At Watches & Wonders 2015, Vacheron Constantin released this new limited edition blue version of the Overseas – a high-end sport watch collection that I love to cover from time to time. Earlier in 2015, I spent some time revisiting the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph collection (also in blue) here. That Overseas Chronograph and this three-hand Overseas are “sister models” because they both feature steel cases and matte blue dials with matching blue rubber straps. Of course, a few months later in January 2016, Vacheron Constantin released an entirely new Overseas collection with the Overseas Simple Date and the Overseas Chronograph. While those are the newest models, there is still demand for some of the other legacy Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection… So let’s get a bit more acquainted with the more basic Vacheron Constantin Overseas watch by looking at this reference 47040/000A-9008.
If you are at all interested in the history of high-end sport watches as well as the Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection as a whole, I recommend checking out the previous article. I go more into the history of the collection, talking about its contemporaries when the Vacheron Constantin Overseas was first debuted, as well as its designer Jorg Hysek. In some ways, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas was his version of Gerald Genta’s Royal Oak design for Audemars Piguet.
What I’ve always appreciated about the Overseas collection is the pleasant mixture between stately legibility and just a little bit of showiness. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas bezel is one large play on the cross-style Vacheron Constantin brand logo. It offers a distinct look that has deeper meaning to the brand – which is something that has few analogs in other designs out there. The dial is bold and provides no nonsense or anything too extra, and comfort is very high given the decent proportions and comfortable straps or bracelet.
Both the three-hand and chronograph versions of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas come in a 42mm-wide case – here in steel with immaculate finishing and extremely tasteful contrasting brushed and polished surfaces with some excellent edge beveling. What is different about the two versions in terms of the case is thickness, with the Overseas Chronograph being 12.45mm thick, and this Overseas at 9.7mm. It also happens to be water resistant to 150 meters and, of course, has an AR-coated sapphire crystal.
Being a sport-style watch, it is good to know that the Vacheron Constantin Overseas case has some built-in shock protection as well as anti-magnetic properties thanks to having a soft iron core to ward off magnetic fields that would hurt the movement (protection rated to 25,000A/m). Of course, these days the king of anti-magnetism is Omega with their mostly non-magnetic Master Co-Axial movements. Those allow for a view of the movement in their otherwise magnetically immune watches, while something like the Vacheron Constantin Overseas has a solid caseback.
Inside the watch is the Vacheron Constantin caliber 1226 SC automatic movement. Produced from 143 parts, this relatively thin 3.25mm-thick mechanism operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of 40 hours. The rotor uses a piece of 21k gold as a weight. The movement is a nice little workhorse offering the time and date. With today’s more modern movements showcasing new materials and lower power reserves, one could make the argument that Vacheron Constantin might consider upping the ante with future movements. With that said, the caliber 1226 SC might not be the prettiest movement around but it gets the job done and shouldn’t provide you with anything to complain about.
Attached to this blue-dialed version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas is a matching blue alligator strap that comes on a deployant buckle. Blue is certainly an “in” color right now so I think that the overall drama of the watch’s design should be particularly appealing these days. What I can say to sum up the three-hand version of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas is that it is really a sort of aging star of yesterday that still has appeal today. This is how you can get a retro-style sport watch without actually having to go retro, or get something that is designed to look like it. There are a nice mixture of modern and traditional elements which keep the watch looking interesting while also looking timeless and just a bit eccentric. The dial is all about legibility, complete with luminant and easy-to-read hands and hour markers. Get it because it just works so well for what it is – and appreciate that it’s been produced long enough to be “timeless.”
Of course, models like this will be phased out soon in favor of the totally new 2016 Oveaseas models, which will make it tough for Vacheron Constantin fans to decide what to get. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas reference 47040/000A-9008 is produced as a limited edition of 350 pieces and is priced at $13,000. vacheron-constantin.com