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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

In 2016, Vacheron Constantin released a needed refresh of its only sport watch collection, the Overseas. This included a slew of new members of the Overseas family ranging from an ultra-thin two-hand model, a perpetual calendar, the Overseas Simple Date, and the Overseas Chronograph. These latter two models each introduced new, modern movements which in my opinion were important to the future success of what the Overseas collection should mean for Vacheron Constantin. Today I spend more time with the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V family of timepieces in my latest aBlogtoWatch watch review.

I found the modern Overseas Chronograph to be a rather decent watch with welcome features and a comfortable fit on the wrist. On paper, Vacheron Constantin offers more or less everything fans of the outgoing Overseas watch collection seemed to want in an updated model. With that said, I found something lacking in the design and overall presentation. When it comes to price, personality, and poise, I think the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph misses in a few too many areas to be a truly iconic watch. With that said, it is most certainly a good pick for a particular buyer.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I’ll begin by discussing some of my bigger problems with the watch, and then proceed to mention more minor nitpicks below while also espousing the virtues that this watch most certainly has. I will say again that Vacheron Constantin has in most ways upgraded the existing Overseas watch collection with a new product that is certainly more desirable in most ways.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Even at a retail price dangerously close to $30,000, the Overseas range has some serious competition from at least two other brands. Interestingly enough, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is the middle priced option among the competition’s luxury sport chronograph watches. I don’t always discuss competitor watches to a piece I am reviewing – and I have a lot of good reasons for that. With that said, in certain instances, discussing the competition is very important. This is particularly true when a watch isn’t just a tool, but a bona fide lifestyle piece. That means being expensive, and being prestigious is a core part of the ownership experience of a Vacheron Constantin, or competitor brands such as Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

It is those two brands specifically which the Overseas is trying to compete with. More specifically the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Both have chronograph versions as well as three-hand versions, and both are serious success stories among modern luxury sport watches. Competing with the Royal Oak or the Nautilus is a daunting, and very challenging uphill battle.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

For one thing, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe artificially limit distribution. That means the companies intentionally release fewer Royal Oak and Nautilus watches (the hot models that is) than the market demands. More so, the brands strictly limit what retailers get them (again, with the hottest models), and carefully dole out new watches to ensure that they reach the end-consumers they want wearing their products. With the Nautilus you have to wait at least a few years in order to pay retail price (but you can buy it anytime online by paying a modest premium over retail), and some versions of the Royal Oak aren’t too easy to get. Thus, both Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, at least for their steel-cased luxury sport watches, have been able to buck industry trends and actually get retail prices for these timepieces.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

One of the major reasons why the Royal Oak and Nautilus do so well (outside of the fact that they are legible and comfortable) is that they are immediately identifiable from a distance. The reason sounds simple, but it is very important. This means that people who wear these watches know that people viewing them from across the room (assuming they have watch-spotting intelligence) will very immediately know what watches they are, their price, and ideally gather that the owner is more well-to-do than your average Joe.



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  • R.O. Ferrer

    wow. just beautiful and stunning.

    ap’s are solid but these vacherons will simply wipe the floor with them.

  • Moonraker

    “I know you can do better, I want you to do better, so please do better.” Oh, the irony. At long last, here comes a critical Ariel just after unveiling his new “do better, be nicer” comment policy. I do think we have to be a little nicer here, myself included. I also think the timing is really quite funny.

    About the watch: man, that date. Wouldn’t it be cooler if they put it at nine like this old Omega?

    • IanE

      ‘Wouldn’t it be cooler if they put it at nine like this old Omega?’ I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic there, but, if not, then ‘No’ – that is the worst-looking date location I have ever seen; admittedly the VC one is also draedful, but not as bad!

      • Moonraker

        How dare you? I’m never sarcastic!
        OK, that date at 9 thing is not going over too well here, but I still think it’s better than VC’s date at 4 something. And while we’re on the subject, I think a date at 12 is a bad idea because the hands will cover up part of the changeover. Now how about Ball’s date at 1?

        • spiceballs


      • David Lee

        hell, should have been at 12 o clock and Omega sign at 6 o’clock.

