Travel through time

Of all the collections past and present that comprise Vacheron Constantin’s vast portfolio, the Overseas Collection is the one that most encompasses their spirit of adventure and travel.

The overseas models embody the essence of the journey – they are…

Of all the collections past and present that comprise Vacheron Constantin’s vast portfolio, the Overseas Collection is the one that most encompasses their spirit of adventure and travel.

The overseas models embody the essence of the journey – they are made from enduring materials, however it is by using the knowledge and skills acquired by Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers over 250 years that have allowed for its continued classic and innovative design. Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watch manufacture in continuous production. Founded in 1755 in the heart of Geneva by master watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron. He later passed the company on to his grandson.

As the business developed and demand increased he partnered with a salesman by the name of Francois Constantin. In 1810 Vacheron had begun to travel, selling his watches, mainly throughout Europe. In 1819 after creating the partnership, Francois Constantin took over this role and as well as continued travel in Europe, Constantin travelled to North and South America selling the watches that Vacheron produced. In 1846 Vacheron Constantin was the first watch manufacture to produce a watch impervious to magnetic influence by fitting it with a balance spring, balance wheel and lever crafted in a special bronze alloy. In 1885, Vacheron Constantin built the first watch bearing its name that incorporated a complete lever assortment designed to withstand magnetic fields; its balance wheel, balance spring and lever shaft were made of palladium while the lever arms were fashioned in bronze and the escape wheel in gold.

By the 1930s Vacheron Constantin had many prestigious clients around the world who travelled themselves, so naturally to meet their clients needs they began to produce exquisite timepieces inspired by their sporty energetic clients – they were the first models produced by Vacheron Constantin in stainless steel.

Vacheron Constantin’s interest in the design of watches capable of resisting magnetic fields continued throughout the 20th century. Building on their reputation, its watchmakers designed and, from 1954 to 1959, built a chronometer so resistant to magnetic fields that it was the wrist instrument of choice for many knowledgeable engineers in electrotechnics. The chronometer was fitted inside a round case with screwed-in back and watertight pushpieces.
With this knowledge acquired the journey of the Overseas Collection then begins in 1996 with it’s launch and in 2004 Vacheron Constantin launched the second generation of this line; a collection constructed entirely of steel with an increased case size (to 42mm), an updated dynamic design and incorporating the Vacheron Constantin logo of the Maltese cross in the shape of the bezel and using a half cross in the links of the bracelet. The final salute, the medallion on the case back of all the Overseas models: a two masted sailing ship capturing the spirit of travel.

Diving into the interior of an Overseas model you would find a watertight gasket to protect against moisture and foreign matter, water resistant to 150m.  The dial and hands are coated with luminescent substance for optimum legibility at all times.  Additional to this, each model is shielded by a soft iron magnetic screen preventing magnetic fields affecting the movement’s rate and precision and each component of the movement is finished by the hands of Vacheron Constantin’s skilled craftsmen. By applying as much care and attention to the inside of their timepieces as they do to the exterior design, Vacheron Constantin continue to produce timepieces of the highest standards.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Overseas line in 2006 four new models were introduced, including the first Overseas fitted with a strap. A limited edition Dual Time model of 250 pieces, crafted in pink gold complimented with a chocolate colour dial.  It was the first Dual Time model made for the Overseas Collection, fitted with the calibre 1222. The dial displays the second time zone reading from a 12 hour sub dial at six o’clock and a smaller 24 hour indicator positioned alongside, easily distinguished by its hands sweeping over the day and night zones, finally a date sub dial and sweeping 40 hour power reserve.

Along with the limited edition Dual Time a new Chronograph model was launched. Fitted with the calibre 1137, the features included are a 40-hour power reserve, two totalisers – one to 30 minutes and one to 12 hours and an oversized date calendar in twin apertures sitting at 12 o’clock. To compliment the collection there was also a simple automatic model, calibre 1126/1, with date calendar.

The newest additions to the Overseas Collection were launched at the SIHH trade fair for Haute Horlogerie in Geneva last year. After the success of the limited edition Dual Time, the collection now includes a stunning pink gold Chronograph model with an anthracite dial fitted with the 1137 calibre. This is either found on a pink gold bracelet or an anthracite rubber or alligator strap.

The second model launched was a dazzling Dual Time model fitted with calibre 1222 SC. The matt white-varnished dial is enhanced by the second time zone indicator on a rhodium plated opaline sub dial at six o’clock, which has an attached day/night hour indicator. At two o’clock you will find a silvered opaline date dial and at nine o’clock a rhodium plated opaline 40 hour power reserve indicator. These delicate aspects are framed by the Maltese cross inspired bezel that is set with 88 brilliant cut diamonds. It comes in either white or pink gold and is fitted with a white alligator or rubber strap.

The Overseas Collection continues to develop in line with the client’s aspirations, who need a luxurious timepiece which fits their active and sporty lifestyle yet meeting their desire for an item which is elegant, timeless and distinguished. Two new models are expected to be launched in April this year keeping the previous year’s trend of using pink gold and rubber straps. The Overseas Collection truly reflects the modern world that inspires its name – a world of travel and discovery.

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