There are a few surefire ways to elevate a classic sports watch to new levels. You can add a self-winding tourbillon movement, or craft it in grade 5 titanium. In the case of Vacheron Constantin, you can do both just in time for Watches and Wonders 2024. While neither of these things is new to the brand, it’s not often you get a high-performance material and one of the most casual horological flexes at the same time. As a fan of the Overseas in general, the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon feels a bit like an evolution to its final form, and I am here for every minute of it.

This isn’t the first time this combination of function and materials has been combined, and it likely isn’t the last. However, the Overseas in this size with a tourbillon exists in stainless steel and in titanium with an open-worked movement and sapphire dial. Both previous iterations have plenty of panache and the latest addition is the best of both worlds thanks to its ultra-lightweight titanium case and legible blue dial.

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At a glance, this new Overseas looks extremely familiar, and you could easily mistake it for its steel counterpart. The case measures 42.5mm wide, retains the defining Maltese cross motif from bezel to bracelet, and is a comfortable 10.39mm thick. The two-part bezel is polished on top and has a matte sandblasted base for additional contrast. The top surface of the case is vertically brushed with highly polished bevels and case flanks. These finishes flow directly into the bracelet through to the hidden and adjustable butterfly-style clasp. Sapphire crystals are found front and back to allow a full view of the tourbillon and self-winding ultra-thin calibre 2160. With a screw-down crown at 3 o’clock, you’d expect this watch to have a decent amount of water resistance, but in this case, it is only rated to 50 meters. Thickness is often the first sacrifice made to increase water resistance, and it was certainly not sacrificed in this new Overseas tourbillon.

The Calibre 2160 achieves its 5.65 mm thickness thanks to the peripheral rotor winding system. In addition to making the movement thinner, the peripheral winding system allows an unobstructed view of the movement. The 22K gold oscillating weight is attached to the system and can be seen on the edge of the movement from the rear. The calibre 2160 has a power reserve of 80 hours and operates at 18,000 beats per hour. A Geneva seal is present, ensuring the movement was manufactured in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, and that the quality is well above the standard.

The tourbillon cage is where Vacheron always gets a little spicy, by integrating its Maltese cross into the design. While I’m not a fan of overzealous branding, this is always a nice touch. Set against the shimmering azure sunburst dial are white gold hands and applied indices that complement the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. As it spins it also acts as a running seconds indicator, made even easier with a blued screw and arrow tip added to one of the four branches of the cross cage.

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I have never hesitated to call brands out for their lack of investment in clasp mechanisms. In the case of Vacheron Constantin, it has been ahead of the game for a long time. Each end of the butterfly clasp has a 2mm friction detent built into it. It is an ingenious and subtle extension that is there when you need it and hidden when you don’t. All that is required is an outward tug of the clasp (see GIF below on another Overseas model), or a flex of the wrist to extend as needed. The clasp isn’t the only play Vacheron Constantin has made the end user’s life a breeze. The bracelet and two additional straps (one leather and one rubber) all feature tool-less removal and replacement. Granted, when we are talking about the pricepoint of an ultrathin titanium tourbillon these features should be standard. Unfortunately, they are not, but that is part of what makes the Overseas such a compelling option in the overcrowded integrated bracelet market in 2024.

The new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon in titanium is a stellar example of a simple way to spice up an existing collection without overhauling it or making drastic changes. This is an easy choice for those looking for a high-end sports watch while still getting the perks of having a top-of-the-line ultra-thin tourbillon without the extra weight of precious metals that generally accompany the complication. Vacheron Constantin was unable to provide pricing for this new release. The identical Overseas Tourbillon in steel is priced at a whopping $129,000 USD, so you can expect a price slightly north of that for this new premium grade 5 titanium option. This price tag isn’t anything to scoff at, but compared to alternatives on the market, it might just make sense for you. You can learn more about Vacheron Constantin and its 2024 releases on the brand’s website.

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