The Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection debuted in 1996 but was viewed by many as a successor to Vacheron’s 222 models, designed by Jörg Hysek (that wasn’t Genta) and presented in 1977. The collection, updated in 2016, is built around the popular concept of a sports luxury watch, with various editions of the casually elegant Overseas always in high demand. Vacheron successfully blended high watchmaking into the sporty-chic Overseas line, offering several complications, including a tourbillon, perpetual calendar ultra-thin, chronograph and dual time models. The Maison adds a reference with a moon-phase display and a retrograde date this year.
The retrograde indication is a feature found in the Patrimony collection, but until now, it was not part of the Overseas offering. It is worth mentioning that the unusual display made its way into Vacheron Constantin’s assortment in the 1990s, first with the Métiers d’Art collection Mercator models with a double retrograde indication for hours and minutes, to become part of the regular collections later. References 47245 and 47247 with retrograde day and date were the first, should you wish to check them out.
The new Vacheron Constantin Overseas with Moon Phase and Retrograde Date is everything we like about the Overseas line. The 41mm iconic case with a six-sided bezel, polished and satin-brushed surfaces and a fluted crown is recognizable from a distance. Presented in stainless steel, it is a perfect frame for a blue lacquered dial with a velvet-finish flange and sunburst satin-brushed centre that shines beautifully.
The familiar-shaped white gold indices and hands, including the tip of the blue-tinted retrograde date hand, are Super-LumiNova treated, all dial elements are in harmony, and even the “romantic” moon-phase display does not play down the sporty character of the watch. The moon phases are displayed at 6 o’clock and allow reading the number of days passed since the last new moon (age of the moon) as the aperture is graduated from 0 to 29 1⁄2 – the moon makes one full rotation around the Earth in 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The tasteful retrograde date display occupies the upper part of the dial.
Vacheron communicates that it took a few months to find a perfect solution for a balanced design and over three years to integrate the retrograde date and precision moon phase into the Overseas line. The challenge was not only aesthetical but technical, especially in developing the moon phase mechanism, which now has a 135-tooth wheel to ensure accuracy with deviation from the true lunar cycle of one day in 122 years. The movement responsible for the functioning of this timepiece is self-winding, 275-component Calibre 2460 R31L/2 with 40 hours of power reserve. This decorated calibre with its 22K gold oscillating weight is visible through the sapphire caseback; note the compass rose on the weight and circular-grained mainplate.
The movement is built with 27 jewels and operates at 28,800vph. Watch setting, including time, date and moon phase correction, is done via the crown. The user-friendliness continues with the strap/bracelet interchangeability – the watch is offered on a steel bracelet with two additional straps in calfskin leather and blue rubber. The bracelet is closed with a stainless steel triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces. It is equipped with a comfort-adjustment system. Price and availability of the watch are to be confirmed later. However, the new Overseas with Moon-phase and Retrograde Date will be sold exclusively through Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
For more information, please visit www.vacheron-constantin.com.