An Evening in the Hour Lounge

Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Vacheron Constantin recently hosted the first West Coast Hour Lounge collector event at the glamorous and historic penthouse at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, and it was an evening to be remembered. Come along and share the experience as we tell the story with images from the evening.

The penthouse at the Fairmont provided an elegant and enchanting backdrop for this first Hour Lounge event in the City by the Bay. Originally constructed in 1926 and accessible only by a private elevator, the 6,000 square foot palace in the sky includes a two-story circular library complete with a secret passageway, the door to which is concealed behind the bookshelves. Library visitors sit beneath a sapphire-blue rotunda on which a celestial map depicting the signs of the zodiac is rendered in gold leaf. The distinctive billiard room conjurers up images of Humphrey Bogart’s Casablanca, and the terrace offers sweeping city views.

Images may be enlarged with a click.

Reading in the round under the cerulean sky.
Hour Lounge in San Francisco

Hour Lounge in San Francisco

You would not be shocked to find that gambling has been going on here.
Hour Lounge in San Francisco

The view from the top is very good.
Hour Lounge in San Francisco

The penthouse has hosted world leaders and celebrities. Every president since William Howard Taft has spent time here, as have Prince Charles, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Hussein of Jordan, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Marlene Dietrich.

The evening began with cocktails as guests toured the penthouse, took in the view, caught up with old friends, and admired the timepieces on display. Our hosts included Vacheron Constantin North America President Hugues de Pins, Artistic Director Christian Selmoni, Design Director Vincent Kauffmann, North America Marketing Director Ellen Sorensen, Hour Lounge moderator Alex Ghotbi, and West Coast Sales Manager Dorian Reily.

Hour Lounge in San Francisco

Hugues de Pins and Ellen Sorensen
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Guests enjoy cocktails on the terrace.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Vincent Kauffmann (left) and Christian Selmoni (right) with a guest.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Ellen Sorensen and a guest admire one of the timepieces on display.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Alex Ghotbi (right) with guests exploring the library.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

After a warm welcome from Hugues de Pins, Alex opened the floor to questions from guests, and a live discussion of the type often seen on the Hour Lounge forum followed. Topics included watch design, technical developments, and collector preferences. Christian Selmoni and Vincent Kauffmann offered insights into the process of creating new models.

Hugues de Pins addresses guests.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

L to R Christian, Vincent and Alex during the discussion.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Following the give-and-take, it was time for dinner in the splendid dining room, and after the repast, there was time for a game of pool, and of course further timepiece oggling.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Alex (seated on the sofa) joins guests for some serious watch appreciation.
Vacheron Constantin in San Francisco

Thanks to Vacheron Constantin and the entire staff for a delightful and informative evening amid incomparable surroundings. To see another account of the evening replete with wrist shots, be sure to read Alex Ghotbi’s report over at the Hour Lounge.

All photos were taken by Mona T. Brooks

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    About Mike Disher

    My name is Mike Disher and I am WatchTime's technical editor. My interest in watches dates to 1972 and I caught the internet bug in 1997. In 1999 I combined these interests by joining TimeZone.com as its first full-time employee, and later that year I attended my first Basel Fair. I managed TZ from 2000-2007, and in 2008 I joined WatchTime.

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