Recession, what recession?
Just two days into the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, (SIHH) and Vacheron Constantin had already taken orders for the entire year’s production. This ties in closely with our prediction that Vacheron Constantin could quietly yet confidently be the star of SIHH 2011.
When CEO Juan-Carlos Torres commented on business done at the 2011 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the superlatives started to fly. “Vacheron Constantin has again reached new heights. It’s almost indecent. Two days into the Show, we’d already sold our entire production for the year. I honestly don’t know what we’re going to do. Reintroduce quotas? The most welcome news is that interest has been from all countries. If we take the US market as an example, with a 35% increase in orders, we’re back to 2008 levels.”
He goes on to give another example: “We had planned to produce 50 of our new Quai de l’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar, yet we already have requests for 300. We have seen a definite tendency for brands to jump on the “classics” bandwagon. What sets Vacheron Constantin apart is that this has always been the heart of what we do.”
This year, Vacheron Constantin presented elegant and technically accomplished timepieces, beginning with the Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time, “a mechanical self-winding movement with the capacity to indicate the 37 time zones, including those offset by a half- or quarter-hour, thanks to the new Calibre 2460 WT which is hallmarked Poinçon de Genève.”
Vacheron Constantin has been at pains to make this an enduring model. And should Venezuela decide to catch up the thirty minutes that separate its time zone from that of its neighbours, Vacheron Constantin will adjust the movement cam and the position of the city names around the dial accordingly.
Vacheron Constantin are not the only Swiss manufacture filling its order books. The 21st SIHH, which ended on January 21st, has confirmed renewed confidence with a marked return of growth as compared to that of 2010. All 19 exhibiting brands emphasise retailers’ renewed interest in the year’s new models.
Demand is coming not just from Asia in general and China in particular, but also from European countries, now in full recovery, Latin-American markets, and the United States, only recently in convalescence. The distributors and retailers who visited this trade-only event came primarily from Europe (60%), ahead of Asia (20%), the Americas (12%) and the Middle East (8%).
Edited and adapted from an article by Christophe Roulet