Many watch fanatics consider Vacheron Constantin a grail watchmaker. But across 250 years of impressive watchmaking design, finishing and in-house movements, the brand has only ever made one casual sports watch — the Overseas. Born as the 222 in 1976, the watch has always been overshadowed by contemporaries like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. But in 2016, Vacheron completely overhauled the Overseas with the addition of several new iterations, including a world timer, ultra-thin and perpetual calendar.
But as far as a true, everyday “sports watch” goes, the new chronograph version is the clear winner. It features a new in-house column wheel chronograph movement with a vertical coupling clutch (a rarity that makes for a smoother engagement and disengagement of the chronograph function) that took Vacheron five years to develop. The funky ’70s case shape incorporates screw-down pushers and a soft-iron ring, allowing for 150 meters of water resistance and 25,000 A/m of magnetic resistance.
That all seems like an exercise in pure function until you realize this is Vacheron we’re talking about. That in-house movement has a gorgeous 22k gold rotor and a Geneva seal, meaning it means a rigorous set of requirements of high-end finishing. The upshot? The Overseas is an extraordinary combination of high-end watchmaking and rugged utility.
Certification: Hallmark of Geneva
Case Material: stainless steel; pink gold
Water Resistance: 150 meters
Case Size: 42.5mm
Power Reserve: 52 hours