There’s something about luxury sports watches. For me this category of watches -if we can call it a category- is the most versatile, useful and comfortable around, and they are probably the best every-day watches that you can find. Wear ’em under the shower, in the swimming pool or sea, they are good when playing with the kids, or when you’re working out in the gym. They even look great with suit & tie behind your desk or in the board room. From my perspective this category of watches could use some more competition, so I was happy to see Vacheron Constantin launch a completely redesigned Overseas collection earlier this year. During a recent event I had plenty of time to see and wear the new Overseas, Overseas Chronograph and the Overseas World Time. Today we’re going to show you the latter, a comfortable worldtimer, that’s as versatile as it gets. Here’s the Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time.
Usually we include an overview on the brand’s history and the predecessors of the watch in question, however next week we’ll come with an extensive report on the new Overseas. And that report will include a lot of information and photos of the Vacheron Constantin 222, the first generation Overseas, the second generation, and of course the latest Overseas collection, comprising the Overseas World Time that we’re discussing today.
During the SIHH in January we had hands-on time with the Overseas Ultra-Thin ref. 2000V and later our managing editor Brice explained why a perpetual calendar complication is relevant in the Overseas Ultra-Thin QP. Today’s watch is not equipped with the ultra-thin calibre 1120, which is inside the Overseas Ultra-Thin ref. 2000V and also the base of the Overseas Ultra-Thin QP. Today’s watch comes with the same movement that Vacheron Constantin used for the Traditionnelle World Time. It’s the automatic calibre 2460WT, a tried and tested movement that has been in the collection for quite some years. A solid choice, and also the only worldtimer that indicates the time in 37 time zones, including those that are off-set by a half-hour or quarter-hour, and not like all others in only 24 time zones. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time is available with three choices of dials, and comes with a steel bracelet, and complimentary leather and rubber strap.
Three dial colours and three straps
The three choices of dials, are, going from left to right, a brown dial with a few city names in yellow, a blue dial and to the right is the silver-tone dial with some cities in red. Like all new Overseas models, each and everyone of them comes on a steel bracelet (except the Ultra-Thin models that come on an 18K white gold bracelet), and with complimentary rubber and alligator rubber straps. Because of the easy to use interchangeable system, you can switch from one strap to the next easily, and that adds a lot to experiencing this already very versatile watch.
The stainless steel bracelet features half Maltese cross-shaped links that are polished and satin-brushed. Not an easy bracelet to manufacture and the amount of hand-finishing that goes into such a bracelet is impressive. Besides the stainless steel bracelet, all new Overseas models come with a hand-stitched brown, blue or black alligator leather strap (with black nubuck lining with a micro-perforated effect), and a brown, blue or black rubber strap. The leather and rubber strap are closed by a stainless steel triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces, which is compatible with both straps. So whatever you feel like, swap the strap/bracelet, to match your surroundings and taste of the day.
For the review I had the silver-tone dial version, on the black rubber strap, and this proved to be a very comfortable combination.
The stainless steel case measures 43.5mm in diameter and is 12.6mm thick. Simply judging the numbers would give me the impression that it’s a reasonably large watch, however this watch, and actually the entire new collection, has no real lugs. This means that a 43.5mm case will feel and look smaller than what you would expect based on these numbers. I’ve been wearing it for a full day and found it very comfortable on the wrist.
Dial and Hands
Earlier this year the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time was part of a triple review of thee worldtimers, each with a world map depicted on the dial. Two of these worldtimers -the Vacheron was one of them- feature a rotatable world map in the centre of the dial. This is not just for show off -although it looks very good- and it actually makes it much easier to see the time in another time zone at a glance. Although there’s a lot going on on the dial, I found it rather easy to get used to this. During the review I was in Tokyo, Japan, and it was easy to immediately see the time in my hometown when I looked at the dial.
The world map really is an eye-catcher. While the cities and the 24-hour ring might attract more attention on first glance, due to the higher contrast, this superbly executed world map is a real feast for the eye. The continents are done in a beautiful sunburst satin-brushed finish, and the oceans are done in a smooth velvet finish.
Surrounding the world map is a translucent lacquered disc bearing the 37 city names. Placed over that city-name ring and the world map, is a sapphire disk that provides day/night indications by means of subtly graded smoky tints, and this disk is connected to the 24-hour disc. On the perimeter is a translucent lacquered velvet-finished outer ring that serves to indicate the hours and minutes in each time zone.
The hands are baton style hands; a short one for the hours and a long one for the minutes. In the centre the hour and minute hand are filled with lumeniscent material for better legibility in the dark.
The movement in the Overseas World Time, calibre 2460WT, now features the same rotor (winding mass) as all other models in the new Overseas collection. The rotor has been designed as a wind-rose, and that’s to underline the versatility of the collection and to put emphasis on the fact that VC says it’s the ideal travel companion.
The entire watch is tested and has received the Geneva Hallmark, seal of approval. Several years ago the Geneva Hallmark standards have been made more stringent and now they also include the exterior of the watch. Before the focus was solely on the movement, while now it’s about an encased movement. We listed all Geneva Hallmark criteria for you here, and explained what has changed.
Conclusion – What to think of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time
The Overseas World Time is the only luxury sports watch with a world time function, and that, to me, already puts it on a pedestal. This is the ideal complication for this segment, and makes this into truly an ideal travel companion. It comes with the Geneva Hallmark and that’s a additional proof of its quality, both inside as well as the exterior. Furthermore the Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time is the only worldtimer that indicates time in 37 time zones, and that is also a big plus.
With a retail price of approx. € 40,000 euro (including VAT) it’s not cheap, but considering everything above -superlative finishing, the worldtimer complication, the triple-layer dial, Geneva Hallmark and the additional straps- it isn’t crazy. Furthermore, this is a very comfortable watch to wear on a daily basis, and to wear at pretty much every occasion, except maybe for black tie events. I’d call this a perfect all-rounder that will not easy bore anyone, not even the most seasoned collector.
More information on the dedicated Vacheron Constantin Overseas website here.