The overwhelming benefit of iPads over web sites is the quality of the tablet’s screen in comparison to a standard laptop. The crystal clear presentation is a dream for watch makers, which can draw enthusiasts into inspecting the minute details of their stunningly complex movements.
The more luxurious, creative and technical the watch maker, the greater the advantages that iPad apps deliver, so it is little surprise that legendary horologist Vacheron Constantin has created a tablet gem.
The content, features and functionality of the app are a surefooted mix. The opening screen presents the latest novelties in three lines: Metiers D’Art Les Univers Infinis; Malte 1912-2012; and Patriomony Traditionnelle 14 Day Tourbillon.
A menu bar along the bottom of the screen gives quick links to Collections, Favourites (which are added over time by the user); Movements; Videos; News and Points of Sale.
Many of these menu items interact with each other as you explore the content of the app. For example, when you look into the latest Malte watches, you can look into the collections and videos that promote the 100-year old style. Browsing through the myriad collections, there is usually a Favourite button that grabs the watch of your choice and stores it in
The navigation is slick, with very few instances when you find yourself at a dead end. In general, you are drawn effortlessly along a path where you choose a collection, pick a specific watch within that collection and are then given technical information and a gallery of close-up images that normally includes front, back and side views along with a look at the movement, when appropriate.
One frustration is that there is no guide price on any of the watches that I looked at. While we are aware that prices vary around the world, it ought to be possible to tailor the app to a specific country and at least give a recommended retail price.
One other small niggle is that there are contact details for five authorised UK retailers listed by Vacheron Constantin, but none of them have links to their web sites. I think this is a service users will want, particularly since browsing authorised retailer web site is the only way to get information on prices.
Vacheron Constantin is promising a constantly improving app that will always carry fresh information, and we look forward to the content and functionality evolving over the coming months. The quality at launch promises that, as the watch maker masters the iPad environment, its app could become as sought after as its timepieces.