    • Ariel Adams

      My personal thanks to you for being nicer.

    • Mikita
    • Elijs Dima

      Ouch. That’s…. bad. What’s wrong with a nice and comfy location at 6 o-clock (on the Omega) or, say, nowhere (on the VachyKo).

  • Word Merchant

    Of the watches you mention in this article, I like the AP the best, then, after a hefty gap, the Vacherin, and then finally, bringing up the distant rear, the awful Patek, clearly a design they allowed the intern to have a go at when the rest of the firm were out on a boozy lunch.

    But back to the watch at hand: compared to the old version the dial, case and bezel are far more pleasing to the eye, and generally very well finished, albeit a touch bland. I wish they’d kept the date at 12, though – the 4.30 placing reminds me of cheap Breitlings. The straps are truly awful, one and all. No idea what VC is playing at here. So would I buy this? No chance, I’d buy the AP in a heartbeat: nothing to do with recognisable wealth, it’s just the much better watch. If I was to buy a VC, it’d be the Quai De L’Ile 4500S – white dial variant.

    PS Ariel – following the VC link, you were a lot more angry in 2008 weren’t you? But perhaps we all were.

    • Ariel Adams

      I was younger back then with less stake in the “watch game” and not having nearly as many relationships with people at brands as I do today, I more or less acted like a lot of other people on the internet who don’t always fathom how their statements might cause other’s to justifiably not respond too well.

      • Tempvs Mortvvs

        Having read that review just now, I cannot help but wonder, Ariel Adams, if you haven’t become this “guy” you so contemptuously referred to back then:

        “This article not only drips with the odor of marketing writing spew, but you can almost feel a succubus draining every ounce of dignity from the poor sap whose job it was to type out this barely digestible article more concerned with licking the ass of some executive at Vacheron Constantin than providing even an iota of value for the reader.”

        Indeed, over the years since you started it I’ve seen your blog “degenerate” into something increasingly disingenuous and self-important. Perhaps you think you’ve “matured” by compromising for the sake of your financial viability and consequent survivability. But, maybe, just maybe, some more honest self-reflection on the path you’ve taken is in due order.

        • Ariel Adams

          “Degenerate” is a very strong word. It sounds like you are implying that the site has degenerated because it has more team members, a much closer direct relationship with entities in the watch world, and like all businesses made up of multiple people – can no longer speak as candidly on all matters. Yes, I am in a position where I can’t yell in an unfiltered way everything I think on the internet. Most people can’t or shouldn’t.

          I am also disappointed that you see my actions are promoting a sense of “self-importance.” It is true that I am openly biased toward my specific aesthetic tastes or practical considerations, but I attempt to leave myself out of conversations whenever possible. I have no desire to ask people to think how I do, do as I do, or speak as I do simply because I do so. I would rather expose my thought process to the audience and allow them to form their own opinions. At times those opinions are going to appeal to some of you while alienate others. You can’t please everyone right?

          You seem to suggest that a business doesn’t need to make sacrifices for financial viability and survival. Isn’t that the case with every business? Is it not possible that I’ve done countless things that might not be entirely obvious to you in order to protect the consumer experience while we engage in the necessary act of earning operating revenue. Isn’t the case that I’ve intentionally chosen slower or more controlled growth because I anticipated practices or situations that harm the experience for our audience? Rather than focus on the fact that aBlogtoWatch isn’t an entirely unadulterated platform for unfiltered thoughts on luxury watches, why don’t you give us credit for the value we continue to strive and offer to watch consumers while at the same time navigating the extremely complex and often contradictory needs of advertisers.

          Allow me to point out again that over 80% of our audience in a survey from 2016 wanted aBlogtoWatch to be entirely or mostly advertiser supported:

          This means there will always be an element of “I’m not sure what input an advertiser has” and question about the integrity our statements (no matter how much we try to explain our thought process and reasoning).

          The only way to ensure that the audience feels fully in control of the statements me make and the conversation is by funding our operation fully. That said, less than 4% of the audience said they wanted aBlogtoWatch to be subscriber or otherwise audience supported entirely.

