December 22, 2011
by Ariel Adams
This is how Vacheron Constantin does America. Interestingly enough the prestigious Swiss watch brand has America to thank to a large degree for its success today. About 100 years ago the brand was doing very well here in the US and if you visit Vacheron Constantin’s website there is a history section that discusses this. Recently VC opened up its first US boutique store in New York City.
Where? Just look on the back of the watch and you’ll find engraved “Madison and 64 th.” It should be spelled “64th,” but hey, these are watch makers not map makers. Though I would personally would have redone the only 20 casebacks in the CNC machines. They are just steel right?
As I just mentioned, these watches will be limited to 20 pieces only and available exclusively in the brand’s new New York store. What happens if the boutique changes its location years from now? If that is the case then I think the watch will become even more of a collectible. It is almost amusing how the text on the back is vague. It is almost more fun this way than what you might expect such as “Limited Edition For America.” Then you also have Vacheron Constantin’s application of red, white, and blue on the dial -because you know, we like to honor the flag’s colors in our wardrobe on a fairly regular basis.
This is actually one of these pieces announced as limited editions for the NYC boutique in 2011. Perhaps more will come in the future. I like the Overseas model because it is a sport watch. Not like an actual sport watch, but more like a guy wearing a monocle in a safari outfit sitting for afternoon tea. It suggests you do more than just wear three-piece suits. I do however anticipate that VC will be updating its Overseas watch in the near future. Just a guess….
At 42mm wide the watch here is in steel. Oddly enough watch brands have been pairing steel cases with high-end movements a lot lately. I don’t really get it. Especially as they are not priced like steel watches. Sure the steel they use is nice, but it is inherently a cheap metal compared to white gold for example. Vacheron Constantin likes to say that this is the most complicated movement they have ever put in a steel Overseas watch. I believe them, and for the privilege of having one you’ll pay around 60 grand.
Inside the watch is an in-house VC Calibre 1136 QP automatic. With a chronograph, perpetual calendar, and moon phase (along with the time), I am impressed by its only 228 parts. Usually watches this complicated have more parts. Don’t be confused however, mechanically speaking the fewer parts a movement has the less prone to failure it is. I like how the hands and hour indicators stick out enough to have a high level of legibility on the dial. The functions are all contained within the four subdials that each have two displays inside of them. Attached to the watch is a blue alligator strap with a nice red lining. VC also includes a brown strap that should look nice.
As a limited edition Overseas model this Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Boutique New York timepiece is actually a lovely looking model. Limited to just 20 pieces it will no doubt prove hard to get and be rare. With the popularity of the brand these days I think they won’t have too much trouble with the asking price of $57,900 – even though it is very expensive for a steel watch.
Technical Characteristics from Vacheron Constantin:
Overseas Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Boutique New York
Calibre: 1136 QP
Energy: Mechanical, self-winding
Movement thickness: 7.90 mm
Movement diameter: 28 mm (11 ¼ lignes)
Number of Jewels: 37
Number of components: 228
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
Hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock
Column-wheel chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour counters
Perpetual calendar (day of the week, date, 48-month counter with leap-year indication)
Power reserve: Approximately 40 hours
42 mm in diameter
Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inside, flat
Solid with stamped “Overseas” medallion, closed with screws
Equipped with antimagnetic protection
Water resistance: Tested at a pressure of 15 bar (approximately 150 meters)
Dark blue, sunray satin-finished
12 applied trapezoid hour-markers in 18K white gold with white luminescent material
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large squale-scales, red leather inner shell
Delivered with a second strap in brown barenia
Clasp: Stainless steel triple-blade folding clasp, double security with buttons, polished half Maltese cross
Limited edition of 20 individually numbered pieces Exclusively for the Vacheron Constantin Boutique in New York “N°X/20” and “Madison and 64th” engraved on the caseback