Sunday, July 2, 2017

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph

Vacheron Constantin Overseas (VC OS)

At end of 1994 VC decided to create a sports watch directly getting its design cues from the 222 launched almost 20 years before: a tonneau shaped case with a round serrated bezel this time in the form of a broken Maltese cross. The design team was composed of Dino Modolo, independent designer in charge of many Vacheron Condtantin designs of the time and Vincent Kaufmann a in-house designer today heading the VC design team. First was launched the time only model housing cal 1310 based on GP calibre 3100 in a 37mm case (also a 35mm model as well as a lady’s 24mm model was also launched) including an extremely rare left hand version made in only 3 pieces, followed in 1999 by the chronograph housing the Piguet based automatic calibre 1137 based on the Piguet calibre 1185 specially modified to add a big date mechanism. “The success of the Overseas went beyond our expectations” says Christian Selmoni Marketing Product and Product Development Director.

In 2004 brought a 42mm case that tailored the Overseas to suit contemporary tastes for bolder styles and as larger watches.

A Casual Watch with touch of sportive look

“With time the Overseas has become symbolic of Vacheron Constantin, but I don’t define it as a sports watch, but rather a casual watch. A sports watch is made for sports, the Overseas of course can be worn during sport activities but it is a discreet model which can be worn during week ends, leisure periods and fit for every day use” says brand CEO Charly Torres. 

His Rivals
From inception, it was clear that the Overseas would be exclusive piece. Compared to rivals Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, VC produces about half and one-third as many watches per year, respectively. In practice, the Overseas is even more scarce than the Nautilus and Royal Oak. While those watches have been on the market for decades, and many pre-owned models come to market alongside new versions, the 42 mm Overseas Chronograph featured here has been available only since 2004.


The Big Date on OS.
The dial of the Overseas Chronograph is where Vacheron Constantin declares intent to distinguish itself from the Daytonas of the world. A double-digital grand date display at 12 o'clock offers good legibility and a feature that the Daytona can't match.


Fine Touches on Design
Vacheron employs an intricate rose-lathe guilloché on the dial that adds visual interest and articulates the large open swaths of silver metal. Each of the chronograph subdials features a fine concentric circle pattern that speaks to VC's eye for detail. Grey anodized hands are an unique touch that really "pop" against the dark black tone of the dial, and matching applied indexes compound the effect; it's a standout.


VC case
VC's Overseas case is a newcomer to the sports watch scene, but it's well on its way to becoming a classic in its own right. The combination of a brushed case and polished bezel creates an impression of substance that eclipses the wrist presence of any Daytona. Thoughtful bezel faceting echos the signature Vacheron "Maltese Cross" logo and adds to the impact of the Overseas Chronograph.


VC OS under water
Beside Style, it comes with real substance is the Overseas Chronograph. While Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak Chronograph is barely suited to the kind of pool at 50 meters of resistance and Patek Philippe's $60,000 Nautilus 5980 chronograph is rated to 120m, the Overseas Chrono says it could survive at a 150 meter rating.


VC OS Calibre
The Overseas' F. Piguet (now Manufacture Blancpain) chronograph engine is a gem and a fitting power plant for a watch like the Overseas. In practice, its pushers are crisp, and its action is smooth. Under the hood, the finish is executed to a standard that's unmistakably Vacheron. Polishing, angling, and linear Côtes de Genève speak to the degree of effort that VC craftsmen invested in this watch.

If you're going to use a customer caliber, use the best, and VC does it.


VC Deployed
A steel bracelet with double deployant action ensures comfort and security on the wrist.

Twin-trigger release permits easy removal when desired while eliminating the potential for accidental deployment in the event of sudden shock or a glancing blow. While comparisons to the Daytona generally favor the Overseas, where the bracelet is concerned, VC absolutely leaves the Rolex for dead.



Comparison with the legendary Daytona

Technical Specification

The Daytona's 4130 is versus the Piguet 1185 animating the VC OS.

When the 1185 made its debut in 1987, it was the "Best Of Breed", and the 1185 is for sure a very good chrono movement - column wheel switched, friction engaged chrono works.

The  4130 is 30.5mm X 6.5mm, VS the 1185 is 26mm X 5.5mm.

The 4130 beats at 28.8 APH,  the 1185 at 21.6 APH.

The 4130 has 72 hour power reserve, the 1185 about 40 hours

The 4130 has an adjustable mass balance, the Piguet is pin regulated;

The 4130 employs an overcoil terminated balance spring and the 1185 a flat balance spring.

My Overall Comment, the Daytona Compares with VC OS, the movement has a better features.


Interesting comment on comparison between Daytona and VC OS.

Rolex Forums comment

*I have owned the 116520 and 116509 Daytonas. I have owned a VC overseas, but the non-chronograph variant. I assume the finish and workmanship of the Overseas and Overseas Chronograph are similar.

The VC was a higher quality level based on my examination of the case and dial. Also nice touches like ceramic bearings on the rotor and gold on edge of rotor to increase mass, along with Faraday shield for anti-magnet properties. If I could of figured out how to wear the box on my wrist I would have...... absolutely gorgeous furniture quality. Lastly, the integration of the VC symbol the Maltese cross into the design of the bracelet and bezel is very cool.

That said, I really like a Daytona and I really like the VC.