          It is with great pleasure that I engage in conversations such as this with the audience. Though I must ask myself why it is that when there is a cause for concern or issue, members of the community such as yourself approach the topic with an almost accusatorial and suspicious tone. Rather, why not simply bring up a concern you have and not assume we are trying to hide something or do something that you wouldn’t approve of. Be part of the solution if you find a problem. We want feedback, but it is fatiguing to always be in the defensive when someone doesn’t feel just right about something.

          • Tempvs Mortvvs

            First of all, thanks for taking the time to give an explanation. I sincerely appreciate it.

            The first time I ever read you was in 2007 through a temPtion CGK203 review, which interested me a lot because I had, and still do, that same watch model. In my view, back then and for some years thereafter, your opinions were relatively very well informing and above all, candid. These two elements put together are priceless to me. I enjoyed your “Good Idea” and “Bad Idea” seals and the reasons you gave for each. So, in my view, having gone from that candor to a compromised and self-censored stance over the years for the sake of the business relationships you need to keep the site going is a degeneration, and even more so when your candid views back then were accompanied by a sincere enthusiasm instead of the know-it-all attitude you very often display more recently (especially in those industry-wide advice series). Therefore, as strong a word as “degenerate” may be, I cannot state it otherwise when informed and enthusiastic candor is sacrificed for the sake of profitability.

            I witnessed a similar path being taken by and a the Watchpro (The Purists) sites. To the point they even started censoring too adverse opinions against the brands advertised on those sites and they also banned opinionated members. Something that, thankfully, you haven’t done and I hope you won’t ever do…perhaps this is your way of keeping things somewhat balanced.

            Having said that, though, and being aware now that if only 4% of that poll participants were willing to financially support your site…. well, there is no other way to make it independent and relevant once again, unless you have another source of revenue and are willing to invest some of it on this site just out of the passion for it. Which I sympathetically don’t think will happen.

            Therefore I now better understand why your site’s opinions are as they are now. I don’t like it and never will, but I will neither complain about it again. Besides, I still enjoy watching the videos and pictures of some of the watches presented to us.

            Kind regards.

  • Ian john horwood

    I’d rather have the solid 18kt rose gold GS spring drive chronograph sbgc004 for 30,000 thanks.

  • Ian john horwood

    This watch has at least 3 times overpriced its value, no matter the name on the watch or not, it is not
    a 30,000 dollar piece, same goes for other brands pieces too, there crazy prices they can keep them thanks very much at their stupid asking prices. Anyone daft enough to buy them more fool them. they should be a solid gold watch for these and less asking prices. More fool the people who pay them, no matter the name on the dial.

  • IanE

    Dull, dull, dull – and not very well put together. Yet again, VC miss the target badly.

  • Elijs Dima

    “It probably won’t occur to them that I spent about 20 hours of my life writing this review, recording a video, and photographing the watch (not to mention actually wearing it and thinking about it).”

    Oh no, poor mister Adams. What trials and tribulations you’ve gone through, to deliver this review. Vacheron Constantin should bend their knees, and kiss the ground you walk upon, in recognition of your magnificent sacrifice.

    Seriously, dude, stop making out as if reviewing watches is some kind of a heavy burden or a sacrificial service you’re doing to the brands. Not only is it clearly out of touch, it also makes you sound ridiculously (and undeservedly) entitled. 20 whole hours – yeah, so what? You think hat’s in some way impressive or significant? Why did you even mention it in the review?

    • Ariel Adams

      If that came across wrong then I am sorry. There is background context related to “online product reviews” which not everyone reading this is aware of, but the basic point is that a lot of “reviews” out there really aren’t reviews at all in the way consumers think about them.

      I’m not entitled to anything I didn’t earn. I simply wanted to soften any blow to my friends at watch brands who can be sensitive about how their products are being perceived. Again, it goes back to background context of things which it is true not all audience members are familiar with. Though I can be spoiled at times – part of my personality type as being an only child. None of us are perfect bro.

