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Request[AMA Request] People who had childhood friends that later became celebrities

Mar 29th 2018 by ilikeoldgaming • 16 Questions • 65 Points

My short bio: Hello Reddit! My name is Christian Selmoni, Style and Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin.

I know that the r/Watches subreddit is pretty active, so feel free to ask me anything!

My proof: https://imgur.com/arG4vTz

UPDATE : This session is now coming to an end, I had a lot of fun answering your questions. I will comeback next week and answer any questions I might have missed, thanks again for your enthusiasm! Christian

Q:

What would you say to naysayers like myself who worry the Fiftysix line endangers the luxury status of such a storied heritage brand? Thank you for reaching out.

A:

Good question as well. The design of the Fiftysix collection is directly inherited from our Heritage (ref 6073) and the level of care that has been put into the development of this line has been the same as in any of our products. Just take a look at the finishing of the product to have an idea!


Q:

Really? Can I meet you if I come in Geneva... I am planning a trip to Geneva :)

A:

Sure! You can send me a DM on Instagram!


Q:

How many watches does Vacheron Constantin produce each year?

A:

A little bit more than 20 000 watches, mostly masculine watches and assembled here in Geneva!


Q:

In your opinion, what are the main challenges for Vacheron Constantin today ?

A:

In my opinion, it would be maintaining a coherent stylistic signature across all of our collections while still keeping a very high level of execution in craftsmanship. Another important challenge is to maintain and transmit our know-how inherited from 263 years of non stop history!


Q:

I am an American with a passion for horology, and I have very little insight to the pathways of turning my passion into a career. I went to school for hospitality/event management, and I somehow want to inject those skills into a career within the watch industry. Any guidance/advice? Many thanks.

A:

In Switzerland, one of the most know reference would be the EHL (Ecole Hotêlière de Lausanne) : www.ehl.edu

There are a lot of people active in hospitality in the watchmaking business that are coming from that school, maybe you could have a look!

And by the way, Lausanne is quite a nice city!


Q:

what was your first 'real' watch? when did you get it?

A:

My first real watch was from "Record watch company", it was a gift from my godfather when I was twelve of thirteen years old. It was a sporty watch with luminous hours indexes, I remember spending a lot of time looking at it in the dark the first night I got it!


Q:

Can we expect to see simpler versions of 5000T/000P-B048 in the future? For example just chronograph and moonphase.

A:

For us, the combination of a perpetual calendar and a chronograph is very important in our Maison's DNA and for this reason, we wouldn't consider "simplifying" it. It would rather see other combination of complications like a chronograph and a retrograde display since retrograde displays are a technical signature of Vacheron Constantin


Q:

What watches are you currently wearing?

A:

I was wearing my Overseas World Time when I started this session, but someone made me think about the Historiques Chronograph Cornes de Vache so I needed to strap it on my wrist!

https://imgur.com/a/3j2KU


Q:

First off, thank you for doing this Christian! This forward thinking approach to reach out to end customers is much appreciated.

As an Overseas owner and life long fan, how can I get my hands on that beautiful Montblanc Vacheron Constantin backpack??? 😇🙏

A:

This backpack was created in 2016 when we did the relaunch of Overseas during SIHH, my advice would be to look on eBay but good luck with that!


Q:

Hi Christian,

Awesome that you're taking the time to do this, and thank you for doing so!

I wanted to get your thoughts around VC's marketing efforts. For the launch of the FiftySix collection, the brand received some mixed reviews around the High Watchmaking Gentlemen's Club. My personal opinion isn't fully formed but I can see both sides. Influencers in today's world greatly enhance the reach of a brand and I understand the thinking behind VC wanting to implement that in the communication strategy. However, the delivery or perhaps the individuals chosen created some heated debate (never a bad thing though). This side I can see as well because historically, advertising in the watch industry was focused on themes such as "aspiration", "the family heirloom", and the sheer timelessness of a fine watch. The desire to own a fine timepiece is for a lot of people a once in a lifetime experience, and that seems to be missing from today's messaging in the watch industry.

Would love to get your thoughts on VC's marketing efforts and the consumer feedback, your overall take on watch/luxury marketing, and how your approach mind change in the future.

Additionally, I live in Toronto and the new boutique in Yorkdale is a work of art and the people there are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Lastly, as a passionate marketer and fan of fine watches and watchmaking, would it be possible to reach out to you regarding a career in the field? Please let me know :)

Looking forward to your response!

Khurram

A:

Hi Khurram and thanks for that question!

I totally understand the reasoning behind the question, my feeling is that as a three century old company, you cannot evolve in the way you are communicating without creating mixed feelings or opinions. As for the influencers that were involved in this small video, as surprising as some might think, they are actually collectors and true passionate about fine watchmaking, it was really fun collaborating with them.

Now this is probably less than 1% of the marketing activities we have and we're always looking to engage with a new audience.

As for you making a career in the watchmaking industry, I've already answered this question below, it depends above all on the field you are interested in.

Thanks a lot for the kind comments on the Yorkdale boutique staff, I will make sure to let them know!


Q:

Hi Christian,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!

Totally understand that it's a small chunk of your marketing efforts, and it's clear that VC is always trying to innovate on products and beyond.

I will certainly keep an eye out for open postings. Would it be alright to send you a DM on Instagram/connect on LinkedIn with you?

Cheers,

Khurram

A:

Sure!


Q:

What is your favorite watch in your personal collection?

What is your favorite non VC watch on the market right now?

A:

I have a strong appreciation for some Breguet watches and I'm a happy owner of Breguet La Tradition from 2005.

As for a non Vacheron Constantin watch on the market right now, I'm really interest by independent watchmakers and a big supporter of MB&F 's creations.


Q:

Breguet La Tradition

Honestly the most classy of any "skeleton" watches. It has so much restraint compared to what other people like Zenith do.

MB&F

The Aquapod is really something else. Awesome to see what watches could be without any preconceived notions of what they are.

A:

I see that we share similar tastes :)


Q:

What advice would you give to someone who wants to create their watch brand?

A:

The product (and its design) is maybe the most important aspect in my opinion. I would also consider exploring the new distribution channels such as ecommerce and above all a lot of passion and perseverance. Good luck and show us what you come up with!


Q:

Why are Live Chats with consumers important to Vacheron Constantin? What are the benefits in forming one-on-one online conversations with consumers?

A:

We are a brand for connoisseurs and have always tried to remain close to our customers and fans. A few months ago, we did an Instagram Live Q&A which was a lot of fun and luckily for us, technology allows such things so we are always happy to engage on Live Chats!


Q:

who are some of the most interesting historical figures who used to have VC timepieces?

A:

I would name kings Fouad and Farouk from Egypt, famous watch collectors such as James Packard but we tend to remain discrete on the identity of our customers.

... by the way I do own one myself! :) :)