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Miles Ahead with the Overseas

Vacheron Constantin made its first steel pocket watch for travelers in 1897. Styles have changed since then, but what hasn't is the company's dedication to creating well designed and carefully executed timepieces for people who demand the best, regardless of the time zones or mode of travel.

By Scott Hickey
March 1, 2018

Vacheron Constantin - March 2018 TickTalk Image

Fate came calling in 1977, the year Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 222nd anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, the Geneva manufacture unveiled a steel sports watch dubbed the 222. Watch enthusiasts fell in love with its distinctive notched bezel and integrated bracelet, a contemporary look that helped make the 222 one of the era's most popular stainless steel wristwatches.

The 222's successor emerged almost 20 years later when Vacheron Constantin unveiled the Overseas collection in 1996. Its design offered a refined take on the 222's sharp geometric lines, while maintaining the sporty elegance that the 222 was known for. Most noticeably, it incorporated the shape of the Maltese cross — the brand's longtime emblem — into the design of the watch's bezel and bracelet. At its core, the collection celebrated the theme of travel, and in 2004 incorporated an antimagnetic screen to protect the movement and allow for greater accuracy while in transit.

Today, the collection continues to be a favorite among horological aficionados who crave a travel watch that's both mechanically excellent and elegantly sporty.

The modern Overseas collection, entirely redesigned in 2016, offers a new case and bracelet design, a series of new movements, and an innovative interchangeable strap system for added functionality. Each Vacheron Constantin movement in the modern Overseas collection features the Hallmark of Geneva. This prestigious and independent designation is only awarded to watches made in Geneva that meet stringent standards for mechanical quality and aesthetic excellence.

This new generation of Overseas includes several new manufacture movements. The latest in-house caliber is used to power an updated version of the classic Overseas Dual Time. The first pieces of this new model began arriving at Cellini this month.

Vacheron created a new in-house movement for the Overseas Dual Time.

Because dual time watches are the perfect traveling companion, it makes sense that Vacheron would turn its attention to this complication next to round out the Overseas collection's technical offerings. Well suited for life on the go, the new Overseas Dual Time offers a smart mix of high style and low maintenance. The movement winds automatically and stores 60 hours of reserve power so that you can put it on and not worry about it. Its case is water resistant to 150 meters and features a soft-iron casing ring that helps prevent the movement from being magnetized accidentally.

Both red-tipped hands stay synchronized to your home time.

Owners will also appreciate how easy it is to operate the watch's signature function. First, set the secondary-hour hand and the related am/pm indictor to your home time using the crown and pusher located in the 4 o'clock position. When you're traveling, use the crown at 3 o'clock to independently set the main display to the local time. When you do, the secondary-hour hand will stay in place and remain synchronized with your home time. To ensure it can be read easily, the second time zone hand features a large, triangle-shaped tip that's impossible to miss.

The company will produce three versions of the Overseas Dual Time. The first comes in a 41mm rose gold case paired with a silver-toned dial decorated with a sunray finish. There are two steel options as well: one with a silver-toned dial, and another that boasts a spectacular translucent-blue dial.

The shape of a Maltese cross — Vacheron's emblem — is integrated into the Overseas' design.

One of the most appealing aspects of the newly redesigned Overseas is just how much attention has been paid to enriching the watch owner's experience through thoughtful and well-executed design features. The prime example is Vacheron Constantin's patented quick-change strap system, which makes it possible to change straps and bracelets without using a tool. To make a change, simply push two levers located on the back of the watch. Nothing could be simpler. In fact, it's so easy that you'll probably find yourself changing up your look more than ever before.

Justifiably proud of this system, Vacheron wants to help people take advantage of it. That's why the company is shipping gold versions of the Overseas with two straps: one alligator leather and one rubber. Every steel version of the Overseas comes with a matching bracelet, plus one rubber strap and one alligator strap.

The Overseas collection features a patented system that makes it easy to change straps and bracelets.

Another upside to the patented system is peace of mind. Most strap changes require a metal tool to remove the spring bar that connects the strap to the case. If you've ever accidently scratched a lug trying to remove a spring bar, this surefire design is something you'll appreciate.

With the new Overseas Dual Time, Vacheron Constantin fully embraces the spirit of wanderlust that's been central to the collection's identity from the start.

Click here to view the Vacheron Constantin collection online at Cellini Jewelers.

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