - 05:00
The vintage watch that Alex showed and mentioned in the NY Hour Lounge dinner post belongs to Daisy.  It was waiting for us when we got home 2 weeks ago and Daisy is absolutely thrilled with it.  She has been looking for a quality watch for 2 years now.  She wanted a classic looking, mechanical watch, with no diamonds and if at all possible - a VC .  The kicker that she really loved was the guillochage, classic but not plain! The watch is a ref. 4310 and though it may be a 40s designed watch, VC's Heritage department has dated its year of manufacture as 1953.  The watch is a vintage man's watch but at 32.5mm in diameter, its a reasonable size for today's woman.  There is a cal. 466/3b based movement inside.  The crystal and crown are not original, though I'm bringing the watch into VC's Shanghai Maison next week for a full service and to see if they can get me a more appropriate (if not orignal) crystal and crown. I changed the band to the brown one you see now (the band that came with the watch was black and of low quality). Daisy has been wearing the watch every day for the past week and really loves having her own VC. To Vacheronistas everywhere, have a great weekend! Dan and Daisy
its great to be part of such charming company :-) thanks for the scans
05/09/2009 - 11:12
;
Alex; great pics....................
05/09/2009 - 03:35
and a great time!  Thanks! Tom
Fantastic report Alex!
05/09/2009 - 17:17
I wish I hade been there. Next stop for me will be NY! My wife were there some months ago, so it's not more than right that I'll go next time Than I'll hope for some luck here, I just don't know why my wife took that shot 'Nice , in fact very nice, to se Bill himself in such a stunning shape of course with the 'Arabic Blue' on his wrist! And all the faces to some of the Hour Lounge names I never met, is to me very, very nice Hope meeting all of you someday, somwhere as soon as possible And of course, all the wellknown faces that is always as fun to meet! NY next time for me Thanks again Alex Cheers Doc
Forgot to thank you all for
05/09/2009 - 17:30
the beautiful watches you Loungers showed! This must have been Daisy's as I understand All over wonderful watches Doc
Re: write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
05/09/2009 - 20:49
Alex: Thanks for the including me in the NYC dinner.  It was a great evening.  Since I contacted you at the last minute, I realize there was extra effort required and I appreciate it. I've remained in the background, before, during and after purchasing the SS Overseas Chrono a few months ago. I also appreciate the knowledge that The Hour Lounge participants provided in helping me to make a decision. Hopefully this NYC "get together" will be the first of many to come. Ken  
Great collage of wrist shots!
05/09/2009 - 21:10

Looks like it was a great dinner.  Such nice watches on everyone's wrist.  Aren't we all pretty used to going to dinners where the only interesting watch on a wrist is your own?  Nicholas

Also, great passport story! Welcome to the USA!
05/09/2009 - 21:13
Just make sure they let me in when I try to go to Switzerland.  Nicholas
Re: write up on the HL New York dinner of May 4...which I almost missed
05/09/2009 - 23:50
Dear Alex and Fellow Loungers, Thank for the writeup on the NY dinner - I really enjoy how the Hour Lounge is much much more than just a web-based forum.  The pictures of the watches are lovely. Thanks for sharing! Best regards JAMES
I commiserate because of unkind situation at the airport.
05/10/2009 - 13:34
Besides, fantastic report. Thanks Alex.
A FEW OF MY SHOTS..
05/11/2009 - 01:55
Please excuse the redundancy (ALEX AND I WERE SITTING NEXT TO EACH OTHER...HENCE THE SIMILAR ANGLE OF A FEW PHOTOS) and the poor quality. I just had a little point and shoot camera JB Distiguished guests Hugues des Pins More distiguished guests Fearless (and exhausted) leader, Alex Christian Selmoni
Is it "Hugues des Pins" or "Hugues de Pins" (on the screen) (nt)
05/11/2009 - 14:11
.
Oops!
05/11/2009 - 15:01
Its a TYPO C'est "de Pins", bien sur Desolé, JB
Wow Alex, what an awesome report...........
05/11/2009 - 07:08
Looks like all had a fabulous time. Thanks for sharing the event and great photos. I was happy to see some photos of our Lounger friends and the many watches aboard that night. Lets keep an eye on your passport for the LA trip as they will be even more fussy letting your thru, lol. Thanks again!  Regards, Matt
Matt;did you ever..................
05/11/2009 - 12:57
put that rubber strap on the OS and if so how does it look?  If/When you do let's see some pics! I'm going to be in your neck of the woods this week albeit briefly, I go to Chicago this morning until Wedmnesday and then fly to Irvine for a quick Workshop on Thurday and them home on the red eye.  Keep the weather good! Best regards, Tom
Does Alex dream of electric sheep ??
05/14/2009 - 01:07
You can't have a biometric passport Alex ; you're a replicant ! Thanks for the nice report ; the wristshots are just fantastic !