    • Marius
  • BrJean

    Since Royal Oak and Nautilus/Aquanaut collections became no more than a self-parody, updated Overseas can be treated like a breath of fresh air. Sure it’s not distinctive and instantly recognizable but on the other hand it may show that one who wears Overseas knows what he want and don’t need to follow the crowd (who said Rolex?!).

    I personally love the coloring of the dial, all options looks great. Rotor decoration if very fine too and basically the entire watch looks luxurious but not over-decorated. I think VC managed to keep a balance here.

    But I agree that this watch is way too overpriced (but I’ve never seen any VC which is not overpriced) and bracelet design is questionable. They definitely overused that Maltese cross motif.

  • A_watches

    stunning piece, cannot be faulted

  • JF Schnell

    I want the one in a blue dial. just amazing… Vacheron constantin did it again… just for a change 😀 Really like this watch. I may say I have seen it before. Who these days doesn’t take things from their competitors. The only thing I am not allowed to take i$ and the watch… 😀

  • While you say the bracelet (in this generation at least) is not the most comfortable option, it along with the bezel are about all the tells the status conscious world that this is a VC Overseas. I prefer the older generation watch with the big date and the better case. But really, I’d get a PP Nautilus anyway. Movement is nice enough, but the watch doesn’t scream 30K in lots of ways. But thanks for the review.

  • SuperStrapper

    From the very first picture this one is a letdown. I actually prefer the overseas to the RO, considerably. But there is little cohesive in this iteration. The date function alone is enough of a turnoff: I didn’t see it properly centred in its window in a single picture, where the previous reference had a nicely implemented and purposeful Grande date.

    Fan of the metallic brown, it’s a unique and attractive look. In fact if say the word brown brings it down and a better synonym should have been employed. Amber? Cinnamon? Tawny?

    Am I the only one that suddenly feels like going to a strip club.

  • Marius

    The Vacheron Overseas has always been one of my favourite sports/casual high-end watches thanks to its interesting design, and “aristocratic” character. Nevertheless, I find the new iterations to be rather underwhelming and boring.

    Firstly, for me, the overall design of these watches looks like a “toned down” version of the Overseas. I liked the previous generation chronograph reference much better, especially its big date display. The new generation has less character and spirit, looking a bit generic, and from a distance, you could even confuse these watches with an IWC Ingenieur.

    Secondly, I find the new in-house movements extremely boring to look at. Sure, they have the Geneva Seal certification, but due to their “closed” architecture, they’re rather unspectacular. In my opinion, these new VC in-house calibers are arguably the most underwhelming (from a visual perspective) high-end movements on the market today. Again, I like the Frederic Piguet 1185 chronograph caliber of the previous generation much better. Sure, the Piguet 1185 didn’t feature the Geneva Seal, but it had a much more interesting architecture, and overall, the 1185 is a very reliable caliber with a huge history & heritage behind it.

    Thirdly, I find the $29,000 price quite exaggerated given today’s market realities. Apart from the unspectacular-looking Geneva Seal movement, all I see is a steel watch with a slightly generic design. My advice would be to look at the previous generation chronograph. The good news is that since the new iterations have been introduced, the older models can be acquired at very attractive prices. For instance, a good friend of mine from Zürich is a pre-owned watch dealer, and he currently has two previous generation Overseas chronograph on stock (the blue dial reference) for around CHF 13,000. In my opinion, the previous gen is a great value proposition: you’re getting a characterful VC Overseas with the legendary F.Piguet 1185 caliber for LESS THAN HALF the price of a new one.

    • Word Merchant

      Oddly enough, I hadn’t spotted the Ingenieur likeness, but now you mention it, I can’t unsee it. The VC now moves slightly closer to the Patek on the Word Merchant scale of undesirable watches.

  • Guadzilla

    So to sum up:
    – you are dinging the watch because it isnt as blingy or showy as people want it to be (instead of leaving that determination for everyone to make on their own)
    – VC gives you 2 extra straps, but the lack of deployant is an issue

    In the spirit of the same honest critical assessment that you are offering here, allow me one: your reviews would be a lot more concise if you focused on the watch and spent less time puffing up yourself with anecdotes of how your reviews and insights are the only glowing beacon of light in the darkness that has befallen the watch industry.

