Hands-on with the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph
There are actually just a few serious high-end sports chronographs, which are very comfortable on the wrist and that can easily matched with suit and tie or any kind of casual outfit. Of course there’s the Patek Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5980, the AP Royal Oak Chronograph and Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Chronograph. Last year Vacheron introduced a new model of the Overseas Chronograph, with a deep blue dial (click here), and recently we got some hands-on experience with this one.
The Overseas more or less originates from the legendary Vacheron Constantin 222; the photo showing the steel/gold version, below, is courtesy the Hour Lounge. When you see the sleek case, the integrated bracelet and the sporty AND dressy looks, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this model was designed by the late Gerald Genta. And just like its nephews from Patek and AP, which also have been designed by Genta, it featured the ultra-thin caliber 2121. The Overseas didn’t directly replace the 222, however it fills the gap that commenced when the 222 went out of production.
The Overseas from Vacheron Constantin’s current collection, measures a solid 42 mm in diameter, and comes in several flavors and with several added complications. One of them is the Overseas Chronograph and it comes in pink gold, yellow gold, stainless steel or in steel/titanium like we showed you before (click here).
Inside ticks calibre Vacheron’s caliber 1137. The movement is based on the Fredric Piguet caliber 1185, which is used by several other watch brands as well, like the older AP Royal Oak Chronographs and several Blancpain chronographs. A very good movement that measures 26.2 mm in diameter and 6.60 mm in height, which is relatively thin for a chronograph movement. This is including the large date module that Vacheron Constantin added to the movement.
Caliber 1137 is a mechanical self-winding chronograph movement comprising 183 parts, endowed with a 40-hour power reserve and beating at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations/hour. In addition to the hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock along with the chronograph functions – sweep seconds-hand, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock – the Overseas Chronograph features a large date that is visible through a twin aperture at 12 o’clock.
Worn on the steel bracelet, the Overseas makes a perfect companion for any occasion; like said it suits perfect with dressy and sporty outfits. The lacquered deep blue dial adds a certain “chic” that simply looks great. The blue goes from almost black to a nice deep blue, depending on the angle you look at it and the light conditions. The bracelet wears very comfortable and features lots of stunning details, both in design as in finish.
In the small seconds subdial, located at 6 o’clock, it reads “automatic” and “antimagnetic”. The latter refers to the soft iron inner case, in which the movement is placed and that protects the mechanical movement from magnetic fields of up to 25,000 A/m. This soft iron inner case adds a few extra millimeters to the overall height of the watch, however it also adds the extra protection against magnetic fields. And while you might think that’s only useful for pilot’s, you would be amazed by how many magnetic fields you come across during any given day. By the way, did you know that a large part of all watches that are sent for service, are deregulated because of magnetic influences like the batteries of cell phones, tablet computers and many other of our daily used devices.
For more information you can visit Vacheron Constantin’s website (click here). I can also recommend to visit their own forum, called The Hour Lounge or the owner’s club called The Hour Club (click here). Both are great sources of information about new and vintage Vacheron Constantin timepieces.
Very nice watch,I just wish the registers would be more symmetrical and some text could be removed as well. Contrary to widespead belief the 222 wasn’t designed by Genta.
Vacheron and Genta have both confirmed that Genta designed the 222 long before Alex Ghotbi’s controversial article on the Hour Lounge made the unsubstantiated claim that Jorg Hysek was in fact the designer.
As far as I know, Genta IS the designer, and this becomes more apparent when you look at his 70’s designs side by side.
If they do it with a in-house movement, i will throw my daytona in the sea and buy a overseas chronograph in a hartbeat!!
I actually prefer the look of the older overseas chronograph model. This newer model was a serious attempt in my view at competing directly with the nautilus & royal oak but was a bit of a disaster IMHO. I see many of these sat in dealers windows gathering dust that just don’t seem to shift.
I love vacherons but only a few models of theirs move the earth, the 1921 American being one of them.
I love it… especially the relative robustness of it vs. the RO .