How could the new Overseas cronograph be described better? ”It is synonymous with exploration by combining Vacheron Constantin’s innate spirit of Haute Horlogerie with the refined sporting elegance suggested by its short-time measurement function. It signals the legitimacy of the sporty elegance concept in Haute Horlogerie,”as the Style & Heritage Director Christian Selmoni declared.
Back in time, when the very first chronographs in the collection was launched, Vacheron Constantin made Overseas watches ”the symbol of horological pleasure geared towards travel and escapism”. Later on, in 2004, chronographs` design went forward to become part of an enduring exploratory momentum. Finally, in 2016, Vacheron Constantin opened up new horizons for these emblematic watches with a collection featuring a revisited look yet perpetuating its initial extremely sporty-chic spirit.
”The Overseas collection was born in 1996 with self-winding models that some regard as heirs to the famous 222 model launched in 1977,” explains Style & Heritage Director Christian Selmoni. ”Recognisable by its notched six-sided Maltese Cross-shaped bezel and its integrated bracelet with geometrically shaped links, the Overseas has been the quintessential elegant sports watch by Vacheron Constantin since its birth. This new chronograph is its worthy descendant,” he assured.
Ever since the first edition, the Overseas chronograph has become an icon of the history of the Maison with its characteristic six-sided bezel, its self-winding in-house movement and its unmistakable visual signature. The latest collection features a chronograph in a new steel “panda” version: silver-toned, sunburst satin-finished dial, snailed black counters, black velvet-finished flange, 18K white gold hour-markers and hours, minutes, seconds and counters hands, highlighted with Super-LumiNova®.
The ”panda” aesthetic principle has its roots in the motorsports-dedicated timepieces of the 1960s, and its goes beyond the aesthetic: the light-dark contrast ensures enhanced visibility and highlights the indications provided by the chronograph function. This two-tone outline conveys a distinctive style and a powerful personality, reinforced by its three interchangeable bracelet/straps enabling the wearer to change style in a few seconds without any need for tools.
“Since their creation more than 20 years ago, Overseas chronographs have always been synonymous with exploration for the Manufacture,” explains Style & Heritage Director Christian Selmoni. “These versatile timepieces combine the spirit of Haute Horlogerie characterising Vacheron Constantin with the refined sporting elegance suggested by the chronograph function. In a way, the Overseas chronographs have always marked, for the Manufacture, a desire for controlled yet subtly disruptive breakthroughs, a desire to explore other watchmaking territories and to experiment with new creative fields,” he added.
The mechanical heart of the watch, in-house self-winding Calibre 5200, features a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose, a symbol of travel and exploration, visible through a sapphire caseback. The movement also has a twin barrel fitted with a column wheel complete with a Maltese cross-shaped screw and used to control the start-stop-reset chronograph function. In addition, this reliable and accurate mechanism is endowed with a vertical clutch to prevent any possible jerking of the hands when starting the chronograph.
This new timepiece reflects the collection’s versatile elegance thanks to the interchangeable wristband system enabling the wearer to switch tool-free from a steel bracelet with half-Maltese cross links to a calfskin or black rubber strap. ”This new model can thus be fitted with a steel bracelet for a casual look, a leather strap for a dressier style, or a black rubber version for sportier wear,” Christian Selmoni suggests.