Meet Max, Customer Service Workshop Manager at Vacheron Constantin
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
At the age of 19 my dream became a reality…
October 2007. The moment my journey with the Group began. I started as a watchmaker at Vacheron Constantin in the entry control department finding solutions for mechanical and quartz movement issues.
My career path has been full of surprises and I have done so many things
During my studies of watchmaking in France I was in a workshop repairing all aspects of the watches as well as many different brands. I was singled out for my customer service skills which is how I got the opportunity to move to a workshop at the age of 20 – whereas most of my colleagues were 30+.
From entry control, I moved onto the vintage customer service department, repairing vintage timepieces.
From Geneva to Hong Kong to Shanghai
My mentors saw that I was mobile and spoke decent English, which made me the perfect candidate to assist watchmakers abroad. In 2011 I went to Hong Kong for five months, to repair watches in the Richemont Customer Service center. What I loved about Hong Kong was being able to work on multiple modern Richemont Maisons watches. Getting to share different ideas and techniques between watchmakers from across the world was very interesting.
From there I did a month-long stint in Moscow followed by another month in Dubai.
This led me to accepting a one-year contract with Richemont in Shanghai, after which I came back to Vacheron Constantin as a coordinator for customer service workshops in Geneva.
In 2017, I was approached by Vacheron Constantin to take on a managerial position, which I agreed to on the condition of still being able to travel abroad for special missions.
Addicted to travel
“I really like to explore different cultures and meet new people – travelling breaks my daily routine.“
Never too old to learn new tricks
People think that the best watchmakers are from Geneva but when you meet watchmakers in foreign countries, far from the Swiss manufacturer, it opens the door to different techniques and ways of working from colleagues at all levels. Something that was always difficult or complicated for me, might become easier through their eyes – I really appreciate that.
Watches = Art
At Vacheron Constantin we are specialized in unique timepieces made on demand. For example, I repaired a tourbillon with enamel dials and this amazed me, because it is not only about watchmaking, but it is a unique piece of art that takes a specialist at least one month to create.
I traveled to the Beijing Capital Museum with Vacheron Constantin for a 60th anniversary exhibition between China and Switzerland. The Geneva at the Heart of Time event held demos where I explained watchmaking to an audience of some 200 people.
When I arrived in the vintage customer service department, I met Serge Glanzman. A then 76-year-old watchmaker who became my mentor. I was beside him, learning every day. He only retired at the age of 80. I’m not sure whether I will work until I am 80 even though I have become quite attached to Vacheron Constantin.
I am quite a small piece of the puzzle
I’ve never thought about how I may have impacted Richemont because it is such a big group. Probably, because I’ve learned so many new skills during my travels, I’ve been able to share them when I give trainings abroad at our many Customer Service Centres.
Who said watchmakers can’t be cool?
It’s quite funny, when we travel to China for exhibitions some people really treat us like celebrities. They give us loads of gifts, take photos and ask us to sign photos and other objects for them.
A really fun moment for me this year was when American watch Influencer Teddy Baldassarre came to the Vacheron Constantin manufacture in Geneva. I was thrilled to be able to give him the full tour, which was filmed and posted on YouTube.
Ready to star in your own story within the Group? careers.richemont.com