    • SuperStrapper


    • Manesh Karunakaran

      Agree with you 100% there. A long time reader of ABTW and I have to say, the tone of this review was quite unlike what Mr. Adams usually writes. Yes, he is quite longwinded in his reviews and this watch deserves a lengthy review but this wasnt a very tasty one! A lot of criticism based on some assumptions that are not the only yardsticks to measure this watch. Plus the whole justification of criticism based on the anecdote was quite….crass!

      • Ariel Adams

        Again, thanks for the feedback. Often times writing a review of the watch is analyzing the feelings that I have while wearing it. This watch gave me a lot of contradictory feelings and I was attempting to share my thought process directly. I think it is fair that members of the audience are saying that the outcome of this style of writing is at the very least confusing. More specifically a lot of assumptions about Swiss watch brand products needs to be made since getting the facts from the brands directly is often difficult or unavailable.

        • Spangles

          I wanted to chime in and say I appreciated both the critique of the review and your response to it, Ariel.

          1. Certainly, recognizability is hardly the main consideration for many. That was a little jarring.

          2.The bracelet is literally half the VC logo repeated in each link. It also has a neat hidden half-link. I found it very comfortable. I respect that you didn’t like it, but harping so much on it not being distinctive seemed off, to me. Maybe you could have confirmed how the finishing is done with VC?

          3. Please more on the movement! What’s it based on? An older movement inspired it? Perhaps you need a watch technical head who can really look and make a few comments. I think aBLtW would really benefit from that as you wouldn’t have to rely on skimpy info from companies as much.

          4.I get that you are partly talking to industry people, maybe get more interviews that bring us into the back and forth.

        • Mark Reagan

          At your best you provide insight. On this occasion, you wandered around. If you like PP it’s ok. Same for AP. But my Royal Oak looks tired and dated.

    • Ariel Adams

      There are times I make statements to one audience (say the watch industry) that come across in the wrong way to other audiences (such watch consumers). Of course it is challenging to make statements whose meaning and tone are unclear to the others. It sounds as though in this case my tone and technique in being honest about my feelings but wanting to soften the blow to the company who entrusted me with the product rather backfired. This feedback is valuable and I don’t want my sentiments to come across incorrectly in the future. Point taken OK?

      • Guadzilla

        Well, your main audience – the money earners for aBtW – are watch enthusiasts. To me, atleast, it was clear that this review was written mostly with VC in mind, and not so much watch enthusiasts.

        That resulted in a very inconsistent article (why just slag the Overseas for not being so well recognized and not apply this standard to any other watches you guys review?)

        Methinks it would be better to leave the industry advice to op-ed pieces and on the reviews, actually focus on enthusiast-facing reviews.

    • Mark Reagan

      Totally agree. Ariel went off the rails. Lucky enough all three. Different, with the thousand versions of the RO and ROO without any real improvements suggests AP milking the cash cow. I like all three they’re different, but suggesting the Nautilus bracelet is better is just arbitrary. I Own several Blancpain and IWC abd several Rolex. I enjoy wearing each for reasons that change. I will say that I’m not aware of the other brands offering three straps. Try to get an extra link. Expensive will not even come close to the expense and hassle. Finally, Ariel talks of the 20 hours preparing his review. 20. Yikes. 20 whole hours. And VC will be upset. I tear up at his selfless devotion. Get over yourself AA

  • Jerry Davis

    Absolutely love this watch.
    I would also LOVE to see what kind of life I would be living if I was
    shopping in this price range for a watch.


    Like manyI like the outgoing versions n better . It had more character w the big date and now the slanted date just creates a major dial imbalance. If you want a date at 4.5 do it B&R style.
    30 Gs is A LOT OF CHEESE for a steel cased chrono and while the silvery brown dial is pretty the blue one prob would be my go to. Bracelet wise I have no doubt it is well made and owners have on many occasions shared how comfy it is but the butterfly clasp is outdated and as a sport watch could really enjoy some decent easy to use on the fly extension.
    To me at 30gs for a steel watch a lot needs to be thrown at it and here it just falls short of the runway

  • Mikita

    I like VC as a brand, I even like the Overseas line more than many RO editions (except a couple), but they totally ruined the gorgeous cinnamon with this nasty off-putting date. It simply screams “look at me, I just ruined the dial of your 30k watch and I’m proud of it!”.

