Your 2007 horological tops and flops?

As 2007 (which was definately a rich year in horological terms) draws to an end what were your thumbs up and down?

Up

Your 2007 horological tops and flops? Launch of The Hour Lounge: No brand glorification and no a** licking! The Hour Lounge is VC's official discussion forum, we get exclusivity, information, articles etc... and all with a freedom of tone and speach. Kudos to VC.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?Vacheron Constantin Strikes Back: For many Vacheron Constantin was a bit like sleeping beauty, the 2005 quarter millennium celebrations kissed the brand awake but this year was a true horological firework with the construction of a consitent brand image and products and mostly the launch of jaw dropping watches and the return of audacity.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?The launch of the Masques collection: probably the most exciting watches of the past years.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?The launch of the bespoke watch department, once again a 1st among any high end watch brand, you can now commission VC to make you a one off watch, may it be a totally new revolutionnary piece or simply a new dialed watch: every thing is possible!

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?Kari Voutilainen winning the Geneva watchmaking grand prix: the world seems to (finally) wake to the existance of independent artisans who put their "blood, sweat and tears" in their timepieces.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops? MB&F's Horological Machine n° 2: not only a watch but a true sculpture which happens to give time. Max Busser has totally revolutionised the merger of design and horology.

Down

Your 2007 horological tops and flops? The car, motorcycle, yachting, diving sponsored/related watch overkill. Plain stupid, the worst are the limited editions made in honor of such sponsoring.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops? The use of celebrities (actors, singers, sportsmen) to sell watches, what do brands think? That just because so and so wears a watch (with a million dollar contract) I need to recognise myself in that celebrity and want that watch? Its insulting to my intelligence!

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?PVD, carbon fiber, titanium overkill: just because a watch has a weird design and is black PVD all over doesn't make it contemporary and modern: often it just looks gimmicky.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?The lack of creativity among many brands: we are living an era of intense creativity but many brands just copy the successful designs of others and call it theirs.

Your 2007 horological tops and flops?The "Antiquorum fiasco". Antiquorum with the help of Osvaldo Patrizzi is definately the auction house which made the watch into a collector's item, to an extent where there is no turning back and no matter what was going on internally I don't think that so many announcements and counter announcements can be beneficial.

Good summary Alex
12/27/2007 - 00:04

Up: I think you can also add Urwerk with his famous 201 which started to be introduced beginning of this year on the market.

Flops: there are many others, but it will take too much time to tell them...

Let's stay positive!

My Wishes for 2008
12/27/2007 - 01:04

While a newbie at this site, I do appeciate the obvious affection that Hour Lounge users have for the brand, the site, and each other.  But your comment, Alex, that the forum represents, "no brand glorification and no a**licking", seems unrealized from my brief exposure.

If I want critical reviews and discussions of Vacheron Constantin, I have to visit other sites that have greater depth of technical archives and are more comfortable with challenging dialogue.  I accept that your best intentions were not to create such an atmosphere, for how can demagoguery advance the ownership experience past a mere display of watches as jewelry?

Can we look forward to more technical and aestheic reviews of Vacheron Constantin watches for 2008, beyond the boilerplate press releases?  Can we also hope for more historical details of models and movements, using HL's formal links with VC to build an archival and research database that cannot be found elsewhere?

With a focus on knowledge and free discussion, the Hour Lounge could become THE source for Vacheron cognicenti.  I promise to do my best to stir the creative pot!

Hi Tick-Talk I don't quite agree with you on this. If you look at the
12/27/2007 - 09:23

Recommended Threads section you will find many threads with critical discussions on VC and I have always said what I felt for the brand and never defended them blindly and every one here is free to criticise and share negative experience with VC (which has often been done).

As for articles beyond "boilerplate press releases" I find that rather unfair as my articles take one hell of a long time to do the research and write up and they are definately not based on any press release!! Granted I choose my articles and write on what I like.

I am currently working on a ref page with technical and historical notes and it should be on line soon.

Thanks for your candid comments and hope to have you "stir the creative pot" often here :-)

Re: Hi Tick-Talk I don't quite agree with you on this. If you look at the
12/28/2007 - 04:10

Well Alex I really don't mean to offend...forums do tend to bring out my bluntness perhaps too much.  OTOH, the thread above titled, A Penny For Your Thoughts, is exactly the type of reflective and critical discussion I hope to read (and participate) more in 2008.  Perhaps my wish has already come true?

absolutely no offense :-) (nt)
12/28/2007 - 09:34

.

I think we do have quite a free discussion here.
12/27/2007 - 11:20

To be fair, (1) Vacheron makes a heck of a watch and (2) people frequenting this forum generally have a fairly strong interest in the brand and its products. Accordingly, you should expect the overall tone to be positive. That is reinforced by the exceptionally welcoming and friendly atmosphere created by Alex with the help of the other frequent posters.

In addition, Alex has shown himself to be very judicious in opening threads that help us see unique and positive aspects of Vacheron's work. I have no problem with that; it's his role to do so.

However, when someone has a problem, it seems to me that the person is free to air it. The forum has generally responded constructively, and Alex himself has been very responsive. I assume that our comments are getting back to management, as I suspect that is also part of Alex's role.

As for technical complaints, the last Vacheron I can remember that seemed to have meaningful technical issues was the old-model Overseas (some susceptibility to magnetization and a tendency for the bracelet to get stuck). Those issues were fully aired on other fora, some years before this one was established; it would not be reasonable to expect them to be revived just to populate the archives of this forum. I'm not aware of a technical problem that has arisen since this forum was started, so I don't think we have tested the forum's ability to respond to such an issue.

