Cut For Time: Vacheron Constantin’s Christian Selmoni Takes Questions From Watchonista’s Readers
Our readers ask Christian Selmoni a range of questions – from his favorite segmenting design to future iterations of the Overseas, and the future of the brand.
During Watchonista’s Instagram Live session with Vacheron Constantin’s Director for Style and Heritage Christian Selmoni, there was so much to talk about that Watchonista’s host, Sophie Furley, completely ran out of time to pose the viewer’s questions. Like the true gentleman he is, Selmoni kindly answered them anyway, so as not to disappoint the fans of the brand.
When are you going to make a rose gold Overseas with a burgundy dial?
That’s a very good question! On one side, we can develop and then offer lots of new and interesting colors in our dials. However, for us, the main concern is developing our lines in a thoughtful way, and the Overseas is no exception.
In the last two years, we have presented a good number of new models in the Overseas collection. Not to mention the unique prototype we made for Cory Richards, which is another expression of the Overseas. So, we want to maintain the line-up in a compact and consistent way. That's why we don't plan to expand the palette of dial colors much more.
You can learn more about Cory Richard’s amazing story and his Overseas Dual Time prototype HERE.
What about an ultra-thin Overseas in steel?
This one would absolutely be a hot addition to the line! We made it in white gold as a limited production model in 2016 to celebrate the launch of the current Overseas generation - we thought that this timepiece would mostly interest hard-core collectors, and the demand was incredibly high! Today, we are very successful with all models of the Overseas collection, and we want to consolidate the collection in a thoughtful way. This is why we didn't launch it in steel. But we are keeping this option very much in our minds. Time will tell!
Is Vacheron considering producing the Overseas Perpetual in steel, so that more people will be able to buy it?
Let's consider the answer from the watchmaking and production side: in the Overseas Perpetual Calendar, we have incorporated our caliber 1120QP, which is ultra-thin with 276 components. It is a sophisticated movement. The finishings are also hand-applied. So, there is a kind of natural limitation for this movement, and also for the development of other metals for this model.
You can read more about Vacheron Constantin’s long and celebrated history of perpetual calendars HERE.
Of all “segmenting designs” which one is your favorite?
I am so happy to get this question! I recently had the immense pleasure of talking about "segmenting designs" with the one and only Nick Foulkes.
My favorite is definitely the 1976 twin-movement asymmetrical model "Prestige de la France," also named "1972." You have to imagine a timepiece with two small manual-winding movements in the case, an early dual time then, and two crowns. So, quite unusual. But the designers had this mad idea to encapsulate the movements in a long, very curved case that was diamond-shaped.
I am desperately in love with this watch. I have even had the chance to wear it on a few occasions. I posted this watch on my IG account @selmoni.christian.
How important is it for Vacheron to be considered part of the holy trinity of brands?
Let's say that it reflects a historical view of fine watchmaking, which is very well accepted by us! I think that, above this trinity, what is important is to be able to continue to create contemporary watches with a classic design, rooted in more than 250 years of tradition and expertise. This is what drives our passion for watchmaking.
What’s your favorite material and color?
Good question, indeed! Generally speaking, my favorite color is definitely blue. When it's about watches, my taste is rather different, in the sense that I love "stealthy elegance," such as two-tone dials (no matter their color!) or monochrome watches (but not black watches!). My favorite Vacheron Constantin, in this context, is the Patrimony 40mm, manual-winding, platinum case, and platinum dial. For me, this is a dream of elegance and sophistication - in its pure style and simplicity.
Which one do you prefer the Quai de l'Ile or the Fiftysix Day-Date?
I sincerely love the Quai de l'Ile. It is a modern expression of Vacheron Constantin, especially the semi-transparent dials. But I would go for the Fiftysix Day-Date, as I love the retro-contemporary aesthetics as well as the superb automatic, complicated movement. I particularly appreciate this year’s sepia-brown dial on rose gold, but the steel model with petroleum blue dial is great too.
You can read more about the Fiftysix Complete Calendar with sepia-brown dial and rose gold case, along with the rundown of Vacheron Constantin’s Watches & Wonders 2020 releases, HERE.
Where do you see Vacheron Constantin five years from now?
We are making our best effort to offer haute horlogerie watches with fine design, a great amount of craftsmanship, and technicality. I think that it is extremely important to be consistent in the work you do. So, five years from now, we will have added technical innovations and consolidated our pillar lines with timepieces that meet our clients’ expectations. On top of that, we will remain faithful to our roots and our authentic watchmaking tradition.
(Photography by Watchonista & Vacheron Constantin)