Vacheron Constantin Overseas self-winding

Watches and Wonders: Vacheron Constantin Dresses Up the Overseas Collection with New Green Dials

A green dial may not seem like earth-shattering news, but that’s kind of the point.

By Rhonda Riche

The sport-chic Overseas line from Vacheron Constantin is like a standard from the Great American Songbook. You know, tunes like “At Last,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” or “Unchained Melody” that are so beautifully composed that they are open to endless interpretations without losing their original hook.

Introduced in 1977 and reinvented in 2016, this year at Watches and Wonders Geneva, Vacheron Constantin is bringing a new arrangement to the Overseas line with the introduction of intense green dials set against pink gold and featuring a sunburst satin-finished center and a velvet-finished flange.

Green Back

Vacheron Constantin is like a river carving out rivers and canyons – the brand follows its path, takes its time, and makes decisions that affect the environment around it.

That is why, on paper, the first Overseas models to feature intensely green dials doesn’t sound like huge news, but in many ways, this represents a shift in the positioning of the collection. More specifically, these new models shift the aesthetic balance of the Overseas collection in favor of “chic” over “sport.”

According to Christian Selmoni, Vacheron Constantin’s Style & Heritage Director, “The Overseas watches are a collection that lends itself admirably to new color experiments. This was obvious when the brand introduced a pinkish-beige hue on certain ladies’ models, and more recently with a gold-toned dial.”

He continued: “From there, it made sense to ask whether the men’s timepieces could also adopt colors other than white, black, and the emblematic Overseas blue. The first tests largely confirmed what we suspected, particularly with the color green, a shade already appearing on some of the watches in the Traditionnelle collection.”

Visual Effects

Let’s return to the idea of balance because these new green dials get an assist from the color pink.

The four new Overseas Green references – a chronograph in 42.5mm, a dual time in 41mm, and self-winding date models in 41mm and a 35mm with a diamond-set bezel – are all encased in 18-karat 5N pink gold as opposed to sportier stainless steel that we’re more used to seeing.

Plus, to further accentuate the intensity of this new hue, the dial has a lavish translucent lacquer and a satin-brushed sunburst pattern emanating from the dial’s center to create an extra feeling of depth. Meanwhile, the flange has a delicate velvet finish that acts as a sort of bridge between the face and the gold case.

“This intense green color acts as a revealer, enhancing the brilliance of the gold while ensuring exceptional legibility of the watch’s functions,” explained Selmoni when asked why the brand didn’t pair these new dials with steel cases and bracelets. “The complementary nature of these four references is truly striking when placed side by side, and it could well be that this new color will become as iconic as blue within the collection.”

For those of you who are afraid of change, there is no need to fret. The Overseas Green is still a sensible watch with legibility provided by the contrast between the gold hour markers and hands highlighted with Super-LumiNova. Moreover, each model sports a double-minute track (except for the gem-set model, which has a single one) to allow for at-a-glance readings of the minutes and seconds.

With ideas surrounding formality shifting and dress codes rapidly changing, the Overseas Green collection allows for fluidity as we navigate the new social norms. These versatile timepieces come delivered with three interchangeable bracelets and straps: an integrated pink gold bracelet with a quick-release folding clasp and calfskin and rubber straps, both green, secured by a likewise interchangeable pin buckle.

The finishing of the integrated bracelet is particularly appealing with its polished and vertical satin-brushed links that recall the shape of Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross logo.

Finish Line

Of course, just as much consideration has gone into the inner workings of this quartet. These timepieces are all fitted with various calibres, each with high watchmaking finishes. Plus, all of the movements are self-winding with a 22K pink gold oscillating weight featuring the collection’s emblematic compass rose, and all beating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour).

In keeping with the collection’s sporting history, these new models offer open sapphire crystal casebacks, and each is water-resistant to 150 meters thanks to a screw-down crown. A soft-iron casing ring provides anti-magnetic protection for the movements.

“These watches must be able to adapt to all circumstances of active life,” finished Selmoni. “Within this context, it is a question of ensuring impeccable functionality for models that must also blend elegantly into their environment, however diverse that may be.”

To learn more about the additions to the Overseas collection, including pricing and availability, check out the Vacheron Constantin website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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