The Vend˘me Swatches

On 29-JUN, swatch has opened a very special swatch store at 16, place Vend˘me, in Paris, France.  At place Vend˘me, only very expensive jewelry and watches such as Rolex, Patek Philippe etc. can be bought.  So a swatch store in this location is very challenging.  Swatch has come up with a very interesting idea to face that challenge:  They are selling a new product line, the Vend˘me swatches at the Vend˘me swatch store.  These watches can not be ordered via mail order from the store but they have to be bought in person at the store (so you better start looking for friends in Paris :-)  About 20 to 30 watches have been launched in the beginning.  Each watch is made in a very limited edition of 500 to 5000 pieces each (not numbered).  When a watch is sold out, it will be replaced by a new, different model.  So, there are no "fall/winter" or "spring/summer" Vend˘me collections but a constant change of models.  Also, there will be no real catalogue for the Vend˘me swatches, so it will not be easy to find out which models exist.

Update:  You can see the complete Vend˘me collection at the new Swatch-Clopedia website.
Jacky also has a nice page about the Vend˘me swatches.  Alby also has a great page.

 The theme of the opening of the store is a word by Napoleon: "Mon empire pour une Úchelle."  ("My Empire for a ladder").

A special packaging of the Napoleon swatch Aiglon (GB 158) was distributed to VIPs and press:

Click on the pictures to enlarge.


Opened Box

So, what are the Vend˘me swatches?  Essentially, variations of existing models.  Sometimes, the variations are not so big.  For example, you can buy a Happy Joe Black Irony or a Body & Soul Irony Automatic with golden (eg. the crown) and silver parts.  Also, there are seven different Secret Agent Irony chronos with colored dials (yellow, green, red, etc.) and colored (real!) crocodile leather straps.  Highlight of the Vend˘me swatches is a crocodile leather case with all seven Irony chronos in a limited and numbered edition of 52 pcs, selling price is 7000 French Francs (about $1020 US).  This case looks very nice, almost as good as the Olympic Victory Irony watches.  But the Irony chronos are also available separately.

The closed crocodile leather case

The number on the lower right corner

The seven different irony chronos

We were allowed to see the Vend˘me swatches in a preview during the Paris club event in late June.  All collectors said that the best swatches among the Vend˘me swatches were three different colored (also the strap) transparent jelly gents:  blue, violet, green; 2000 pcs each.

La Banane Bleue (GN192P)
La Pistache (GG192P)
La Mangue (GV111P)
Pictures of the three Jelly's by Torsten Rube.

All three jelly's have different hands.  Excellent design, happy hunting.

By the way, there is a mini catalogue from the store but it contains only very few blurry and unclear pictures and no names.  So how did I find the names of the three jellys?  Click here :-)

Sometimes, the variations to existing swatches are bigger:  A very nice ladies flex called Chaine de Mirroir (LN132P) with a unique strap (dial amd strap are "mirrors"):

A Pop with a clear plastic bracelet and feathers.  Pop swatches where you purchase decorations for the bands.  A skin swatch that can be worn like a tie.  And much much more:


Irony Tour Eiffel YSG109P

LK186:  For this watch, you decide about the length of the strap :-)

If you want to see more pictures of Vend˘me swatches, please click here.

If you go shopping to a special place such as Place Vend˘me, you also need shopping bags to show your new aquisitions.  Otherwise, it would be only 50% fun.  So swatch has come up with a very nice semi-transparent hard plastic shopping bag:

And in many cases, you want to give away a Vend˘me swatch as a gift, so you also get a nice presentation box:

The guarantee slip is embossed with the stamp from the store!

I have been told that the first run of Vend˘me swatches sold very quickly at the new store.  I am not sure if they are sold out by now.

The idea of Vend˘me swatches is not bad, in fact, I like it.  They will sell at about the same price as normal swatches.  But you will not be able to collect them all, simply too many, and the change will be too fast because of the low production number.

Thanks to Lionel Vasselle for the pictures!

Andreas Wiethoff