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Why is it that the older generation always seems to look at the current and have a story about “how things used to be”? Now hear me out, I’m not about to hit you with an old wives tale – promise. Only 24 months or so ago, I can vividly remember sitting in the Old Bond Street boutique of Vacheron Constantin (honestly where I spend most of my free time), with a black dial, time only 41mm Overseas and a blue dial side by side. The team and I, plus a collector friend, mulled over the pros and cons of both. This was a time when not only both were available to buy there and then, but also just before the meteoric rise of the Overseas as a model among the collector community. Offering elegance, real haute horological chops (think Geneva Seal), and rock solid build quality in abundance, it was (and still is) the ultimate all-rounder (IMHO).

I talk of those days like it was decades, ago, but that is the watch world we find ourselves in, super-fast paced, and I for one couldn’t be more excited about it, more interest, more innovation and more passion. One of the big winners of the increased interest as of the last two years or so? Vacheron Constantin. No doubt. One of the hottest watches on the face of the earth? Anything from the Overseas collection! And now the Swiss maker has turned up the heat on the complication and execution in its first fully rose gold case and bracelet Overseas Chronograph. If you ever needed a reason to get into the boutique – now you have one! (Can you tell I’m excited about this one?)

The Overseas design stands very much on its own two feet alongside other 70’s models. Inspired by the work of Jörg Hysek who designed reference 222 in 1977, the Overseas became its own range with the reference 42040 in 1996. This new Overseas Chronograph utilises Vacheron Constantin’s inhouse- developed calibre 5200. The two screw-down pushers flanking the crown at 3 o’clock are responsible for starting, stopping, and resetting the chronograph mechanism. The star of the show? For me, it’s the 42.5mm 18K pink gold case and multi-layered, blue lacquered, sunburst satin-finished dial – a combo that even the most disciplined watch lover can’t but fall for.

Dial side, three sub-dials sit at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, slightly cutting into the stepped-down minute chapter ring. The chronograph seconds hand mounts centrally with another scale on the rehaut. This pronounced rehaut has a golden ring running the circumference with five-minute numerals and smaller intervals to match the calibres’ 4Hz (28,800vph) frequency. At the 6 o’clock counter is the indication for elapsed hours up to 12, with the 3 o’clock counter displaying elapsed minutes up to 30. With the subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock, the Overseas has a familiar Compax layout made famous by iconic chronographs of the watch world.

In many ways this new addition from Vacheron Constantin cements itself as the go to family for luxury sports watches (if you want something a little less obvious than the regular faces). One thing is for sure, you really can’t go wrong with the Overseas and particularly this gold chronograph. It’s full on, unapologetic and I love it.

Words by Justin Hast

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