Over the course of the last several years, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas has gone from being the “other” integrated bracelet sports watch, to now being considered a hype model that is frequently sold out at retail, and trades hands for premiums on the secondary market. A large part of the newfound success of Overseas can be attributed to Vacheron Constantin’s willingness to let the collection adopt trendy features that are currently resonating among collectors. A fresh blue dial placed the time-and-date version of the Overseas into the same conversations as its siblings from Patek and AP, while GMT and tourbillon-equipped models have allowed the Overseas to evolve into far more than just a traditional integrated bracelet sports watch. Now for 2023, a new “Panda” dial version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph has joined the lineup, and it has the potential to be quite popular due to its multiple on-trend features. Almost as if it were created from a list of watch industry buzzwords, the latest addition to the Vacheron Constantin Overseas lineup is a stainless steel integrated bracelet sports watch, with a column-wheel chronograph movement, a quick-release strap/bracelet system, and an ever-trendy “Panda” dial.
Technically speaking, the new panda dial version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph (ref. 5500V/110A-B686) is hardly a new watch at all, and even calling it a new dial variation still seems like a bit of a stretch in this particular instance. Vacheron Constantin already offers a version of the Overseas Chronograph with a black and white dial, although the existing model embraces a “reverse panda” layout with a black surface and white sub-dials. The new version for 2023 opts for a traditional “panda” style with a silver-toned, sunburst satin-finished surface, paired with black snailed subdials and a matching black rehaut that contains the seconds scale for the chronograph.
Rather than just inverting the colors of the existing black and white dial Overseas Chronograph, the decision to go with a pale silver hue instead of white lends itself to a slightly more elevated overall appearance in images. Additionally, the contrasting black flange surrounding the dial helps to separate it from the other models in the series, while also further playing into its intended “Panda” aesthetic. Beyond the updated colorway, the actual design and layout of the dial remains entirely unchanged. Just like the other chronograph models from the Vacheron Constantin Overseas series, the new panda dial version features a trio of sub-dials, a date window at the always-controversial 4:30 location, polished 18K white gold hands, and baton-style hour markers that are filled with Super-LumiNova.
As far as the external side of the watch, the new panda dial version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is entirely identical to its siblings. It features a stainless steel case that measures 42.5mm in diameter by 13.7mm-thick, with the same integrated lugs and prominent Maltese cross-inspired bezel that definite the rest of the models from the current Overseas collection. Similarly, the technical capabilities of the case remain unchanged, and it even includes the same soft iron internal casing ring (rather than a full internal shield due to its display caseback), which provides some additional magnetic resistance.
Like the other Overseas Chronograph models, the new “Panda” version features a sapphire crystal above its dial, along with a signed screw-down winding crown, locking chronograph pushers, and a screwdown display caseback, which all work together to create 150 meters of water resistance. Additionally, just like its siblings from the modern Overseas lineup, the new panda dial variant of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph features the brand’s tool-free interchangeable strap/bracelet system, with both black rubber and leather straps included alongside the model’s signature Maltese cross-inspired stainless steel bracelet.
Just like the external case, the movement for the panda dial Overseas Chronograph has also been carried over from the rest of the contemporary range. Powering the watch is the brand’s in-house Caliber 5200 automatic movement. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 52 hours, the Vacheron Constantin Cal. 5200 is a column wheel actuated chronograph, and it is fitted with a solid 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a compass rose engraving. Additionally since the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is a “Hallmark of Geneva” certified timepiece, the finishing on the Caliber 5200 is executed to the meticulously high standards that are required in order to receive this designation. The perlage, Geneva stripes, and gold-filled engravings are all visible through the sapphire window in the caseback.
Given that the new panda dial version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is simply a new colorway of an existing model, it expectedly costs the exact same as the other stainless steel chronographs from the current lineup with an official retail price of $32,400 USD as of press time. Compared to certain other Overseas models, the various chronograph references typically don’t command such high premiums on the secondary market, although this new “Panda” version has the potential to change that. While it is certainly a familiar aesthetic, people seem to thoroughly enjoy the classic yet sporty appearance of a stainless steel chronograph with a panda dial. Given how many people are willing to spend this much (or more) on a current-production Daytona, I could easily see this new panda dial model quickly becoming one of the most popular versions of the Overseas Chronograph. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.