Vacheron Constantin & Tasveer Promote Photography
Andreas Volwahsen - Gulbarga, View Over The Roof Of Gulbarga Mosque
Why did Vacheron Constantin choose to partner with Tasveer, which is in its eighth edition this year? What is the synergy between a watch brand and a photography exhibition?
This is the first year where we've sponsored the full season. We have sponsored two shows in the past, one linked to the maharajas and the other show, Divine Moments, was with Raghu Rai last year. Now, we're really happy to continue that through a sponsorship of the whole season. Why photography? Photography is a form of art and we really feel that Vacheron Constantin watches are works of art-owing to the craftsmanship, time, training and know-how put into the finishing of our movements. And this heritage and know-how is passed on from generation to generation. So, we feel there is an affinity between the values of Vacheron Constantin and the values that you can find in art-culture, heritage and craftsmanship. And Vacheron Constantin is linked worldwide with many important organisations such as Opéra National de Paris. We wanted to find a reputed and respectable foundation in India, to be able to link the brand with.
We thought about photography, because photography and watchmaking share a link, which is time. Photography captures a moment in time and of course, watchmaking shows the time. So that link, we thought, was really nice to explore. The second aspect refers to the human ingenuity involved in making a camera, inventions and know-how that are passed on; we found a lot of similarities to watchmaking. If you dismantle a movement, there are more than 300 parts and components and when you put them together, it gives you an exact time or date. It's also a tribute to human advanced technical precision in both, a camera and a watch are the result of techniques and procedures that have been passed down from generations and honed and adapted along the way. I think these achievements push the boundaries of creativity. Of course, a camera is just the first step; there is a skill and talent required in taking photographs. So, the art comes to life in the hands of a human being. And in watches, the finishing of a movement depends on the skills of the craftsman who works on it. Also, a lot of people are interested in photography, but not many understand it and it's still a form of art that is underdeveloped as an art. Why Tasveer? We think Tasveer is the best advocate of photography in India. It's created by passionate people; our friend Abhishek Poddar, is very passionate about photography and they have very refined tastes when it comes to choosing the artists, photographers, locations and exhibitions. Also, they have a long-term vision like us, so we found a synergy between the two.
The brand's association with India can be traced back to 1849 and currently, you have two boutiques in Delhi and Mumbai. What are your plans for other cities?
We think that for now the two places where we might find good retail opportunities are Delhi and Mumbai. In terms of distribution, it's different; we think that a lot of people outside Delhi and Mumbai are interested in Vacheron Constantin and they travel to the metros for it. For example, this year with Tasveer, we're doing an event in Mumbai and we're hosting the second event in Kolkata, because we started in Kolkata. So we're very keen on going back there. A lot of people in Kolkata know about Vacheron Constantin and we are very excited about doing an event outside Mumbai and Delhi because you get to meet new people and brand enthusiasts. And in the years to come, we will also explore other cities.
Karen Knorr - Palaiyakkaras, Hazararama Temple, Hampi
Given the range of watches, how would you describe the Vacheron Constantin customer?
It would be anybody, but the common denominator of the Vacheron Constantin clients are people who are refined, looking for quality, long-term [acquisition] and interested in craftsmanship and aesthetics, fully aware that we have taken care of the watch from the inside as well as the outside. They are people who like to travel and appreciate the finer things in life. When you wear a Vacheron Constantin watch, you wear it for yourself. You don't wear it to show people, because it's understated, yet holds 250 years of history-that's an important fact as well.
Are there any specific trends that stand out this year?
Rose gold watches have been there for a few years now. Following the economic difficulties that the world faced in 2008-09, people are going back to strong values, classic, less flashy and smaller watches, which is great for us because we've always been very classical in design. Even when we do a sporty watch, we keep it as refined as possible.
What would you advise a first time buyer of a luxury watch?
It is very important for them to read and educate themselves about watches before they make the jump. Always do some research online, read the forums, ask questions and visit authorised retailers because this is your only guarantee to have access to genuine watches and after-sales services. If anything happens to your watch, you can always go back to the retailer. And yes, above all, try to compare and educate yourself. I always tell first-time buyers to try the watches on their wrist to experience the feel.
Other than 250 years of history, what makes Vacheron Constantin such an iconic brand?
I cannot overlook that fact, I have to come back to it because this is really the one thing that is particular about Vacheron Constantin-the heritage and history. The chain of know-how was never broken; we're the only brand in the world that never stopped producing watches for the last almost-260 years. So, the chain of know-how remained strong and was passed on from generation to generation. And when you buy a Vacheron Constantin watch, you literally have a piece of this history on your wrist. That's the first thing; the second thing is that Vacheron Constantin is a brand that is here to stay. If you invest in a Vacheron Constantin, you can be sure that, years later, if you go back, we will always be able to repair your watch and service it. The third thing is that Vacheron Constantin can please every taste. Whether you are into sporty watches, classic watches, or ladies' watches; you buy a Vacheron Constantin [watch] today, you can wear it in
15-20 years and it will always remain a timeless piece.
(Yassin Tag is Brand Manager, Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent at Vacheron Constantin)
Photos Courtesy: Tasveer
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