Vacheron Constantin’s New 35mm Self-Winding Overseas, Plus New Face of the Collection Zaria Forman
Vacheron Constantin has certainly hit a rich vein of creativity lately. Alongside a slew of new releases launched at Watches & Wonders Shanghai last week – including the mesmerizing Métiers d’Art Tribute To Explorer Naturalists – the Geneva maison has announced two new faces to its sports chic Overseas collection.
One of those new faces, a slim-sized 35mm Overseas Self-Winding in 18K pink gold with a matching golden dial and a bezel shaped to resemble the brand’s Maltese cross emblem, is quite dazzling. Moreover, this new piece is stunningly set with 90 round-cut diamonds that total 0.86 carats.
The other new face is American artist-explorer Zaria Forman, who has joined Vacheron Constantin’s roster of “One of Not Many” talents and, in the process, became the new face of the Overseas collection, alongside photographer and filmmaker Cory Richards.
Plus, to accompany that announcement, the brand also shot a promotional campaign with Forman in Iceland, off the back of which the Massachusetts native has created a series of unique artworks entitled Fellsfjara, Iceland. Work No. 3 of the series – a finely detailed, large-format pastel drawing of glacier ice – has been produced specially for the watchmaker.
Travel & Exploration
On the one hand, the new diamond-set pink-gold Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding 35mm is a natural follow-up to the downsized steel and pink gold plain 34.5mm and gem-set 35mm Overseas Self-Winding pieces unveiled at Watches & Wonders in Geneva earlier this year.
After all, the latest 35mm iteration is powered by the same automatic Calibre 1088/1, which drives central hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as a date display at 3 o’clock.
Moreover, like those springtime releases, these new releases boast a stop-seconds mechanism for precise adjustment and a soft iron casing ring to ensure anti-magnetic protection. This movement – with a 22K gold winding rotor decorated with a compass rose to denote travel and exploration – is gorgeously on display through the sapphire caseback.
On the other hand, it is the new diamond-set Overseas Self-Winding 35mm’s tone-on-tone pink gold dial that really makes this piece stand out. For you see, while the models launched earlier in the year had pink lacquered or blue dials to contrast with the case material, the new Self-Winding 35mm is endowed with a gilded dial to complement the hue of the housing around it.
Vacheron Constantin’s artisans are said to have spent considerable time and effort perfecting the transparent lacquered dial, which features a sunburst satin-finished base and velvet-finished external minutes track.
“We wanted to offer a [dial] shade that would be different from the classic silver tone that usually goes with this type of pink gold watch fitted with a bracelet in the same metal,” explained Christian Selmoni, Director of Style and Heritage at Vacheron Constantin.
He added: “We were inspired by the pink gold combination found in many of the maison’s creations since the 1940s.”
As Selmoni noted, the golden dial doesn’t just coordinate with the 18K pink gold case. It also matches the watch’s 18K pink gold bracelet, whose slender polished and satin-brushed links bear a profile that is another nod to the brand’s Maltese cross logo.
The bracelet features a triple-blade folding clasp and attaches to the case as part of a smart interchangeable strap system. A white calfskin leather strap with tone-on-tone stitches and a white rubber strap – both fitted with an 18K pink gold buckle – are available as compatible alternatives to the gold bracelet, allowing owners to switch up the overall look of their watch.
New Face of the Overseas
For the past two decades, New York-based artist Zaria Forman has traveled the planet – from the Maldives to Hawaii, from Greenland to Antarctica – and along the way, she has chronicled climate change by gathering images, videos, and memories that she then reproduces in pastel on large-format paper in her Brooklyn studio.
Her thought-provoking work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. “Art has a special ability to tap into our emotions,” she explained. “I show the beauty of what we stand to lose in my drawings, as opposed to the devastation of climate change, in order to inspire people. When you fall in love with something, you want to protect it.”
Discovery & Openness
According to Vacheron Constantin, Forman’s “spirit of discovery and openness to the world personifies the Overseas collection.” And to mark the beginning of her role as the new face of the collection, Forman traveled to Iceland to create a new series of one-of-a-kind works of art – Fellsfjara, Iceland – with work No. 3 of the series destined for Vacheron Constantin.
“The ice at Fellsfjara, Iceland… tells the story of the past and our future. I was captivated by [what] I saw there,” said Forman.
She continued: “Chunks of recently calved compressed glacier ice were washed up onto a black sand beach. The light moved through frozen layers and around air bubbles, perhaps ancient ones, that were locked inside when the ice was first formed. I’ve made sound recordings of these bubbles popping open as glacial ice melts and releases them.”
Forman concluded: “This new body of work, including the drawing for Vacheron Constantin, will explore this phenomenon in great detail, magnifying textures and surfaces in the ice that I have never before attempted in my work. It is an up close and personal view of melting glacier ice.”