In a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya , CEO of Vacheron Constantin, Juan-Carlos Torres, explains why the brand is associated with quality
Not just India but the world at large considers Vacheron Constantin as makers of quality watches.
Thank you. We’re a global brand in a global market. We have the same strategy for different markets, be it India, China, America or Europe. We will enter India with the best products, unlike other brands, which have different products for different markets. We believe that the customer appreciates transparency and sincerity. Secondly, it is important to find watches at appropriate locations. That’s why we have a boutique in Delhi. Not only that, we have one point of after-sales service too. We believe that it’s of utmost importance to first secure the after-sales service. We have our own aftersales service in Mumbai and next year we will open a point of service in Delhi. The strategy is to focus on our existing customers before we serve our future customers.
How do you address the issue of having a wide range of products?
Last year, it was the year of Quai de l’ile and extremely high jewellery pieces like Lady Kalla. This year the story has been in three lines, Métiers d’Art, the extraflat, and two very nice calibres in high complications. The Métiers d’Art Collection this year uses Japanese lacquer technique, known as maki-e. The La Symbolique des Laques theme will change over a period of three years, with each year bringing a new set of three watches in a limited series of twenty. Our job is to offer connoisseurs our huge range of products. We’re more than 250 years old and are obliged to offer whatever the customer wants! We are in the process of building up a bigger product range.
Extra-flat has always been an intrinsic part of Vacheron Constantin’s DNA…
Yes, it’s very natural. And to maintain the same level of service and quality, you just can’t afford to have fantastic quality on high complications alone. You also need quality on the automatic and manual ones. We’ve built the Historique Ultra-fine 1955 movement in gold now and hence gained some millimetres. The former one was 4.3 mm, now it is 4.1 mm! It is equipped with the 1.64 mm thick mechanical hand-wound 1003 movement, rebuilt this year on its 55th anniversary.
And what about the high-complications this year?
Yes, we have two new calibres – 2755 and 2253. Calibre 2253 gives you the sunrise/sunset details. We all know that we can adjust the components according to where we live. But now, it’s not just the city, we can adjust it to the precise location. It’ll give exact information for sunrise /sunset. And that’s incredible, as the movement has two weeks of power reserve! That sets it aside as one of the key launches in this year’s fair.
How do you see this year shaping up?
I think that this year would be tough for the suppliers. And some brands will have problems, as their suppliers are affected.