INTRODUCING: The 2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas CollectionZach Blass
Many watch enthusiasts have become caught up with the Patek Phillipe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The aforementioned brands and references have reigned supreme in the integrated stainless-steel category for decades, but the challenge of sourcing one at retail has led many to finally give due credit to the equally fascinating Vacheron Constantin Overseas. Of the three “holy trinity” integrated steel sports it is the most distinct in aesthetic, and even offers more than what its competitors present. The Overseas offering stands out with its distinct case and bracelet profile, as well as offering buyers bundled straps which utilise quick-change technology. The 2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Collection further expands the collection with a new tourbillon in pink gold, as well as two perpetual calendars in white gold, only adding more delectable precious metal temptation and complication for watch consumers. Each leverage the distinct blue tone Vacheron has attracted buyers with, a shade of blue that in my opinon triumphs over what you would find from Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon in pink gold
The new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon marks the first time an Overseas Tourbillon has been paired with 18K 5N pink gold. The 42.5mm case is 10.39mm thick, and has a sporty water resistance of 50 metres. While all models are recognized for their top-tier external (and internal) finishing, the Maltese cross inspired design language soars in pink gold – the glistening bevels shining through with greater emphasis. The case has a rich satin brush on its front, with a mirror-polished Maltese cross bezel and lugs with a polished and tapered bevel. The caseband, like the bezel, is also mirror polished – it’s overall design clearly establishing its overwhelming hand craftsmanship. The bracelet links are elaborately finished, satin brushed on top with each Maltese cross link beveled on all sides. The shoulder bevelling of the link perfectly tapers down as you work your way to the butterfly clasp.
It utilises a blue lacquered dial with a satin sunburst finish, retaining the beloved blue aesthetic found on the time and date model in stainless steel. To match the externals, the hands and applied hour markers (coated with SuperLuminova®) are fashioned in a matching 18K 5N pink gold that contrast well against the dial. Both the stepped inner bezel and outer dial display printed hashes for the minutes track, the inner bezel incorporating a numeral in favour of a hash mark every fifth minute into its scale. To make room for the tourbillon cutout that makes the high-end complication visible on the dial side, the 5′, 6′, 7′ hour markers are not applied – a fair compromise to better display the star of the show. Framing the circular tourbillon window is a sub-seconds scale, and Vacheron Constantin has incorporated a clever visual cue to make it easier to read the running seconds of the register. In favour of a seconds hand, the rotating Maltese cross shaped tourbillon carriage indicates the seconds itself. With its symmetrical shape, it could be confusing to the wearer where the carriage is in its rotation – and this is where the visual cue comes into play. Of the two screws securing the Maltese cross, the top screw has been blued to distinguish it as the seconds pointer. This makes reading the register all the more easier.
Within this watch remains the Vacheron Constantin caliber 2160, the first self-winding tourbillon movement from the esteemed Maison. Each of the three bridges attached to the circularly grained manipulate incorporate beautiful circular bevels, with countless angles only the best artisans could finish. The 18,000 vph movement has a power reserve of 80 hours, so the watch will run for quite some time even off the wrist. The winding rotor is peripheral, which means the caliber is in full view to the wearer at any orientation – the gold mass never obstruction the view of the Geneva hallmark level finishing.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin in white gold
We have been previously treated to the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin in pink gold, which had a bold precious aesthetic on the wrist. But for those who don’t like the flash and flair of pink gold, now you have a “stealth wealth” option in white gold. White gold has the heft of precious metal, with the appearance of stainless steel. Of all gold alloys, white gold remains the toughest and most resistant to scratches due to the incorporation of rhodium in its blend. The 41.5mm perpetual calendar is as ultra-thin as its name suggests, a mere 8.1mm thick. Considering the level of complication, it is very impressive that Vacheron Constantin is able to retain a slender profile that is 3mm thinner than the time and date model. Although a highly complicated watch, it also has an impressive water resistance of 50 metres.
The dial has the same blue lacquered tone and satin sunburst finish that was found on the previous pink gold reference, but now with white gold hands and applied hour markers (filled with SuperLuminova®) to match the case and bracelet. There are three registers to display the calendar information, as well as a moon phase aperture above the sixth hour marker and Vacheron Constantin branding. The white gold moons rest within a blue disc that incorporates a starry backdrop to simulate the night sky. At 12′ you have the month and leap year indicator, at 3′ the date indicator, and at 9′ the day indicator. Each blue register has a concentric guilloche texture that creates nice contrast against the satin sunburst of the dial and makes them easier to distinguish to the eye. On the outboard of the dial are two radial printed minutes tracks, the inner bezel scale displaying every fifth minute with a numeral.
Powering the watch is the in-house caliber 1120QP/1, a perpetual calendar movement with day of the week, date, and 48 month display with leap year indication. The movement is finished to a Geneva Hallmark standard, but the gold winding mass will obstruct the view of nearly half of the caliber in any given orientation (not that most automatic movements aren’t like this). Fortunately, the rotor is exquisitely finished. There is a radially brushed sun motif with polished rays that extend out towards the frosted portion of the rotor.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton in white gold
For those who loved the skeltonized aesthetic found in the previous pink gold model, the above perpetual calendar is also available in a skeltonized format. Of the three, The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton in white gold is the only reference listed as an “All Boutique Exclusive”. It shares the external specifications of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin in white gold, departing in its design through only the dial and the movement. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton in white gold utilizes a sapphire dial, with touches of blue through the dial framing minutes scale and blue rings of the calendar complications. The moon phase retains its starry blue backdrop as well, but the moons are fashioned in pink gold in favor of case matching white gold. Why? Because it increases legibility. White gold would not pop out as much as pink against the white metal tone of the open worked back drop, so I can understand Vacheron Constantin’s decision to increase the contrast. The hands and hour markers are fashioned in white gold, but in this instance the hour markers are applied directly to the sapphire of the dial. Like the previous two references of the 2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Collection, the hour markers, as well as the hours and minutes hands, are filled with SuperLumionova® to increase visibility in darkness.
Inside the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton is a variation of the caliber found in the full blue dial model, the in-house caliber 1120 QPSQ/1. It shares the same performance specifications as the 1120 QP/1 with 40 hours of power reserve and a 19,800 vph beat rate. Where it differs is in its skeletonized aesthetic. While still a Geneva Hallmark caliber, you will not find Geneva stripes or circular graining, instead carved bridges with satin brushed edges. It is a very modern aesthetic for a traditional brand, but the hand bevelling of the bridges reveal centuries of refined finishing techniques. The winding mass has also been skeltonized, revealing more of the movement beneath it. The Maltese Cross of the rotor and other carved edges are also well bevelled, with the front facing elements of the metal satin brushed. It also incorporates a 22K gold winding mass for more efficient winding while on the wrist.
Across all three models above, each have the added benefit of being bundled with a blue calf leather strap and texture blue rubber strap alongside the bracelet. With their quick interchangeable systems, you are able to quickly swap between the three without having to visit your watchmaker and without fear of scratching the top tier finishing of the case.
2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Collection pricing and availability:
2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection price and availability:
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon in pink gold with skeleton dial is Price On Request.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin in white gold with blue dial is US$94,000.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton in white gold with skeleton dial is US$121,000.
The 2021 Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection will be available in September 2021, with the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton in white gold a boutique exclusive.
For more details, visit Vacheron Constantin right here.