  • TrevorXM

    The Nautilus continues to be the ugliest lump of a sports watch in the world. Even in chronograph form, the awkward case with its pointless bulge on the left side and the childish shape of the dial continue to fail after all these years. Meanwhile, the AP is much more attractive in chrono form than three hander and only falls down because of the fake screw heads around the bezel.

    I used to really like the new VC Overseas but grew bored with it in photo collection of watches. It is just not individual enough.

    If I were to buy a gentleman’s sport chronograph I would not buy any of these three. I would buy my new favourite, the Blancpain Leman Flyback. It’s just way cooler than any of these ones. Ask Putin.

    • SuperStrapper

      >fake screw heads

      Real bolt heads, newbie.

      • TrevorXM

        With fake screw slots.

        • SuperStrapper

          Nope. They’re actually there.

          • TrevorXM

            Yeah, they took a hexagonal bolt head that fits in a hexagonal hole and carved in a fake slot to make it look like a screw head, but which serves no purpose whatsoever. That’s some great design work there. It looks idiotic.

          • SuperStrapper

            No, they milled (not carved) a real slot. You continue to say they’re fake, maybe you should actually see one of these in the metal one day and get out from behind the computer.

          • TrevorXM

            That is one of the dumbest posts I’ve ever read. You are trying to argue that there is a real slot there??? SO? Why is there a slot there? What purpose does it serve? Why was it milled in there? Let me spell it out for you: it is only there to look like a fake screw head. Why do you think they are there?

          • SuperStrapper

            Have no argument… not sure what to do…

            UR DUMIST EVAR!

            What a masterstroke.

          • TrevorXM

            That’s right, you have no argument. Bye-bye.

          • SuperStrapper

            Yeah, run along son.

          • Phil leavell

            Super strapper you are obviously a watchmaker possibly /Jeweler I have three basic theories on how it is done ornamental attached cape , or screwed in means nothing the intelligent thing for me to do is say sir how is this done. Could you please enlighten me

          • SuperStrapper


            they simply go through the case and are tightened on at the back to hold the case, bezel, and caseback together.

          • Phil leavell

            Thank you super strapper for the enlightenment.
            And Trevor X have you opened the box yet
            Super wish to wager wager if he learned something or not

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            The only one running should have been you. Again you have been completely dismantled and humiliated as a troll on this board. How many times does this have to happen?

          • SuperStrapper

            Sniping comments again, eh basement dweller? There are literally zero people that give a fuck about anything you say or think, so try harder next time.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            As a Royal Oak owner and lover, I have to admit that your are 100% right and the winner in this discussion. I appreciate the aesthetics of the fake screw heads nonetheless.

          • If you examine the patent drawings, you will see that the screw on top of the bezel is actually a threaded screw. It mates to the underside of the case with a larger outer diameter threaded bolt, which is round headed, and is where the torque is applied to hold the case pieces in battery. I would guess there are 8-10 inch pounds of torque on these two pieces. (Maybe more.) You can’t design an assembly process that does not allow a way to hold the upper screw in battery by just dropping the screw into a matching slot. Something has to hold it (a screwdriver) in place when you apply the torque. Otherwise, it will want to “turn out” when force is applied. This is not as large an issue with stainless cases. But in a platinum or gold case, the screw under load could actually deform the hole in the bezel.


          • TrevorXM

            Nope. Just think about this for a second: you have a hexigonal hole that the hexigonal head is going to fit. Screws SCREW. Now if this were a threaded screw, then how in the world are you going to tighten it? Hexigons don’t turn inside of a hexigon. A screw, screws. This cannot and does not screw. It is a bolt with a machined screw slot put in it for highly questionable aesthetic reasons. It is a fake screw head on a bolt.