There have been complaints about speed and cost of service, and I believe Alex has been open to acknowledging those. I personally have used this forum as a platform to discuss the effect of those issues on the likelihood of my buying additional Vacherons and have received nothing but sympathy. Again, I hope and believe that the company is receiving the message.

Alex has also been very open about his admiration for and ownership of certain non-Vacheron watches, which I still can barely believe the company will countenance. I believe he has even indicated that some of Vacheron's products do not make his "favorites" list. He does so in a genteel manner that would not offend even the most besotted owner of one of those non-favorites. He has made that gentility the style of the forum, which I consider a good thing.

Meanwhile, with the possible exception of IWC's proprietary forum, this is the only watch forum on which you can ask an obscure question and get authoritative information specific to your question. As for actual reviews, I think they would carry more weight if they came from forum members, and I'm sure that interested members would be strongly encouraged to make reviews.

Out of curiosity, has there been any comment you have wanted to express that you felt you could not?

I would say that discussion has been pretty open
12/27/2007 - 17:37

I think given the nature of posters here, you are going to have alot of folks who are not going to gripe alot about some of the issues. I was able to air my complaints about service for older watches and parts availability. I've been waiting for the right moment to go on a rant about the design of the Overseas, but I don't think any reasonable statements would be deleted.

Of the three V&C discussion boards the I know of, this one has the most traffic and the most astute collectors.

Totally agree with you Alex! ...
12/27/2007 - 15:40

I would like to add:

UP

Many technicals beauties were released in 2007: FP Journe Centigraphe, JLC Duomètre, Harry Winston Opus 7...

2007 is globally a really nice and positive year for watchmakers (in profits point of view)!

DOWN

Preponderance of new materials (Zenithium, Hublonium, etc), it's an undeniable progress for watches reliability (or just for fashionites), but many brands only base the value of their watches on the material, and not on the watch

Unlimited limited edition (Hublot, Panerai, AP...)

Alex used to tease too much

Right on target with the flops!!!
12/28/2007 - 04:40

I am so sick of all the celebrity promotion editions, for singers, actors, athletes, and anyone one else who happens to breath air.  There are just too many useless celebrity editions...wake up AP it cheapens you!  I mean whats next the limited edition Royal Oak for circus freaks, a Millenary for prison wardens, or perhaps an Offshore Chronograph for people who can eat 40 hot dogs in less than 2 minutes. 

I've yet to see a single watch that was a celebrity promoted limited edition that I felt compelled to buy.  Usually I see these watches and run the other way.

Making limited editions every year.  At a certain point it makes the regular production watches seem more special. 

The whole PVD, Carbon Fiber, and rubber strap/bezel thing.  If I wanted a black plastic looking watch, I could buy a Swatch.  All these high tech mixtures that look like plastic just make my SS watches look luxurious...so maybe I should be thanking companies making black plastic watches.

 The focus on whether a movement is made "in house."  Its a nice feature, but there are so many wonderful watches with great movements that are not "in house."  There are lots of great watches that do not have "in house" movements, its something that neither the industry nor collectors should forget.

Sorry some of you will not agree with me but I just am not a fan of the Masques collection.  I can appreciate the work and art that went into them, but they just do not appeal to me at all.

My hope for 2008, a launch of some great VCs to further develop Les Historiques collection which has dwindled down to just the Toledo.

Best regards,

Dino

ROTFLMAO!! Excellent!! A small correction regarding the Historique
12/28/2007 - 10:33

models, there is not only the Toledo 1952 but also the Chronometre Royal 1907.

Dino, you will be pleased with the 2008 Historique model :-)

hope is in the air... but only 1 model? do loungers have the previlege
12/28/2007 - 13:33

to know a little more, i am on the verge of confirming something big soon(that will keep me from buying anything within 1 year!!!). but really would like to keep my options open. :)

the rule of thumb is one Historique per year. As for a sneak peak
12/28/2007 - 15:37

it is a bit too soon but why not ?

You still have time for this watch as it won't be presented before April 2008 and probably won't be available before Sept 08!

So did you order a Voutilainen?

i have emailed kari and just gotten a reply from him, still...........
12/29/2007 - 04:30

doing research on the reliability of the watch as a daily wearer. i read that the movement is used in oberservatory ompetition,does that mean cosc standard or better?  maybe u can clear my doubts.

It should be quite reliable as a daily wearer as it is a sturdy
12/29/2007 - 10:05

time only movement. The Observatory competitions were the predessesors of the COSC trials. A friend who recently recieved his Kari Observatory told me that the watch was 1 sec fast in a week!!

Re: ROTFLMAO!! Excellent!! A small correction regarding the Historique
12/28/2007 - 15:21

Oops, I forgot about the Chronometer Royal 1907.  Still, I'm looking for a larger selection in the Historique collection. A mere 2-4 watches doesn't give me many options.  I look forward to seeing some new Historique models in '08.

I also hope that whatever they release is not going to be a mere limited edition of 100 watches that will mean maybe only a handful will make it to the US.

Thanks for giving me some hope regarding the '08 collection Alex.

Best regards,

Dino

The Chronometre Royal is not a limited edition, the first 100 will
12/28/2007 - 15:41

have the red 12 and the others a regular black 12. So I guess the 1st hundren are limited but not the others.