Speaking with CEO of Vacheron Constantin Juan Carlos Torres at the Vacheron Dubai store, their “Embassy” as he puts it, Mr. Torres tells us about his beliefs and goals for the brand, recent novelties and upcoming developments. The recently launched boutique in Beirut was the first Vacheron boutique in the Mediterranean. Why in Beirut? Because “this part of the region starts in Beirut; the first watch was sold there. Along with Cairo, it is a hub of the Middle East.” The boutique was finalized and launched in less than a year, which the brand is quite proud of. With that achievement undertaken, the CEO can look forward to focusing even more on reinforcing Vacheron’s market share in the region.
Creating the world’s best watches.
“At Vacheron, we take care of the quality and the product, and the customer takes care of the communication. We need friendship with clients, as they are our best ambassadors are our clients.” Vacheron is a 261 year old brand, and Torres has been with the brand for 35 years with 12 years as CEO, figures that speak for themselves. “I speak about life of the brand, history and product. A brand has DNA and values, ones that should be kept and respected. That’s my day to day goal. To be the leader of high watch-making, that’s been our strategy for 261 years. I speak about creating the best watches in the world, not manufacturing watches,” he says, explaining that, for him, creation is synonymous with always being in advance, a bit ahead of others. While very few imagine the brand as a trendsetter, we’re reminded that it was indeed, with its 40mm Patrimony launched in 2004, which most brands started copying. Torres shared more examples of the brand’s pioneering spirit: “We launched Métiers d’Art and established it as a real collection. Then we relaunched the Atelier Cabinotiers; those were big for us.” Atelier Cabinotiers.
In fact, we discovered the Métiers d’Art and Atelier Cabinotiers departments in depth during a visit of the Vacheron Manufacture, and were indeed quite impressed! That made us curious about the Atelier Cabinotiers department. What do its special watches mean for the brand? Torres clarifies that it’s all about the uniqueness of each piece. It is all about customization, special requests from customers. “We want to promote it in the region. People here know a lot about watches. With this department, we offer them the ability and expertise to ask for these watches on demand.”
Another department we were impressed with is the Restoration “We are mastering the craft, the metier, the technique. In 2005, we launched the most complicated wristwatch: Tour De L’Ile. In 2015, the most complicated pocket watch: the 57260. Those are big milestones. I am proud of that. We’ve always had the Restoration department; at the beginning, t was called after sales service and had 2 people there only! It’s one of our most important assets as we’re able to repair all the watches we’ve had since 1775 and we commit to repairing any watch in the future.” We felt a special energy in that department, the spirit, the people… Torres shares that this vibe came organically.
When asked if he sees the industry heading towards a crisis, like the one faced by the Swiss watch industry in the 80s, Torres shared just enough: “The watch industry is not agile. Some mistakes from the past have been repeated. One has to be careful. The customer will ultimately decide of the fate of the industry.” That gave us hope; if brands learn from the past, the status of the industry will improve, and we always look for that. His advice? Buy a long-term investment: a Vacheron, a Ferrari…
Vacheron recently launched amazing feats of time: the Malte Moon Phase and Power Reserve and the Malte Tourbillon Openworked, two new pink gold creations are joining the Malte collection. With its emblematic barrel shape, Malte expresses the inimitable inventiveness and elegance of the brand.
The Malte Moon Phase and Power Reserve, with its assertive personality and elegant style, is a refined complication model displaying a classic style tinged with modernity, while a fresh interpretation of the fascinating Malte Tourbillon Openworked reveals its airy geometry playing with light and shade. It is a rare occurrence in the world of Fine Watchmaking: its curved 38 x 48.24mm pink gold case frames the riveting, entirely openworked and hand-engraved barrel-shaped tourbillon movements.
The curved shape and the inherent style of these two watches are admirably complemented by an elegant alligator leather brown strap secured by a half Maltese cross-shaped folding clasp. These creations bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva assert their aesthetic signature in a nobly distinguished style.