          • Phil leavell

            This might help Schrodinger’s cat Theory Theory. Theory

          • “Now if this were a threaded screw, then how in the world are you going to tighten it?” From the bottom, as per my explanation and the drawing.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            Looking at my early Royal Oak right now… You are… right.

          • benjameshodges

            A well written and succinct explanation of the AP Royal Oak’s functional “real” screws. Sadly lost on its intended audience but appreciated by others.

          • I’m amazed that watch people still don’t get it.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            You can’t get something which isn’t actually true.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            The Royal Oak does have screws, but they fit on the bottom of the case. The Royal Oak has as its classic design a stainless steel case, so your argument has no validity.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            I still like the design, though it does not serve any other purpose than design.

    • Marius

      The Blancpain Leman Flyback is an excellent choice! It’s sporty yet elegant and discreet at the same time. Also, Blancpain as a brand is more understated than the “usual suspects” ie Patek, AP, or Vacheron. Lastly, Blancpain uses the caliber 69F8 which is actually an F.Piguet 1185 fitted with a flyback functions. For me, the F.Piguet 1185 is one of the greatest chronograph calibers of all times, and it was largely used by Vacheron and AP — in fact, the Royal Oak Chronograph still uses the 1185. My favourite Blancpain Leman Chronograph is the Grande Date reference:

  • Phil leavell

    Frankly looks like a generic all say dressed up Invicta Maybe a classy Victoria Knox. I think the up charge for the display back is a waste there’s nothing to look at here. Yes to fit and finish on the case was nice but not 30 grand nice
    Box 6 ( ? )
    Adams is not allowed to say this or expressing but that’s what the blog is for and we are. I for once enjoy his writing style , this is truly a watch that I’ll look forward to seeing on the grey market

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Adams ?

      • Phil leavell

        Ariel Adams sorry tension deficit and dyslexia can be beating but you need to stick.
        Here’s a picture of a brain fart I painted ( not for sale free for all to use ) . Cosmic soup

        • Dinkee, H. O.

          i hope you will post more on here. can’t we be friends?

          • Phil leavell

            I give my art freely it come from love I will not sale join gilds or do gallery show I tell you like I tell them when they come in once to sell I am not a hore take it and injoy I not do for money or to poach customers. And the art you sent to me is also a form of bullying please move on

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            can’t we be friends?

      • Dinkee, H. O.

        by the way, Adams is the name of the person who owns this blog and wrote the review.

  • Nothing terrible to say about the watch. I do prefer the previous big date version. The strap attachment system could have been engineered better. I could never really trust the small lug under long term wear. And, from the photos, it appears they have simply glued the leather over the steel connection lug. Can’t believe that will stay in place for long.

  • Pete Pete

    don’t know why, but apart from being quite ugly the vacheron also looks really cheap. without the logo I’d put it somewhere between hamilton and longines. maybe it’s because of the distance between dial and chrystal? the nautilus and royal oak are nicely “compact” and flat in any way, movement, dial, handset, everything screams quality and craftsmanship. the overseas on the other hand looks somewhat clumsy and ordinary.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    How many models look exactly the same. ? .


  • DanW94

    I also prefer their previous generation Overseas chrono with the big date but that wasn’t without its peculiarities. They could of done without the “automatic” and “antimagnetic” in the sub-dial on that one. Still prefer this one over the Nautilus by a country mile. And 30k for steel is an eye popping amount and perhaps not the best value proposition but I suspect that’s mostly a non-issue for the majority of Vacheron’s clientele.

  • Michael Gaetjens

    Hate it. When you want to be different by not going AP, but the 5990 is out of your budget, this should be the watch to get. But VC messed up on this one. The previous generation was “almost there”… all it needed was an in-house movement and subdials of the same size instead of 1 weird looking oversized one. That’s it. Had the previous version had those 2 qualities, it would have been in my watch box. This new version is so bad… date at 4:30… white date wheel… even AP got it right with the 15202 getting the matching blue date wheel. And the dimensions don’t help. How did this manage to get approved from sketch to production without someone saying no?

  • Moonraker

    There is a lot of love for the older version. Any love for the Gen 1? It’s a little boring but I do like its bracelet.

