Vacheron Constantin Overseas – Watchmakers Delve into Sports Watches
Dipping its toe into the world of sports watches may seem an odd gesture for the highly revered haute horologists, Vacheron Constantin. But, through a number of incarnations over the years, the world’s oldest watchmaking company has risen to the demand for sports watches, without losing its reputation for elegance. The “Overseas” collection is a tribute to “a world of travel and discovery,” and saw its first incarnation in the 1970s, called the “222.” In the early 1990s, the “222” morphed into the “Phideas,” and in 1996, the current collection took shape.
From the lineage of the “222” and the “Phideas,” the Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection is wide and varied, including a chronograph, a dual time and date self-winding models. Each timepiece in this collection uses a soft iron inner case that gives it anti-magnetic protection to 25,000 A/m. This technology reaches back to 1885, when Vacheron Constantin created the first anti-magnetic watch. In the sporting spirit, each watch is also water-resistant to 150 meters. A special stamp on the case back also tips a hat to the sporting tradition, depicting the famous Amerigo Vespucci, three-masted sailing vessel.
As is to be expected, the majority of the timepieces in the Vacheron Constantin “Overseas” collection are chronographs, with the characteristic 30-minute and 12-hour counters. Design options for all the watch types in the collection include 18K gold, stainless steel, titanium and 18K 5N pink gold. Straps are available in the same metals, rubber or alligator. The dual time watches appeal to the sense of travel and discovery in the line. Two sub-dials allow for a second time zone with a day/night indicator. The third type is the date self-winding, with a calendar in the aperture. This style offers two smaller versions, suitable for women.
Along with being the first watchmaker to develop an anti-magnetic watch, the Vacheron Constantin company, through founder and original watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron, created the first complication watch and the first engine-turned dials. Each VC watch, including those in the VC “Overseas” collection, bears the Maltese Cross symbol, adopted as the logo for the company in 1880. The Maltese Cross resembles a cross-shaped component in the barrel, which limits the tension in the mainspring. Each watch also bears the Hallmark of Geneva, a certificate only awarded to Genevan watchmakers who adhere to the strict guidelines of the Commission, in an effort to ensure the highest quality of movement and aesthetics. Every watch made by the company must pass inspection with the Commission.