SIHH 2016: OVERSEAS, a unique perspective on the world

SIHH 2016: OVERSEAS, a unique perspective on the world

Vacheron Constantin is reinventing one of its iconic collections, Overseas. Created in a spirit of casual elegance and practicality, five new models (12 references) equipped with Manufacture movements – including three new calibres – embody the new generation of self-winding timepieces inspired by the spirit of travel.

All models, whether in steel or gold, from the simplest to the most complicated, bear the Hallmark of Geneva and are fitted with easily interchangeable bracelets/straps, a guarantee of comfort anywhere in the world. Alongside watches featuring simple displays (hours, minutes, seconds, with or without date), the collection also comprises chronographs and ultra-thin timepieces.

A bit of history

From the late 19th century onwards, timepieces embodying remarkable breakthroughs in terms of anti-magnetism and water-resistance were the first steps towards sports-oriented watches from the Maison. A model created in 1885 was designed to withstand magnetic disturbances thanks to the incorporation of palladium, gold and bronze components. In 1898, Vacheron Constantin presented a water-resistant pocket watch capable of withstanding extreme conditions. The formal characteristics of its sturdy case heralded the design of contemporary sport watches. The 1930s saw the emergence of steel “form” watches distinguished by screwed- down bezels and casebacks, as well as by unbreakable sapphire crystals. The technical attributes and the sporty appearance of these timepieces were confirmed through an aesthetic approach combining a “form” case with a 10-sided case topped by a round disc. This trend was reinterpreted several decades later, during the 1970s, by various iconic models including the famous “222” presented in 1977 to mark the 222nd anniversary of Vacheron Constantin. This sport watch was fitted with a screwed-down bezel and caseback guaranteeing water-resistance to 120 metres. Designed to suit an active lifestyle, it inspired the 1996 creation of the first Overseas models, powered by the spirit of travel and openness to the world. This remarkably technical collection soon became a touchstone for the Maison. Its dynamic lines, its signature bezel and its solid caseback adorned with a depiction of the famous Amerigo Vespucci three- masted ship are an open invitation to travel the seven seas. Vacheron Constantin has gradually developed the identify codes of this line over the years, such as the metal bracelet introduced in 2004 and featuring a motif evoking the Maltese cross brand emblem. In 2016, the new-wave, Hallmark of Geneva-certified Overseas is casting anchor in the 21st century.

Design signature

Flowing, ergonomic lines, subtle light effects and delicate finishes place the new Overseas models firmly within a timeless yet distinctly contemporary aesthetic universe. The curves of the case ensure seamless integration with the bracelet or strap, a feature that is both technically sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing. The six-sided bezel and the fluted crown with its grooves evoke the Maison design codes. The rounded, polished and satin-finished opening dips towards a refined dial topped by a sapphire crystal glareproofed on both sides. Coated with a translucent blue, silver-toned, rosy beige or grey lacquer – depending on the model – that intensifies the depth effect, the dials alternate between sunburst, snailed and velvety finishes. The gold luminescent facetted hands and hour-markers echo the gold frame surrounding the inner bezel ring, while the Arabic numerals ensure optimal readability. The screwed-down caseback fitted with a sapphire crystal reveals a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose, a universal symbol indicating the cardinal points for travelers, and adorned with sandblasted, polished and finely grained finishes.

Comfort and user friendliness: self-winding calibres, water-resistance and interchangeable bracelets/straps

In keeping with the travel spirit, Overseas timepieces meet practical demands in order to guarantee their owner ideal comfort and user friendliness. They are equipped with mechanical self-winding movements ensuring a generous power reserve. Protected from magnetic disturbances by a soft iron ring, these calibres are endowed with remarkable precision and durability, while the case with a transparent and generally screwed-down caseback ensures water-resistance to 50 metres for the ultra-thin models, and to 150 metres for the others.

The new Overseas models are all about modularity, with three types of easily interchangeable stainless steel or precious metal bracelets – complete with an easy-fit system for enhanced comfort – as well as leather and rubber straps. An ingenious interchangeability device for the bracelets/straps and the folding clasp, serves to secure them in place without any need for tools, while guaranteeing the same robustness as a fixed bracelet or strap.

The Overseas bracelets/straps display remarkable finishes: the metal bracelets are domed and graced with a satin-brushed finish as well as polished interior angles evoking the half Maltese Cross motif; the rubber strap also bears a motif inspired by the same famous Vacheron Constantin emblem; while the alligator leather strap has a flat tip and a velvety nubuck lining accentuated by a micro-perforated effect, hence combining comfort & sporty aesthetics.

The Hallmark of Geneva, a firm commitment for 130 years

The new Overseas collection meets the demanding criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva, the prestigious label of quality and excellence instated in 1886. Standing for much more than just a certification of origin, it is issued by a neutral and independent official body. The Hallmark of Geneva rewards watches developed and assembled in Geneva according to extremely stringent criteria relating both to movement components and to the performance of the watch.

Embodying a four-fold consumer guarantee of provenance, resilience, accuracy and expertise, the Hallmark of Geneva establishes high production standards serving to achieve the best possible results in terms of reliability and aesthetics, while ensuring respect for traditional hand workmanship as well as the transmission of these skills. Vacheron Constantin is its most loyal representative since 1901.

