Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V
Out of stock
Known as one of the “holy trinity” of luxury sports watch, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas competes with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus in terms of craftsmanship, quality, and engineering. The Overseas has always been a timepiece that wasn’t designed to be a sports watch but more of a casual/leisure, timepiece. Released in 1996 the Overseas was a revival of Vacheron’s first luxury sports watch: the 222 – made in honour to celebrate the brands 222nd anniversary in 1977. Of course, over the years the Overseas has evolved and is now in it 3rd and current evolution.
This latest generation first debuted in 2016, featuring some aesthetic design elements from previous generations while also featuring contemporary niceties and luxuries that Vacheron has pioneered. The new design features flowing lines and delicate finishes, giving the new Overseas model a more seemingly timeless appearance but one that is still very modern. Featuring satin-brushed finishing along the majority of its 41mm x 11mm 18-carat pink-gold case which is overall excellent condition, the Overseas’ polished sides and Maltese cross bezel complete the iconic look. The rounded, polished and satin-finished opening dips towards a refined dial topped by a sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides. It features a silver sunburst dial with a date window at 6 o’clock.
The screwed-down case back fitted with a sapphire crystal reveals cal. 5500 movement with a 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a wind rose, a universal symbol indicating the cardinal points for travellers, and adorned with sandblasted, polished and finely grained finishes. This Vacheron Overseas comes with and blue utilitarian rubber strap, with an ingenious interchangeability device for the bracelets/straps and the folding clasp, serves to secure them in place without any need for tools.
London – UK
Self-Winding Calibre 5100
Vacheron Constantin Blue Rubber Strap /w Pink-Gold Deployant Buckle
Original Box & Paperwork
Casual sports that bore a prestigious watch brand on the dial didn’t really exist until about 40+ years ago. However, during the 70s there were plenty of brands that were all vying for the claim to fame of having a luxury sports watch made from steel. The kind of time piece that would not only look good in the office but one that could also handle the ski slopes and a yachting trip or two during the weekend.
A sports watch with an integrated bracelet was all the rage back in the 1970s. Having a steel sports watch that not only looked the part but was also a tool watch, was essential. Something that would accompany you through pretty much everything and be your faithful wristwatch companion. The Royal Oak, designed by on Gerald Genta, was AP’s answer to this conundrum. Patek Philippe had theirs in the form of the Nautilus (also design by Mr. Genta) and Vacheron Constantin had what was called at the time, the lesser known ‘222’, which was intended to mark the brands 222th anniversary. But what is extremely important to remember, is that the 222 was not designed by Mr. Genta, but instead by one young maverick designer by the name of Jorg Hysek.
During mid-twentieth century, it is extremely difficult to talk about sports watches coming out of the Vacheron Constantin manufacture. That said, VC did produce steel watches that looked unconventional in the standard of that era and could’ve been perhaps considered sporty. The first being an extremely rare timepiece from around 1933, which featured a screw-down caseback and bezel, for water resistance. Could this piece have been the inspiration for the 222? It’s hard to say.
In 1975, before a certain Mr. Genta’s designs hit the market, Vacheron had taken a step in the right direction, with the release of the sports model reference 2215 or 42001 (as the numbers changed along the way) from the prestigious Chronometre Royal range of models, made in very few numbers. Available in either a steel or gold case, it featured a rectangle case with a matching integrated metal bracelet. 1977 of course heralded the introduction of the, downright cool, 222 – the precursor of the Overseas via a couple of other models that we’ll get to in a second.
The 222 was produced in 3 variants: stainless steel, solid yellow-gold and the perhaps more favourable around that era, a steel/gold combination as well. The case measured a rather large 37mm for the time, with a beautiful integrated bracelet. The case was tonneau-shaped with a clever one piece construction opened by a screwed in porthole style fluted bezel, giving it a 120m water resistance and protecting the ultra-thin calibre 1121 automatic winding movement.
After seven years in production, the 222 was unfortunately discontinued, with only around 500 examples made during this period. By 1984 it had been replaced by a somewhat unfavourable piece in the reference 333, which does sound like a bit of an odd name considering the 222’s importance. The 333 was an octagonal case shape with integrated bracelet (quite like that of the 222) existing in either steel, gold or steel/gold again. From there, the unflattering 333 quickly evolved into the Phidias around 1989., made in either white or yellow-gold, as well as a steel/gold combination. The Phidias featured a round case and bezel, lending a more classical look, breaking its ties with the sportier 222. However, by 1996 the short lived 333 and Phidias gave way to a proper Vacheron sports timepiece and I think if you look closely enough you can see it has taken design cues from the 222 and the Phidias. That model is of course the Vacheron Constanin Overseas, which over the years has become an icon in its own right.
It is said that near towards the end of 1994 that Vacheron decided to create a new sports watch, which took its design from the aforementioned ‘222, launched almost two decades ago previously’. It featured a tonneau case shape with an integrated bracelet and also a serrated bezel, however, this had been based on the Vacheron Constantin Maltese cross.
By 2004, Vacheron had further developed the Overseas and had a more aggressive, sportier, look over the first iteration, with the incorporation of a Maltese cross on the bracelet, as well as the guilloche dial. The case had also been upsized from 37 mm to 42 mm and came in an array of variations, including rubber and leather strap options. They also started expanding upon the complications available within the range, adding power reserve and moon phase pieces.
In 2016, Vacheron re-developed the Overseas, simplifying the case design a little bit but keeping the overall aesthetics the same. The new Overseas also included a very, very simple and ingenious.