The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is probably the most sportive model by the brand. Vacheron Constantin launched the Overseas collection in 1996, adding the chronograph model in 1999. In many ways it is the spiritual successor of the “222”, the steel sports watch that Vacheron Constantin introduced in 1977 to celebrate the brands, you guessed it, 222nd birthday! While the current Overseas Chronograph, introduced in 2016, is a more modern looking watch, you can see a family resemblance.
For this generation of the Overseas Chronograph, Vacheron Constantin developed a new movement. Caliber 5200 is a column wheel chronograph with a 52-hour power reserve. Being a Vacheron Constantin means that this caliber carries the Geneva Seal, a hallmark certifying the exceptional finish of the movement. You can partially see this through the glass back of the watch if you are not distracted by the 22K gold rotor engraved with a compass rose.
To operate the chronograph, you need to turn the screw-down pushers one-quarter. This system contributed to the water resistance of 150 meters. The design of the dial is also a bit bolder than we are used to from the previous generation Overseas Chronograph. The chronograph counters feature larger Arabic numerals, and the big date on the previous version is replaced by a smaller date window between four and five o’clock. They are small details, but they make the watch look much more dynamic!
The steel Overseas Chronograph comes not only with a bracelet but also with a rubber strap and an alligator leather strap. On the bracelet, the links are styled like the Maltese Cross, Vacheron Constantin’s logo. Not only the bracelet but also the straps come with a quick change system, allowing you to swap from bracelet to strap in a matter of seconds. This makes the Overseas Chronograph very versatile, especially regarding look. You can dress up with the alligator leather strap, or wear a steel icon on the bracelet. The rubber strap is the most sportive choice of the bunch. It brings the watch into previously uncharted territory. While either other option makes the watch perfect to enjoy watching the America’s Cup from the deck of your yacht, the rubber strap turns it into a watch ready to participate in it!
This is a strength that the Overseas has developed in an increasing amount ever since its introduction in 1996. It went from a steel dress watch more towards a watch that offers the best of both worlds, in a very pleasant package. Of course, the chronograph function helps with this, because nothing says sports watch like a chronograph complication.