*I like them both, but they're not really in the same price range. The Overseas lineup has a lot less heritage than the Daytona, and AFAIK they don't have an in-house movement. Unlike a steel Daytona, with the Overseas lineup you also have to face a huge depreciation after a new purchase.


If money no object, I'd get the VC, on the basis that I'm not fond of the shiny bezel of the Daytona. And I kinda fancy the Overseas bracelet, it looks unique.


*Frankly, I'm not totally in love with either. Here are my observations:

DAYTONA: Oh-so-classic but I don't find it legible enough and I think the current design of the subdials isn't as attractive as the 16520-Zenith-based one. I really wouldn't mind another 1-2mm in case size, same thickness, but that is not a deal killer. The inability to buy a nice OEM leather band for the SS models is just stupefying. On top of that, I would really like a date function (without cyclops).

VCOSC: Not a "real" Vacheron Constantin as it doesn't use a in-house movement but rather starting off with a Jaeger-LeCoultre ebauche, even if the rework it. On top of that, I'm not really a fan of the dial pattern but I do like the design of the sub-dials and the hands, date etc are all in good harmony. Lastly, the pattern of the bracelet is not to my taste. Having said all of this, I think the Chrono with slate dial (aka "Deep Stream") on leather bracelet is really attractive.

I'd wait for Basel to see if there is any Daytona upgrade. Otherwise I'd rather buy something like a JLC Master Control Chronograph today if I needed a chrono.

came across pulling a trigger on a white dial VC Overseas Auto and decided against it in the end. not having an in-house movement was one of the reasons (yes, i know a non-in-house Daytona fetches quite abit too, but we are talking about a VC here...)

dont get me wrong, i like VC as a company, but just can see the "value" in their Overseas range anymore.... but one day i will def. get my hands on a VC... and i already know which one i want

*They are not my cup of tea, but both of them are important watches.

Daytona has a high resale value. Cal. 4130 is excellent movement, but Daytona is not rare.

Overseas has an another great automatic chronograph calibre, FP 1185. Rare, but has a low resale value.

If I were you, I would have a look on JLC MC Chrono models. They look awesome. 


* I've never understood why JLC isn't considered one of the "top three". Patek, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin have all used JLC movements. In the case of Patek & AP, at various stages, they both bought the company to obtain the JLC movement secrets & then sold the company on.

left APRO Chronograph, Right the VCOS


In large part, this is a matter of taste and style rather than objective facts.  Obviously, comparing them both in the same metal and both on bracelets we have two 12-hour, 3-subdial chronographs with screw down crowns and pushers, and a good case could be made for selecting either one. Some differences that might matter to some buyers, one way or the other, are: The Daytona is apparently produced in much larger numbers and is recognizable to many more non-WIS.  To some this, is a plus, to others a minus. The Daytona is 40 mm; the newer Overseas Chrono. is 42 mm.  Some prefer one over the other. The Daytona now uses an in-house movement; the Overseas Chrono. uses a modified F. Piguet movement.  Both are fine and plenty accurate, but some people care about whether the movement was made by the same company that owns the brand name. Daytona models vary in the legibility of the time and subdial counters to a greater degree than Overseas Chrono. models.  Some people care about being able to read the time or elapsed time, others not so much. The Daytona has no date, while the Overseas has a large date (but not a very readable one to my eyes).  Some people care about a date. The Daytona has as ordinary a bracelet as is made; the Overseas bracelet in exceptional for stability, comfort, and design.  Some people prefer one over the other. The Daytona feels lighter and more flimsy than the Overseas.  Some people prefer one over the other. The Daytona has a tach. scale that some people care about. My own view is that a steel Daytona is just an ordinary Rolex of no interest, while a steel Overseas Chrono. is a thing of beauty and a great companion, but I recognize this is a choice based on taste and style, not necessarily superior performance.  The white gold Daytona with silver dial on the other hand is something special for which VC doesn't yet have a comparable offering.  I still have my fingers crossed that VC will someday make a white gold Overseas on a bracelet with a blue guilloche dial. Park


My Comment
Both Daytona and VC OS carries similar size, with my wrist, size 38mm to 42 mm is suitable.

Daytona Zenith 16520 is more collectible as comparing with 115620 is no question, reflecting on their price.

Does not mean earlier is always better, but later is always unknown to me as do one know how many they would have made until one day they stopped making it.… always less is more… for Collector.

A Date is very important for my daily uses.

Branding is important so as why Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet… VC is an old watch makers back to 1755, whereas PP is 1839 and AP is 1875, needless to tell youngest here Rolex is 1905.

As for the VC OS, I just like the case and bracelet design, they are timeless in term of the look, and the transformed “Maltese Cross" bezel is a nice.

The less is more concepts… Do you know how hard to get an VC 222, Patek Nautilus 1976, or AP Royal Oak 1972 in gold or steel nowadays. Just because it was made in small number…. So as their price would be very high…  estimated price of a solid yellow gold 222 is now US$30,000 to 38,000!

A steel APRO 1972 Jumbo is US$30,000.

Don’t mention a Daytona Paul Newman… which is very expensive now.

The watch is reflecting your style, taste and your image… So long if you can afford a timeless time piece at a reasonable price…. That is what we are looking for here.

HK Snob


Parts of the information was obtained from various sites.

Source of the comment is From Rolex Forums, the hour Lounge mainly.

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