Test Bench

Vacheron Constantin Chronograph Overseas

The Watch Quote™ - January 14th, 2005

Introduced 1996, the very modern Overseas opened the way for Vacheron Constantin’s third millennium sports models. The Genevan brand unveiled its direct descendant last spring. The new Overseas range is a worthy heir to the house’s legendary savoir faire. The Cote des Montres™ has taken a close look at the steel Chronograph version for you. Share our impressions in this exclusive…

Vacheron Constantin under the magnifying glass


sporty elegance of the highest degree

The Vacheron Constantin company began to work on antimagnetic watches in 1846. A century and a half later, the movements in the Overseas are entirely surrounded by a special metal jacket, which makes the models in this range totally impervious to magnetism.

The Chronograph Overseas sports vocation shows in its lunette, buttons, the screwed down base, index and superluminova-coated hands. We are talking the most demanding, top sports, as the Vacheron Constantin will constantly remind you. Above all, at this level, it is attention to detail that makes all the difference.

Vacheron Constantin applies its sporting attributes to create a watch with all the elegance that they are known for.

The fine finish on this steel sports model shows the sheer finesse of the craftsmen at Vacheron Constantin. Such perfect detail is truly exceptional, very few brands dare to be photographed this close-up.

Maltese Cross

A legendary signature

In 1880, Vacheron Constantin patented the Maltese Cross as their brand mark. Synonymous with excellence and perfection, today’s new Overseas models still carry the same signature.

Everything from the lunette to the winding crown and magnificent steel bracelet is marked by legend. The Chronograph Overseas claim to a place in history is a proud signature and pledge to perfection: the Maltese Cross.

Overseas Chronograph

Sport par excellence

The Overseas Chronograph was Intended for everyday use, but designed to be robust, (its 316L stainless steel alloy case is knock and shock resistant and guaranteed water tight to a depth of 150 meters). Like an open invitation to travel and get away, the back of the case carries the Overseas emblem, a splendid sailing ship cut into the metal.


Technique and mechanism

Set in its large (42 mm diameter) case, the heart of the Chronograph overseas beats in time to the caliber VC 1137. A mechanical column wheel movement, and excellently made self winding mechanism drive the main date display at 12 o’clock, hour and minute counters at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, and the small second hand at 6 o’clock.

The choice of an outsize minute counter emphasizes the Overseas Chronometer’s exclusivity and makes the time legible at a glance.

On the wrist

Elegance and high performance are the two adjectives that best describe the new Chronograph Overseas - a perfect marriage of the best watch making tradition and the current enthusiasm for large size sports watches. All of the modern characteristics a man of taste would expect are here, condensed into this exceptional time-piece and its irreproachable finish.

Supple and pleasing, the Chronograph Overseas’ adjustable bracelet adapts to any wrist so its perfectly comfortable to wear.

The Watch Quote opinion

A timepiece that acknowledges its origins - racy, sporty, exceptionally elegant, a jewel of technology with an irreproachable finish. The watch is magnificently produced and directed by Vacheron Contantin, in return for that pleasure, we wish it the long and happy career it deserves.

Strong points:

• Irreproachable finish
• Legibility
• Anti magnetic protection
• Large clear date display
• 42mm diameter case

Weak points:

• Weight
• Too precious to really be a sports watch

Our Verdict: ****

 1     2     3     4     5   

Obviously we couldn’t end without evoking a comparison to the fabulous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Once again, the comparison draws attention to the direct link between the the world of watches and the world of automobiles, where two gems have marked the glorious past. Bentley and the Rolls Royce, two brands with apparently similar models and clients, pursued radically different, even completely divergent philosophies, for decades. On closer examination, their vehicles were very different and made to extremely precise specifications. If there is a lesson to draw from this, it must be that at this exalted level there will always be customers who prefer Vacheron Constantin and customers who prefer Audemars Piguet. There’s no point looking for a rational explanation, it’s all down to feeling.

Technical specifications

Case: 316L steel, diameter 42mm.

Movement: Self-winding mechanical chronograph, caliber.

Functions: hours, minutes, little second, large date, power reserve 38 hours.

Crystal: non-reflecting sapphire.

Back: screwed in.

Buttons: screwed in.

Lunette: screwed in.

Bracelet: 316L steel adjustable with double security folding clasp.

Constructor’s reference: 49150/B01A-9095.

Recommended retail price tax included: 12,300€

Other version: black dial.

Thierry Castagna / The Watch Quote™
Photos Luc Virginius

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