"THE STORY OF VACHERON CONSTANTIN�S OVERSEAS"
BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin The 222 is the genetic forefather to Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Dual Time (below, in rose gold) A DECADE OF EVOLUTIONARY BRILLIANCE THE STORY OF VACHERON CONSTANTIN’S OVERSEAS BY WEI KOH No other timepiece has evolved as gracefully, with as much intriguing nuance, as Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Photo: Mervin Chua Photo: Geoff Ang 203 202 REVOLUTION REVOLUTION BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin birth of a legend: the 222 milieu of the black tie ball or playing in the surf off the white sand In Darwin’s theory of evolution, mankind changed its genetic beaches of the Bahamas. With the shifting values of the 1970s, the 222 traits in each successive generation in reaction to the needs of the became one of the primary luxury symbols for youthful empowerment. shifting environment. Similarly, luxury is an evolutionary creature The 222 was revolutionary in both form and content. It was crafted that responds to the needs of the contemporary world. Vacheron in gold, steel and perhaps most famously in a mixed metal version Constantin’s legendary Overseas sports watches were born into a that notably fused the worlds of traditional luxury (as expressed by world of shifting global dynamics and through its brilliant evolution, its gold bezel and bracelet links) and high performance (as embodied continues to dominate the sports watch market today. While 2006 by its steel case and bracelet outer links). The 222 was born through marks the 10th anniversary of the Overseas, in truth the design Vacheron Constantin’s collaboration with a young design maverick brilliance and revolutionary adaptability of this luxury icon reaches named Gerald Genta. It was characterized by a distinctive fluted back to 1977. screw-in bezel, a sophisticated one-piece case construction resulting In the turbulent decade known as the ’70s, the Swiss watch industry in an impressively flat shape for a watch containing a shock resistant was undergoing tremendous change. On one front, the Quartz Crisis automatic caliber 1121 driven by a solid 22-karat gold oscillating mass. forced the industry to reinvent itself. Yet on another front, the first The 222 also featured a sculptural bracelet and the inclusion of a tiny insurgence of modernism, industrial design and of sporting cool made Maltese cross stamp at the lower right hand corner of the case. its entrance into the Swiss watch world. It is fitting that Vacheron Water resistant to 120 meters, the 222 was a true high-crafted Constantin, the world’s oldest continually operating Swiss watch luxury timepiece that could be immersed in water and withstand the company, became a flashpoint for this new era of luxury. “It has always rigors of sports. And while Genta also designed several other icons of this era, no other timepiece has evolved as gracefully, In 1996, the Phidias was reborn as the Overseas, with as much intriguing nuance as Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas. a name that evoked the era of romance and • • • • • • • • travel that it was created for. The Overseas, a the 222 iS reborn: the PhidiaS more muscular, aggressively styled sports watch, The 222 soon developed a cult following among luxury’s cognoscenti. In the world of sports watches, the 222 was the epitome of discreet elegance, oozing channeled far more of the spirit of the original the same type of stealth cool as hand-stitched Anderson and Sheppard Savile Row suits or Aubercy 222 as well as expressing a deeper genetic bespoke shoes. In the early ’90s, the 222 was revised as the Phidias which took the basic architecture connection to the manufacture of the 222 and endowed it with a sleeker profile reflecting the prevailing aesthetic been in our DNA to marry traditional The Phidias took the basic mores of that decade. The bezel of architecture of the 222 and high watchmaking values such as endowed it with a sleeker, the Phidias was fully rounded and impeccable finish with the pulse of the more streamlined profile engraved with subtle timing indices. reflecting the prevailing contemporary world,” says Vacheron aesthetic mores of the ’90s Its case received smooth integrated Constantin CEO Juan-Carlos Torres. lugs for better ergonomics, while the “In 1932, we created our first steel complex bracelet evolved into a lean case sports watch. In the 1940s, we attenuated form. were the first manufacture to create the In 1996, the Phidias was reborn trend for oversized chronographs in as the Overseas, a name that evoked the Spanish market. In the 1970s, we the era of romance and travel that created the 222, a watch that became a it was created for. The Overseas, a symbol for the new luxury elite.” more muscular, aggressively styled sports watch, channeled far more • • • • • of the spirit of the original 222 as well as expressing a deeper genetic the 222 — forerunner connection to the manufacture. Its to the oVerSeaS bezel now fully communicated the Indeed the 222, created to celebrate manufacture’s signature Maltese Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd cross motif, and its more sculpted, birthday, was one of the key players faceted case and more muscular in the creation of a new category of bracelet struck an emotional chord The new Overseas family boasts timepieces called the ‘luxury sports with buyers. Over the years it has watches with fierce, aggressive watch’. These elegantly designed pieces become the sports watch for those geometry and are resplendent with gorgeous minutiae were equally adaptable to the heady searching for a more discreet 205 204 REVOLUTION REVOLUTION BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin That the latest Overseas models have fields used these types of watches. Similarly, the redesigned Overseas uses a soft iron inner case to protect the movement from magnetic