In a discussion about quintessential elegant sports watches, one could make the case that the Vacheron Constantin Overseas merits consideration alongside such acknowledged, venerable classics as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. For 2015, the Geneva-based watchmaker has debuted four new limited-edition men’s Overseas pieces.
The model now known as the Overseas dates back to Vacheron’s Reference 222, which was created in 1977 to celebrate the brand’s 222nd anniversary. This watch, which inspired the design of the modern Overseas collection, originates from the same time period as three other famous sports watches — the aforementioned Royal Oak (1972) and Nautilus (1976), as well as the IWC Ingenieur SL (1976) – all of which were designed by Gérald Genta.
The Vacheron Constantin 222 followed these classics in 1977, and while some if its design cues are clearly inspired by those Genta-designed timepieces, it was actually another watch designer, Jorg Hysek rather than Genta, who designed the 222. This tale may be contrary to what you have previously read from other sources, but Vacheron Constantin’s team has confirmed its veracity here, debunking a long-standing watch-industry myth.
Scroll down to see and discover details about the quartet of new Vacheron Constantin Overseas models introduced this year.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Limited Edition in steel, with silver dial and red chronograph hands (Ref. 49150-000A-9017, above), is powered by automatic Caliber 1137, which runs at 3 Hz and has 183 total components (including 37 jewels), and a 40-hour power reserve. The indications include hours, minutes, large date, column-wheel chronograph with 12-hour and 30-minute counters, and small seconds. The case is stainless steel and measures 42 mm by 12.45 mm. This watch is limited to 350 pieces. Another Chronograph Limited Edition in steel, with gray dial and yellow chronograph hands (Ref. 49150/000W-9015, below) is limited to just 340 pieces, contains the same automatic Caliber 1137 and has the same case dimensions and functions.
The new Overseas Collection also features a Dual-Time Limited Edition, in a steel case with blue dial. The watch (Ref. 47450/000A-9039 below), is powered by Vacheron’s automatic Caliber 1222 SC, which runs at 4 Hz, has 34 jewels among its 153 total components, and has a 40-hour power reserve. Indications include hours, minutes, central seconds, power-reserve indication, a second-time-zone display with day/night indicator, and a hand-type date. The case measures 42 mm by 12.45 mm; this one is limited to 300 pieces.
The other new Overseas watch with a blue dial is the Simple Date Limited Edition (Ref. 47040/000A-9008, below). Housed in a stainless steel case measuring 42 mm by 9.7 mm, it is outfitted with the 4-Hz, automatic Caliber 1226 SC, with 36 jewels, 143 total components, and a 40-hour power reserve. The simplest of the quartet, its functions include hours, minutes, central seconds, and date. The watch is limited to 350 pieces.
Thanks to screw-down crowns and pushers and screw-in casebacks, the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas wristwatches are water-resistant to an impressive 150 meters. Furthermore, each piece has an equally impressive 25,000-A/m anti-magnetic rating.
As I stated above, these are elegant sports watches and, appropriately, each of these limited-edition Overseas models includes two straps, one in rubber (for a sporty look) and one in alligator leather strap (for dressier occasions). Below, you’ll find some live photos taken at the launch event for the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas models in New York.