Vacheron Constantin reinvents iconic overseas sports watch to better suit today’s globetrotters – South China Morning Post

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vacheron Constantin stayed focused this year with only one main collection – reinterpreting its iconic Overseas sports watch collection, launched 20 years ago. The watchmaker introduced five novelties at SIHH this year that combine classical elegance with the changing wants and needs of today’s globetrotting travellers.

The Overseas collection has long been recognised as the elegant man’s sports watch, and this year’s novelties are no exception. The timepieces maintain sleek lines and subtle, luxurious finishes, while continuing to push the boundaries of technical excellence.

All five novelties come with self-winding movements with generous power reserves of up to 60 hours. Three of the calibres – 5200, 5100 and 5300 – feature screwed-down crowns, offering water-resistance for up to 150 metres, while their ultrathin models – calibres 1120 QP and 1120 – offer water-resistance of up to 50m.

Each model comes with straps either in stainless steel, leather or rubber, or precious metal bracelets. All straps can be easily interchanged without the need for tools, which will allow savvy travellers to easily dress their watch up or down, from sophisticated to sporty.

The star of the collection is the Overseas Chronograph with the new calibre 5200, a self-winding chronograph developed and manufactured entirely by Vacheron Constantin over a five-year period.

This 263-component calibre, offering a 50-hour power reserve, features a column wheel shaped like the brand’s signature Maltese cross emblem, and coordinates the chronograph. The 42.5mm model comes in a stainless steel or 18ct pink gold case.

The 41mm Overseas Calibre 5100 also comes in stainless steel or 18ct pink gold case which houses a movement comprising 172 parts, boasts vibrations at the rate of 28,800 per hour, and features a 60-hour power reserve.

The 37mm Overseas Small Model with calibre 5300 boasts the biggest bling factor in the collection, with a bejewelled bezel adorned with 84 round-cut diamonds exceeding 1ct. It comes in stainless steel or 18ct pink gold. At the other end of the spectrum are the Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar and the Overseas Ultra-Thin Calibre 1120, both in 18ct white gold. The 40mm Ultra-Thin Calibre 1120 is just 2.45mm in thickness, but is powerful enough to maintain a 40-hour power reserve. The 41.5mm Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar is thicker at 4.05mm, and its calendar indicators – including a moon-phase indicator – will not require adjustments until the year 2100.

To celebrate the new Overseas collection, Vacheron Constantin has announced a partnership with legendary photojournalist Steve McCurry. McCurry has been tasked with creating 12 photos in unexpected locations, starting with Vacheron’s home in Geneva.

The number 12 was chosen to evoke a subtle link to the 12 hours on a watch’s dial. The photos will be immortalised as part of a travelogue.

Even those without any interest in photography, will immediately recognise McCurry’s iconic portrait, the “Afghan Girl” with intense green eyes, taken for National Geographic in 1984.

The image bolstered his reputation as a photographer with a gift for revealing his subjects’ souls. Juan-Carlos Torres, the CEO of Vacheron Constantin, says the decision to work with McCurry was an easy one. “When I was young, he was a hero and a star [to me],” Torres says. “He’s an artist.”

While McCurry has dedicated his life to opening the world’s eyes to the gritty realities of war zones and controversies, Torres says the photojournalist is “the only person” who can take a subject and capture a certain richness conveyed by “a light in [their] eyes”.

The watchmaker also introduced new references for its Patrimony collection, including a new perpetual calendar, three 42mm references, and the all-new 36mm small model that comes in an 18ct white gold and 18ct pink gold case, and bracelets.

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