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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - I just purchased a new Vacheron Constantin Third-Generation Overseas, 4500V, blue dial, less than two weeks ago. I absolutely love the watch so far, especially the quick strap change option which I'm using a lot more than I expected. Yesterday, I unwisely examined the watch extremely up close under very harsh lighting (not with magnification, but very close) and found a slight imperfection on the second hand - not sure if it's a piece of dust or a micro-scratch or what. It's not noticeable under normal use conditions - it's one of those things you have to see under the right angle under the right light, if you're looking for it (though kicking myself for looking in the first place). Wanted to get an opinion on whether to take it to the VC boutique to get it fixed now, or whether to live with it until service. My concern with getting it fixed now is introducing a bigger issue, like dust on the dial, smudge on the crystal, scratches on the case, etc. - or with a brand like VC, would that be less likely to happen? TLDR: Very minor imperfection on second hand not noticeable unless you are looking for it; fix now or wait until service? Thanks!
 

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Wait.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. Yes, I’m obviously not happy about it! But my concern is that in trying to solve for a very small problem, I may get back a bigger issue. I’ve had watches serviced by Richemont (albeit less expensive) come back with dust, scratches etc so trying to balance the cost / benefit of it all now. In an ideal world I wouldn’t have noticed it and/or I’d get it fixed but nervous about the implications of opening up the watch. Anyone have experience with VC service?
 

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Unless it’s an blatant aesthetic issue, or a performance issue,best to let sleeping dogs lie


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I agree with PJ S, you paid a lot for that watch, and with that amount of money I believe you deserve to be treated with a better watch and service. If the watch does come back with more problem, you deserve to to return the watch or know how they can help you with it. You paid a lot, and if service is bad then don't bother with the company.
 

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i'd demand an exchange. there is no excuse for that. not a repair. it should have been flawless.
 

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Its hand made.

But you have all the right if it doesn't meet your expectations from a brand like VC.

I personally wouldn't do anything about it, but you have all the rights to do so specially if you got it directly from VC.
 

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Whilst I wouldn't be too happy, I might tempted to wait the few years until the service comes round. But maybe I'd go back to the AD first and see if they will give me some money back or an additional strap to keep me happy.
 

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I’ll tell you something honestly. There’s practically no watch that’s perfect. These are hand made watches and would have some minor dust, debris etc. Sometimes you can spot them and many times you just never get to find them.

If the dust or spec requires you to use loupe to spot it, then just live with it mate.

I appreciate everyone saying that you’ve spent 20k on a watch and it should be perfect. Truth be said, these are man made watches largely by hand, and as much as close to perfection they are, they arent and will never be 100% perfect.


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^
Watchmakers have a blower, much like what photographers use to remove dust off their lenses, etc.
Grand Seikos are made in a cleanroom facility, and their service centres are required to have such a system in place before they’ll train some of them and allow them to then undertake servicing of GS pieces, although the chronographs still go back to Japan, iirc.
It’s also very naive to confuse hand assembly with hand made – there’s a world of difference – just ask Roger Smith or Philippe DuFour.
That said, all these haute horlogerie brands put a lot of emphasis on their finishing and exacting standards (namely Patek Seal and Geneve Seal), thereby actively encouraging owners to inspect their little bits of wearable art.
On that basis, and as the monetary amount is immaterial (to a degree), then they should be held to account when they’ve not met their own or the owner’s expectations.
Perfection in assembly is easily attainable, especially when it comes to mass production which, for Vacheron, is precisely what 25K pieces annually equates to.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice. This is somewhere in between viewable with the naked eye and having to use a loupe to see it - it's visible under harsh light at certain angles. In any event, I bought this from an out-of-state AD, so I'm not going to bother with trying to get an exchange, but I am going to take it to the boutique and get the watchmaker's thoughts on how this can / would be resolved, and make a determination at that point whether I want it fixed or whether I will wait.

EDIT: For my own edification, how easy / quick (or not) is it to replace a seconds hand?
 

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It’s also very naive to confuse hand assembly with hand made – there’s a world of difference – just ask Roger Smith or Philippe DuFour.
+1. Not sure if numbers are the measure here but the dials on the overseas probably count as mass produced and not hand made. The movements do have hand finishing though.
 

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EDIT: For my own edification, how easy / quick (or not) is it to replace a seconds hand?
Simple. Bracelet off, back off, movement holders/spacer off, crown stem removed, movement out. As the seconds hand is upper most on the crown pinion stack, then it should be possible to remove it alone, and replace with a new one or the original refinished.
Being a friction fit, the hands should be able to be re-used rather than binned and a whole new set fitted, but for expediency or policy reasons, they might just remove all three hands.
 

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To OP: can you post a pic of the issue? I am getting my VC Overseas blue today and will see if I have the some problem.

Ted
 

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Mine seems okay, well by quick glance at least.

91CCCFB8-67FA-472B-B379-B6FD2B0AA260.jpeg
 
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Only you can decide if it bothers you enough. Nothing is perfect no matter how much you pay. But calling that watch hand made is a grossly incorrect label, especially the hands which are probably stamped out of a machine in large numbers. If it were me I'd live with it. Too much chance you'll wait months to get your watch back with a replaced hand and now a scratch on the case
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Ted - congrats on the new purchase!! It looks great. I don't have a photo of the defect in mine - it looked like a nick on the base of the second hand. I took it to the boutique, the watchmaker immediately saw it and said they'd replace the hands. So hopefully I get it back in good condition and without any new problems! My advice to you - don't examine and try to find an issue on yours if you can help it :) Really regret doing so on mine because once I found it I had trouble unseeing it, if I had lived in blissful ignorance I would be wearing it right now! But hopefully this has a happy ending in a week or two :)

Mine seems okay, well by quick glance at least.

View attachment 14590623
 
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