In this day and age, one would be hard pressed to find a luxury watch brand that isn’t actively leveraging digital platforms to better reach the today’s generation of tech-savvy consumers. And the industry’s oldest watch manufacture, Vacheron Constantin, is no exception.
Unlike many of its peers, however, the Swiss watchmaker has been making interesting inroads on the social media front. Last month, it took part in a live chat session on social platform Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) channel. Vacheron Constantin’s Style and Heritage Director, Christian Selmoni spent an hour entertaining questions from luxury watch enthusiasts and members of the media alike.
The Reddit Ask Me Anything channel currently has over 17.8 million subscribers. When this particular chat took place, over 10,000 users were online – indicating the volume of exposure luxury brands can potentially obtain on this channel. Besides the reach that Reddit can provide for brands, this initiative also presented watch fans with the opportunity to gain an insider’s perspective into the inner workings of Vacheron Constantin.
One-on-one with Selmoni
Image credit: Vacheron Constantin. Image: Christian Selmoni.
Selmoni touched on topics ranging from Vacheron Constantin’s history, values and new collections to sharing more personal opinions about the industry. But with Reddit being a channel that attracts younger, digitally savvy users, questions about social media’s role in the brand, millennials and live chats started pouring in.
Selmoni addressed users’ questions about the type of role that social media plays in Vacheron Constantin’s decision-making. “I don’t feel that social media would impact our decisions, we see it as an additional way of communicating and engaging with our customers and fans,” said Selmoni. He explained that other factors such as the brand’s history as a source of inspiration and maintaining a coherent style across all collections are decisions that are just as important for the brand to stay at the top of its game.
“We are a Maison for connoisseurs and have always remained close to our customers and fans. A few months ago, we did an Instagram Live Q&A which was a lot of fun and allowed us to share with them in a friendly way!” he added.
As for the future of watch fairs, Selmoni opined that Baselworld and SIHH would not go extinct due to luxury watch brands increasingly embracing digital. “I would see it the other way around, with digital increasingly developing into events such as SIHH and Baselworld,” he said.
This is essentially what a platform such as Reddit provides: Access to interesting information and anecdotes that fans would not usually find in published press interviews. While the integrity of information provided on such platforms might not necessarily be guaranteed, they do serve as interesting resources for casual readers.
Leveraging Interactive Online Channels
Image credit: Vacheron Constantin. Image: FiftySix Collection.
The Reddit live chat is not the only digital endeavour that Vacheron Constantin has embarked upon in the recent months. Last September, the brand introduced @thehourlounge, an Instagram account dedicated to vintage watchmaking. The account currently has over 7,000 followers.
Not long after this, the brand announced the launch of its own Chatbot on Facebook Messenger at this year’s SIHH. Through this channel, users are able to explore the brand’s latest FiftySix collection, reserve a watch, contact the brand’s concierge service and request a boutique visit.
Vacheron Constantin’s Chief Marketing Officer, Laurent Perves, weighs in on the impact of using channels such as Reddit, as well as the brand’s initiatives to reinforce their presence on other interactive online platforms: “Reddit is a global platform where watch amateurs regroup to discover and learn more about their favourite Maisons and timepieces. Enabling live conversations with these connoisseurs and fans is a fantastic way to strengthen our bounds but also to share vision and ideas with our most important influencers and stakeholders.”
Perves also believes that such channels are extremely relevant to the modern communities of watch fans. “It is only natural that, as a Maison placing its clients and fans at the centre of our strategy, we do leverage these channels”.
Cover image credit: Vacheron Constantin. Image: Christian Selmoni.