    • SuperStrapper

      This watch only works as a chronograph, there is no 3 hander that’s caught my eye. I remember being dearly in love with that bracelet when it was new but as soon as they moved to the Maltese one there was no going back.

      • Moonraker

        Fair enough. That’s a pretty handsome watch.

        • SuperStrapper

          Probably my favourite rose gold watch. Narrow field, but thisbis proper.

          • Moonraker

            How much you reckon? 40K+? On the bracelet it has to be more than 30.

          • SuperStrapper

            I’ve seen it as low as low 30s. Most asks are in the 45 range. The 1st gen bracelet references in full gold that you linked can be had for mid/high 20s. Chronograph.

  • Richard Baptist

    I have to agree with Ariel’s review. I think this is a disappointing watch from VC. I find the whole offering generic and boring both from the front and from the movement side. With the price they’re asking for this, there is simply too many other better options out there. If you like it great, but it’s not what I would spend my money on, if I could afford it.

    • kramdrallim

      Yeah same here. Needs two zeroes chopped off the price tag. It’s nothing that Seiko or Citizen haven’t done millions of, hundreds of times over, with small variations here and there.

  • otaking241

    The dealbreaker for me on this watch is probably also its most defining characteristic: the notched bezel that collects dust and cruft in its crevices the second it’s taken out of its protective wrapping. I swear it looks dirty even in renders. It does have an awesome bracelet, though.

  • Phil leavell

    Hey where’s that yo dink ee poacher ,
    Does he work at that overpriced shopping blog .

  • simon

    Ariel, we don’t agree on much, but I think your write up on this collection was direct and fair. In my opinion, and speaking to a few of their AD;s that I frequently shop, this collection has been a failure. I have been told of many many aftersales issues with these new movements as well as the bracelet/strap system. The biggest complaint I have heard is the pricing….its ridiculous. I suppose these articles are difficult to write, when you truly feel the way you do, because VC may not send you watches to review anymore! oh well, if the rest of their product launches are like this, then I am sure you don’t need to review it.

    • Ariel Adams

      Thank you Simon.

  • Pete L

    Good fair review. I really liked the look of this although seems to be trying to be something other than its competitors without any distinguishing features other than the changeable strap and the larger size. As much as I like the blue one I think I would go AP if in the market for this type of high end chrono.

  • GW

    Love the honesty in the opinion Ariel.

    For me, the chorno sits on the wrist like a 30k brick. The 3-hander is too big and thick as well but the chrono is just a nightmare on the wrist. I guess most things feel too big after getting used to a 15202 but damnit the AP is just a great size and thickness.

    Oh, and the date window is just hideous… big step down from the centered big date on the gen 2 watches.

  • Flávio Maia

    I much prefer the older one… And its cheaper also!

  • Yanko

    Great article with very true observations. Thanks.
    I was at the Vacheron Constantin boutique on Rodeo Drive a few days ago and was not impressed by the watch. And price is, well, just ridiculous.

  • Rob Logan

    Having owned the older Overseas and recently purchased the new Overseas, I have to say that the new is a much-needed improvement, especially with the movement. The old version gave me an unexpected issue: sometimes in the winding position, the date would move. This does not happen with the new model. I also love that I can swap out the bracelet with two other included straps. The only thing I like about the old model is the location of the date, but I’m still happy with the new one. I really love this watch and I do get the occasional compliment or two.

  • Gary Herman

    Thanks Ariel…thorough review as always. I’ve been debating selling my OS 42042 (Gen 1) and moving to one of the newer versions so your review was particularly relevant for me. I might have decided without trying on first and now I will certainly visit a boutique before making a final decision. I couldn’t agree more with your comments on the bracelet. The Gen 1 bracelet is a work of art, clearly hand polished and is as good if not better than than the AP and Patek. I was disappointed with the newer design.

    Finally, I would encourage interested buyers to try an Overseas on regardless of model. For whatever reason, pictures – even high resolution – don’t convey the quality, refinement and wrist presence of wearing one. It’s interesting to me because I would not say that is the case with the AP or Patek versions. Keep up the good work.

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