Vacheron Constantin unveils two iterations of its refined, ultra-slim Overseas perpetual calendar during Watches & Wonders 2021. Although the technical specifications of the skeletonized model and the blue lacquered dial version are identical to previous ultra-thin perpetual calendar models, the novelty here is the white gold case. Like all Overseas models, the watches are fitted with Vacheron’s ingenious patented interchangeable strap device and come with an integrated white gold bracelet and two additional straps for maximum versatility.
The Overseas is an evolution of Vacheron’s sporty reference 222 of 1977. Designed by Jorg Hysek and coinciding with the brand’s 222nd anniversary, the 222 was Vacheron’s interpretation of the luxury sports watch. Following an extensive revamp in 2016, the Overseas is now in its third phase of life – you can read all about its evolution in Part 1 & Part 2 of our video coverage. The current line-up of Overseas watches features (among others) time & date, dual time, world time, chronograph, tourbillon and ultra-thin perpetual calendar models, all stamped with the prestigious Geneva Seal.
When the brand reintroduced the Overseas collection in 2016, many were surprised to see that the Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin was one of the flagship models. Well before incorporating a traveller’s watch like a dual time (GMT) or world time – that would make a lot of sense in a sporty/travel-oriented collection like the Overseas – Vacheron presented a sophisticated ultra-slim perpetual calendar in the inaugural mix. Housed in a 41.5mm white gold case with an ultra-slim height of 8.10mm, a skeletonized version joined the collection in 2020 in pink gold and took home the GPHG Calendar and Astronomy watch prize that same year.
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
The latest white gold skeletonized model offers a stunning display of Vacheron’s watchmaking prowess. With its polished hexagonal bezel (evoking the Maltese cross) and its contrasting brushed case and bracelet, the hallmark Overseas case frames the spectacular skeletonized dial with its perpetual calendar functions and mechanics in full view. In a departure from the pink gold version with its white counters and minutes scale, the white gold version emphasises these displays in blue. The blue ring at noon indicates the months, the days of the week at 9 o’clock are balanced by the date at 3 o’clock, and the phases of the yellow gold moon are placed in an aperture at 6 o’clock. The white gold hands and applied hour markers are treated with luminescent material.
Skeletonizing a movement is complex; skeletonizing an ultra-thin perpetual calendar movement with a height of just 4.05mm and 276 components is an art mastered by very few watchmakers. The components of calibre 1120 QPSQ/1 are hollowed out and decorated with Haute Horlogerie flourishes. The finishings are meticulous: surfaces are decorated with satin-brushed finishes; straight lines and curves are bevelled to catch the light; and then there is circular brushing, sunburst finishing, circular graining and polishing. The NAC-coated oscillating weight with its 22k gold segment is also openworked and outlines the shape of the brand’s Maltese cross logo.
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
The new white gold edition of the perpetual calendar dons a translucent blue lacquered dial with a sunburst satin finish. This is not the first time the QP dons a blue dial; there is currently a pink gold model in the collection with a similar blue dial. However, the contrast of a blue dial with a white gold case is crisper and sportier in spirit. Even the moon in the moon phase aperture at 6 o’clock is white gold to match the case.
Sharing the same case dimensions (41.5mm x 8.1mm) and movement as all the Overseas QP models, the perpetual calendar functions are displayed in three snailed sub-dials. As a sophisticated perpetual calendar, it can compute the vagaries of the calendar and not require any corrections until March 2100. The white gold hour markers are faceted and applied to the dial. To assist legibility in the dark, the white gold hands and hour markers are luminescent. Playing with different tonalities of blue, the Arabic numerals on the minutes track, for example, are a brighter shade of blue than the dial, while the information inside the calendar counters is depicted in baby blue.
Calibre 1120 QPSQ, which bears the prestigious Geneva Hallmark, is an automatic movement oscillating at 19,800vph/2.75Hz with a 40-hour power reserve for the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar (date, day, month, leap year) and moon phases. Unlike the skeletonized version, the 22k gold oscillating weight of this model is not openworked and decorated with a compass rose to symbolise the spirit of travel associated with the Overseas.
Versatile strap-changing system
With perhaps the most straightforward DIY strap-changing systems on the market, the Overseas comes with a luxurious integrated white gold bracelet with satin-brushed Maltese Cross-shaped links and a triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort-adjustment system. Two additional straps are provided, one blue alligator leather with blue stitching and a second in blue rubber, both with white gold folding buckles.
Availability & Price
The white gold Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton (ref. 4300V/120G-B946) retails for EUR 140,000 and is available exclusively at Vacheron Constantin boutiques. The white Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin with a blue lacquered dial (ref. 4300V/120G B945) retails for EUR 106,000.
More information at www.vacheron-constantin.com.