Vacheron Constantin Overseas Watches
Effortlessly conveying the spirit of adventure, Vacheron Constantin Overseas watches are designed in the spirit of casual elegance and practicality. Boasting precision engineering of the highest quality and truly elegant designs, this exquisite collection has been crafted to match rigorous specifications. An investment piece that should be in the collection of every discerning watch enthusiast, these timepieces make excellent travelling companions and have become one of the manufacturer’s most beloved collections.
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The History of Vacheron Constantin Overseas Watches
Before we explore the origin of Vacheron Constantin Overseas watches, we will first look at the vintage timepiece that precedes it all — the Vacheron Constantin 222. In the 1970s, the Swiss watch industry was plunged into a deep crisis. Inexpensive electronic watches were starting to flood the market, meaning Swiss brands would need to reinvent themselves if they were to survive.
It was during this time that Audemars Piguet launched the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe brought out the Nautilus, and IWC released the Ingenieur. Not to be outdone, Vacheron Constantin introduced its first sports watch to celebrate its 222nd anniversary. This represented a radical breakaway from their traditional dress watches. Although it was not designed by Gerald Genta, the Vacheron Constantin 222 shared certain hallmarks of his famous creations. It did, however, contain distinctive features, such as a barrel shaped case and a tiny Maltese Cross inlaid at 5 o’clock.
Fast forward to 1996 and Vacheron Constantin launched a direct descendant of the 222, the Overseas. Like its predecessor, the Overseas was built around a tonneau-shaped case, was water resistant up to 150mm, and powered by the VC1310. The first iteration of the Overseas was 37mm in diameter, while smaller versions at 35mm and 24mm were later added to the collection. The year 1999 also saw the release of a chronograph with a large date mechanism.
By 2004, a more modern version of the Overseas was needed, the Phase 2. Its integration into the case was reworked and its centre link was extended up the bezel. In addition, the original crown guard disappeared and patterned dials gave it a more sportier feel. A more muscular 42mm casing and soft antimagnetic screen bulked up the timepiece, making it ideal for everyday use. Two years later, a dual time version was added to the collection. Featuring a second time zone, power reserve, and day and night indicators, this new model was an instant hit with travellers. Another noteworthy event took place in 2007, which was the first time the Overseas was offered with a rubber or alligator leather strap.
Phase 3 for the Vacheron Constantin Overseas came in 2016, with the introduction of a more refined and elegant style. The Maltese Cross bezel now had six notches instead of eight, a sapphire crystal case back and new complications. The third generation consists of several models, including the Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar, Chronograph, WorldTime, Ultra-Thin, and Time-and-Date.
Embracing a Thirst for Adventure
The 1990s was all about discovering new things and pushing yourself to new limits. This thirst of adventure was embodied by Vacheron Constantin, who decided to develop a wristwatch that acted as a reliable companion for athletes and travellers alike. For all the prestige the Genevan manufacturer had achieved throughout its illustrious history, the field of sports watches had up until this point remained unchartered territory.
Right from the very beginning, the manufacturer wanted to create something that defied expectations and exceeded conventional watches in terms of its value and robustness. To achieve this, the timepiece would have to demonstrate reliability and never let the wearer down — no matter how tough the conditions may be. It is for this reason that only the most durable of materials were chosen, such as rose-gold, stainless steel, and Fincoll. The watch glass was also designed to be scratch and shock-resistant. Furthermore, the Overseas has anti-magnetisation protection up to 25,000 A/m and water resistance up to 15 bar.
A Truly Versatile Collection
Every watch enthusiast and collector is aware of the Overseas collection from Vacheron Constantin. Indeed, these luxury sports timepieces are one of the Genevan watchmaker’s most famous and coveted families. Perhaps its most distinctive feature is its toothed bezel, designed to resemble the brand’s logo — the Maltese Cross. The timepiece also features a porthole design, putting it in direct competition with Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus in terms of design.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas range includes numerous models that range from simple automatic wristwatches to timepieces with ultra-flat casings and perpetual calendars. Other striking examples include the Overseas World Time with 37 different time zones and the Overseas Chronograph that has a 52-hour power reserve and in-house calibre. If you are a sports watch fanatic, this fantastic range of timepieces is definitely worth a look.