I remember the first time I laid my eyes upon the Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection. It was at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2016 in Geneva, and I couldn’t stop playing with the interchangeable straps that could be released with a simple click of a button. It helped, too, that the timepiece’s handsome good looks with its six-sided bezel and polished veneer had captured my imagination.
The collection originated in 1996, a culmination of the watchmaker’s technical innovations since the 1800s. The 2016 re-launch of this sporty family cemented its position as a permanent mainstay in the brand’s line-up, and featured minor nip and tuck elements that gave it a contemporary, 21st-century update.
In-house movements developed specifically for this line further enhanced its appeal and reinforced Vacheron Constantin’s reputation as a bona fide watch manufacture, while new additions to the line-up this year, including six new all-steel or two-tone references, are designed to target female watch collectors.
For the sake of this review, I test drove the 37mm stainless steel Overseas with a rosy beige dial. I had three options to choose from: a stainless steel version with a blue dial, and a two-toned rose gold and stainless steel version with a diamond-studded bezel and silver-toned dial. Diamonds being a girl’s best friend and all, I was intrigued by the two-toned, bejewelled Overseas, but what tipped the scales in favour of the stainless-steel watch with the rose dial was the choice of bracelets it came with: blush pink alligator and rubber straps, as well as a full metal bracelet. The two-tone version was only available in a dark brown alligator bracelet and rubber strap, which provided too harsh a contrast to my skintone.
So why was parting with the Vacheron Constantin Overseas after four days so tough? Read on for my key takeways.
The easy-to-change strap system is a breeze. It took me a couple of tries at the boutique to get it right, but essentially, just click the notch between the bracelet and the case, and the strap pops out instantly. Putting it back is just as simple.
How many watches can boast the versatility of being a work and weekend watch? The Overseas’ three different strap options give women the wardrobe versatility to suit any occasion, be it dinner and karaoke with friends or visiting the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the National Gallery. Three watches for the price of one? Yes, please.
Of course, the best gauge of the timepiece’s success on my wrist was the sheer number of compliments I received. The full metal bracelet got the most love, and fellow watch connoisseurs gave me a silent nod of approval as they noticed the distinguishing Maltese Cross links and signature six-sided bezel.
Not many timepieces pay this much attention to the bracelet, but as you can see with the sheer amount of information I have to share, Vacheron Constantin really put in a lot of thought and attention to detail to this oft-neglected element. The watchmaker also got the ergonomics just right, as I could easily increase the metal bracelet by half a link if it felt too tight on the wrist when the temperature was soaring outside.
Despite the timepiece’s saccharine sweet demeanor in the palest of pink, it’s in fact a serious watch for serious collectors, as it comes endowed with an in-house developed movement that’s been certified by the Geneva Seal, meaning that it ticks a number of exacting aesthetic and technical criteria.
The power reserve is a standard 44 hours, but this meant I could pick it up and wear it the next day without having to wind it. I know many people love the anachronistic charm of winding their watch on a daily basis, but given that I’m always rushing for time, automatic timepieces are great for women who are constantly juggling several roles and responsibilities—and coffee cups to go.