Back in 2019, Geneva-based Vacheron Constantin released its latest generation of ultra-thin perpetual calendar watches in the Overseas collection. aBlogtoWatch went hands-on with that attractive, classic, wearable, and luxurious set of Vacheron Constantin watches here. Just a year later, in 2021, Vacheron Constantin debuted a skeletonized version of the same watch collection with a white-accented dial. The blue-accented dial was originally only offered with an 18k white gold case. In 2022, and as a boutique-only model, Vacheron Constantin pairs the deep blue-accented skeletonized dial with the 18k rose gold case (and bracelet) for the reference 4300V/120R-B642 that I wear for you here. It’s really quite nice.
The obsession over Royal Oak watches and the lack of humility in Patek Philippe perpetual calendars makes the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin collection, in general, rather appealing. Vacheron Constantin has all the high-end appeal and historic legacy of the others (actually, more), but still today has a more relaxed character about the brand and seems more interested in celebrating a well-to-do cultured life than impressing your investor buddies. So, for now, Vacheron Constantin is one of a small number of name-brand high-end watchmakers that isn’t clouded with hype attention that seems to dilute the purist stuff.
Mind you, this is a nearly $140,000 USD wristwatch we are talking about. Vacheron Constantin is nice enough to include both a leather and rubber strap option, but it is really meant to be worn on its matching 18k rose gold bracelet. With bracelet links and a bezel design intended to show off the brand’s Maltese Cross logo motif, the Overseas is a timepiece with real flashy appeal (while at the same time not being too flashy). The case is 41.5mm-wide with a quick-release system for the bracelet, so the straps can be swapped out with ease (though Vacheron Constantin does use a proprietary connection system, i.e., you can only use the watch with its straps). At just 8.1mm-thick, this automatic-winding perpetual calendar moonphase watch is considered ultra-thin. Yes, there are thinner watches out there, but this is about as good as it gets in terms of thinness for this type of sporty look with a series of complications and automatic winding. No one is going to have any trouble fitting an Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton watch under a sleeve, or wearing it with shorts, for that matter.
Even though this is both an open-worked dial and skeletonized movement, the dial of the watch is entirely legible given that almost all of the markers and subdials are intact. These dials are in a deep blue color that pairs elegantly with the rose gold material. A close inspection of the dial reveals the carefully assembled 276-part movement that is a major reason people are interested in a brand like Vacheron Constantin, in the first place.
The dial features the time with no seconds indicator and a perpetual calendar display that indicates the month, date, and leap year along with a moonphase display. It’s really a dress watch in a sort of sporty look given the Overseas case and bracelet, but have no doubt that this watch concept began life as a formal-wear timepiece. The case is water-resistant to 50 meters and has a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial and caseback.
What’s great about the most recent generation Overseas cases (especially the Ultra-Thins) is how comfortably they wear. Being ergonomic and convenient is a major reason people stick to luxury brands and, alternatively, why they choose not to wear other watches. It is never enough these days for a product like the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton to look nice — it also needs to feel and wear nicely in order to get well-deserved wrist time.
Inside the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton watch is the in-house Vacheron Constantin caliber 1120 QPSQ/1 automatic. This is an interesting movement that focuses on aesthetic beauty, classic execution, and very thin size. The movement is relatively efficient, made of just over 275 parts, and it does operate at a power-lean 2.75Hz (19,800 bph). Even then the small mainspring barrel only offers 40 hours of power reserve. Thus, from a timing accuracy standpoint, this 1120 QPSQ/1 caliber will likely require frequent timing adjustments. Also, the 2.75Hz operational frequency is highly irregular, meaning (among other things) that traditional rate-result testing machines will not be able to get an effective reading and will need to be reprogrammed (if possible) to this uncommon 19,800 beats-per-hour rate. What the movement has going against it is not being the most modern in architecture or technology, as well as possibly not being the most high-performance in its class. It is, however, very “classic,” visually beautiful, and compact in size.
Some of the most impressive features of the movement are its delicate skeletonization, as well as, like I said above, the ability to put everything together in such a small space. Anyone buying the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watch is probably doing so, in large part, because of the movement. People who further opt for the Skeleton watch want to take it a step further and routinely visually admire the movement. Vacheron Constantin does not fail to satisfy when it comes to offering both world-class timeless designs and fantastically well-finished and conceived movements and dials. All of that is manifested in a watch like this Vacheron Constantin reference 4300V/120R-B642 quite nicely. Once again, the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Think Skeleton reference 4300V/120R-B642 in 18k rose gold with the blue dial is a boutique-only exclusive and has a retail price of $136,000 USD. Learn more at the Vacheron Constantin watches website here.