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Vacheron Constantin’s New Releases for Watches and Wonders 2024

Feature: Long Read
Words by ROBIN SWITHINBANK

Scan social media, particularly its watchiest corners, and you’ll find frequent mention of watch wardrobes governed by size. A three-watch wardrobe had some momentum for a time, and of late, the two-watch wardrobe has been flung open for our sartorial and horological consideration – perhaps reflecting a shift towards conservative consumerism.


But what if there could be a one-watch wardrobe? Or indeed, if there had to be? What would that watch have to do to offset the need for a second watch, and then a third and more? Above all, it would have to be unimpeachably versatile. Good for everything. Beach, boardroom, barbecue, ballroom and pickleball. By rights, it would exhibit indefatigable longevity and carry a dial name with clout. For bonus points, multiple personalities. Because really – one watch for everything? You can see where this is leading: at Watches and Wonders Geneva this year, Vacheron Constantin has introduced five new versions of its perennial-favourite Overseas.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon with blue leather strap and titanium case

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

Titanium is growing in popularity these days, no doubt because it’s exceptionally light but also exceptionally strong, and because it’s exotic without being too flash. Vacheron Constantin says its titanium is 50% lighter than steel and yet 30% more resistant, qualities that for obvious reasons make it a good fit for an all-purpose sports watch.

ROBIN SWITHINBANK

“While any one of these new releases might qualify for that one-watch wardrobe, first is the Overseas Tourbillon in full titanium”

Watchmaking of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

Titanium is growing in popularity these days, no doubt because it’s exceptionally light but also exceptionally strong, and because it’s exotic without being too flash. Vacheron Constantin says its titanium is 50% lighter than steel and yet 30% more resistant, qualities that for obvious reasons make it a good fit for an all-purpose sports watch.

The brand has been here before. Sort of. The collection currently includes an Overseas with a tourbillon wrapped in titanium, only that model’s dial is skeletonised, turning it into a vivid mechanical tableau using the watch’s sinewy inner workings. The difference with the 2024 release is a dial in solid, suave blue, save for the opening at six o’clock where the whirring conglomeration of parts known as a ‘tourbillon’ sits in magnificent isolation.

Tourbillons are notoriously narrow and un-sporty, but Vacheron Constantin has somehow democratised this most traditional of mechanical watch supplements, not just by swaddling it in 42.5mm of lightweight titanium, but by maintaining its principle of supplying the Overseas with three strap options.

So on its titanium bracelet, it’s a red-blooded all-day utility watch; on its blue calfskin leather strap it ratchets up its eveningwear credentials; and on blue rubber, it’s a watch you wouldn’t think twice about sweating in. And thanks to the peripheral rotor burdened with charging up its automatic mechanical movement, it’s only 10.39mm thick. Enough to know it’s there, without clogging up your shirt sleeves.

The next four from Vacheron Constantin are all in 18-karat pink gold and feature mechanical set-ups we’ve seen before, too: a chronograph; a GMT with second time-zone, date and AM/PM functions; and two automatics, one a smaller 35mm piece set with diamonds. What’s new about this rosy quartet is the application of green sunburst dials – again, supplied with a bracelet and matching green leather and rubber straps.

In these new releases, it’s a rich, mossy, deep-forest green, a mature hue that complements not just the handsome accents of the Overseas’ profile (the fronds of the Maltese Cross motif still defining its bezel and echoing through the bracelet links), but also the Vacheron Constantin name. This, after all, is a maker that entered the watch world in 1755 and, it says, has enjoyed uninterrupted production ever since – nearly 270 years of unbroken activity no other watch company can match. Evergreen, you might say.

ROBIN SWITHINBANK

“Somehow, despite the green-dial surge of the past few years, the Overseas has never carried a green dial before. Vacheron Constantin has never been one to hurry into things, mind”

Watchmaking of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas with green sunburst dial

In these new releases, it’s a rich, mossy, deep-forest green, a mature hue that complements not just the handsome accents of the Overseas’ profile (the fronds of the Maltese Cross motif still defining its bezel and echoing through the bracelet links), but also the Vacheron Constantin name. This, after all, is a maker that entered the watch world in 1755 and, it says, has enjoyed uninterrupted production ever since – nearly 270 years of unbroken activity no other watch company can match. Evergreen, you might say.

So how are these new Overseas models doing against our one-watch wardrobe brief? Versatility? Check. Longevity? Check. And multiple-personality bonus points? No reason those three interchangeable straps can’t tick that box, too. So, check! Winning. Look around Vacheron Constantin’s 2024 collection and you’ll find higher complications (the Genevan company is an undisputed master of such things), but few watches that would fulfil our taxing quota so well as the Overseas. But then again, is one watch really ever enough?

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