This year marks the 263rd anniversary for Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin. The brand holds the record for the longest continuing entity in the business and is no stranger to watch collectors and connoisseurs who understand its remarkable heritage. Throughout the years, Vacheron Constantin has always been described as a decidedly traditional brand, with aesthetics that pay tribute to a conservative manner of timepieces.
Its Overseas collection however, puts the notion of “conservative” to bed. When the brand redesigned and relaunched the range back in SIHH 2016, it was met with approval by many a collector. The sports-luxe feel of the watch was reminiscent of the ’70s era of timepieces and backed with Vacheron Constantin’s innovative calibres and technical prowess, it made for a great talking point for the brand. In the short time between SIHH 2016 and this year’s, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled several new additions to the range.
One such model that has been making the rounds is the new Overseas Dual time. When the maison first unveiled the Overseas collection, travel was a very strong identifying theme. Apart from working with legendary photographer Steve Curry, the brand’s ad visuals drove the joy of wanderlust home. This year, it took it a step further, unveiling perhaps the best functional timepiece for travel. In the previous Overseas collection (phase II, that ran from 2004 to 2016 right before the relaunch), there had already been a Dual Time piece that was released in 2015.
At SIHH, a representative of the brand explained the need to redesign the piece even though it only came out three years prior, stating that Vacheron Constantin sought to declutter the previous version that saw too much across the dial. The resulting effort is a watch that balances out form and function exquisitely. There’s ample space for the central dual time hand, marked with an arrow, and the new day/night indicator to be read at a glance. This has also allowed for the date indicator at six o’clock.
The calibre powering the timepiece itself has changed as well. The new cal. 5110 DT is an extension of the cal. 5100 that was used to power the automatic three hands. With the new 5110 DT, users are looking at an increased power reserve of 60 hours. As with most Vacheron Constantin timepieces, the movement is approved according to the Hallmark of Geneva. The watch comes in three variants, two in stainless steel cases (one with a blue dial and the other in silver) as well as one 18k red gold version. All three timepieces have a diameter of 41mm that wears well on the wrist in a modern fashion.
Perhaps one of the more lifestyle functions that Vacheron Constantin has added to the timepieces is the ability to quick change the straps. With the new Overseas collection, the stainless steel case versions are delivered with three types – one steel bracelet, one leather and another in rubber. For the gold versions, the watches are delivered with one leather strap and another in rubber. In doing so, the watches truly become a traveler’s best friend, allowing you to swap out for different occasions on a trip – be it for the beach or an important business dinner.
For the modern man who does globe-trotting plenty on his own time and on business time, the need to know distinct timezones is one that’s important. That feeling of checking your wrist before calling a business associate the world over is perhaps the truest mark of the globalisation of society.
Find out more about Vacheron Constantin on its site or at the brand’s boutique at 2 Orchard Turn, 02-07 ION Orchard