Overseas models

Overseas Chronograph – Calibre 5200

The Overseas Chronograph watch bearing the Hallmark of Geneva is equipped with Calibre 5200, the new self-winding chronograph movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. The result of a five-year development process, this 263-component calibre is fitted with a column wheel coordinating the chronograph start, stop and reset functions, as well as a vertical coupling clutch preventing any jerking of the hand when the chronograph starts. A signature feature of new Vacheron Constantin chronographs, the column wheel is adorned with a screw shaped like the Manufacture’s signature Maltese cross emblem. This movement is equipped with a twin barrel enhancing its torque and its reliability while ensuring over 50 hours of power reserve. Protected from magnetic fields by a soft iron ring, it powers the hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and date indications. These functions are all displayed on a silver-toned or blue dial adorned with sunburst, snailed and velvety finishes. The gold facetted hands and hour-markers hands are coated with a luminescent material ensuring optimal readability.

The Overseas Chronograph comes in a stainless steel or 18K pink gold 42.5 mm-diameter case. Its screwed-down pushpieces, crown and caseback guarantee water-resistance to 150 metres, while its transparent back reveals a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose. The new stainless steel models are each delivered with three interchangeable bracelet/straps: a steel bracelet with an easy-fit system, along with rubber and leather straps. The two latter are fitted with an equally interchangeable stainless steel folding clasp. The pink gold model comes with two straps: one in leather and the other in rubber, both fitted with an interchangeable pink gold folding clasp.

Overseas – Calibre 5100

Hours, minutes, seconds, date: this Overseas model displays essential functions with an aura of natural distinction. Nestled in a 41 mm-diameter case in stainless steel or 18K pink gold, the new Calibre 5100 entirely designed, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin is composed of 172 parts. It beats at the rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and is endowed with a comfortable more than 60-hour power reserve guaranteed by its twin barrels (ensuring the constancy of the torque delivered to the regulating organ). The transparent screwed-down caseback reveals the precious 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose. This timepiece certified by the Hallmark of Geneva adopts a sunburst blue or silver-toned dial, swept over by gold luminescent hands and hour-markers. Anti-magnetic thanks to the soft iron ring surrounding its movement and water-resistant to 150 metres, this model lends itself to all occasions with its three interchangeable bracelet/straps: a stainless steel bracelet with an easy- fit sizing system; as well as two straps in rubber and leather respectively. The latter are supplied with an equally adjustable stainless steel folding clasp. The pink gold version is fitted with a leather strap and comes with a second rubber strap as well as an interchangeable pink gold folding clasp.

Overseas small model – Calibre 5300

The Overseas Small Model is adorned with 84 round-cut diamonds totalling over one carat and daintily set on its six-sided bezel. At the heart of its stainless steel or 18K pink 37 mm-diameter case beats the new Calibre 5300 developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin. This 128-part self-winding movement powers the hours, minutes and small seconds at 9 o’clock, while ensuring an approximately two-day power reserve. The Overseas small model comes with a choice of rosy beige or blue dial. A pair of gold luminescent hands sweep around the matching hour-markers punctuating this perfectly legible dial face. The back of the watch provides an equally enchanting sight by revealing the 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose. Proudly bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, the Overseas small model comes with interchangeable bracelet/straps. The steel models are delivered with three interchangeable bracelet/straps and an interchangeable folding clasp, while the pink gold models come with two or three bracelet/straps that can be fitted with an interchangeable folding clasp or a buckle.

Overseas ultra-thin perpetual calendar – Calibre 1120 QP

The Overseas Ultra-thin Perpetual Calendar displays its technical complexity with the collection’s characteristically understated air of distinction. This timepiece bearing the Hallmark of Geneva certification and available exclusively in Vachereron Constantin boutiques houses the emblematic Vacheron Constantin Calibre 1120 QP, an ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement equipped with a perpetual calendar complete with moon phases. This function calls for impressive feats of miniaturisation in order to adjust to calendar irregularities while requiring no adjustment until the year 2100, as well as to accommodate its 276 components within a space barely 4.05 mm thick. Beating a the frequency of 19,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve, the mechanism drives the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar – with day of the week, date, month and 48-month leap-year indications – as well as moon phases. The 18K white gold 41.5 mm-diameter case frames a grey dial lightly punctuated by blue accents, while the sapphire crystal caseback reveals a 22K oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose and subtle finishes. This new reference radiating a pleasing appearance in every situation is fitted with an interchangeable white gold bracelet complete with easy-fit system, complemented by two leather and rubber variations, both secured by a white gold buckle.

Overseas ultra-thin – Calibre 1120

The Overseas Ultra-thin watch exudes an aura of apparent sobriety. Available exclusively in Vacheron Constantin boutiques, this distinguished model meets the demanding Hallmark of Geneva requirements. Its slim 18K white gold 40 mm-diameter case houses Calibre 1120, an ultra-thin self-winding movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, comprising 144 components while measuring no more than 2.45 mm thick. Endowed with an approximately 40-hour power reserve, the Overseas ultra-thin drives hours and minutes hands sweeping over an elegant grey dial punctuated by gold luminescent facetted hands and hour- markers. The back of the watch, protected by a sapphire crystal, reveals the steady dance of the 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose and featuring alternating polished, sandblasted and finely grained finishes. Fitted with an interchangeable white gold case with easy-fit system, this new model is complemented by two straps – one in leather and the other in rubber – secured by a white gold buckle.

Vacheron Constantin: five anniversary Overseas, including one chronograph

By Joel GrandjeanEditor in Chief
The venerable Genevan brand began celebrating the Overseas family early in 2016, and continued with the release of its Heures du monde model in May ....

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