The yellow gold Overseas chronograph is the perfect tool for luxurious self-expression turned out so winningly comes as fields. This pragmatic feature is a winning example of Torres’ ability to tap into the manufacture’s rich history. The much-enlarged 42mm no surprise when you consider that case (in comparison to the 37mm case of its predecessor) of the Overseas chronograph is the perfect home for this feature rooted in these watches hold a particularly the manufacture’s past. special place in the heart of Vacheron • • • • • • • • Constantin CEO Juan-Carlos Torres the oVerSeaS for the neW MillenniuM: the yelloW gold chronograPh 2006 marks the 10th anniversary of the Overseas. However, if alternative to flashier, overbuilt contemporary sports watches. you were to look at the entire history of the Overseas since the 1977 Vacheron Constantin’s US president Julien Tornare says, “It was introduction of the 222, this model represents 30 years of sporting never Vacheron Constantin’s intention to dominate the sports watch evolution. For 2006, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled its most market because our production is simply too low for us to do so. exciting versions of the Overseas yet. The first creative salvo fired Instead, Vacheron Constantin wanted to offer buyers a sports watch by the world’s oldest manufacture is the yellow gold Overseas. This option that communicated the elegance and timelessness of the brushed yellow gold case watch literally revels in incandescent manufacture.” opulence while still boasting the highly pragmatic anti-magnetic soft iron inner case. Its sporting character is further defined by the • • • • • • • • elapsed time capture ability of its grande date chronograph movement. The three subdials as well as the grande date aperture are positioned the era of the oVerSeaS to create perfect visual harmony on the dial. A chronograph minute In 2004, just a few months before Vacheron Constantin was to counter occupies the 3 o’clock position and is slightly larger than the celebrate its 250th anniversary, the Overseas was reborn once again. 12-hour counter located directly opposite it at 9 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, This incarnation of the Overseas saw the manufacture recapture the you’ll find the watch’s continuous seconds indicator. initial audaciousness which gave rise to the 222. Like the burgundies As with each member of the modern Overseas family, the yellow gold from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the Overseas has matured in a chronograph receives individual locking crowns for its chronograph way that has allowed it to surpass its first flush of youth with a robustly pushers to ensure that these are not accidentally activated under water alluring maturity. It was revised by a group of individuals at Vacheron and to provide additional protection against shock. This muscular Constantin, including designer Vincent Kauffmann. Kauffmann’s timepiece is water resistant to 150 meters and offers a sultry appeal brilliant statement of ability evidenced in this timepiece announces perfect for throbbing nightspots anywhere from South Beach to his arrival as a designer of the future; but it is also something of a Sardinia. The combination of go-anywhere, do-anything attitude, Cinderella story. Torres says, “Vincent Kauffmann, who designed the with its real world performance (as expressed by its anti-magnetic latest Overseas, got his start with us as an administrative assistant. He case and chronograph function) as well as its sexy predatorial looks was in charge of putting spare parts in the small boxes. One day, we make the yellow gold Overseas the perfect luxury tool for self- were in need of a small design and someone told me, ‘Try Mr. Vincent, expression for any cooler-than-thou jet setter. Indeed, we would he has some skills in drawing.’ I was confident in his abilities from the even go so far as to say that in the high stakes mating game, the gold beginning because of how seriously he took this assignment. For me, Overseas is the ultimate symbol of personal evolution. it helps that a designer is from within the company because he has an emotional connection to our identity. It is always my preference to use • • • • • • • • someone from within the manufacture because he will have already understood our identity in a way an outsider would not be able to.” oVerSeaS dual tiMe The new Overseas watches are so rich with detail that they almost One reality modern man faces is the constant need for travel. The overwhelm the senses. They are timepiece whose fierce, aggressive problem is that time is different in every 15 degrees of longitude geometry is resplendent with gorgeous minutiae. There is a hypnotic around the globe. Beginning with your location, destinations to the charm to the alternating use of brushed and polished surfaces. The east of you are experiencing time one hour earlier for every 15 degrees bracelet retains the massiveness of the 222’s bracelet while offering of longitude they are from you. Conversely, locations to the west of enhanced suppleness for comfort. Luminous indices and hands, as you experience time one hour later for every 15 degrees of longitude well as a grande date aperture, offer optimum legibility at 12 o’clock. they are from you. In all, the earth possesses 24 time zones, meaning The revised Overseas also reconnects Vacheron Constantin with people are awake and business never stops at any time. Be it the its pioneer status and 160-year history in the field of anti-magnetic endless vision quest for “all tomorrow’s parties,” or the by-product watches. In 1885, the manufacture created a famous anti-magnetic of transglobal corporate dominance, the ability to tell time in multiple Vacheron Constantin signed watch with a balance, hairspring and zones is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Stepping into this world is lever shaft made from palladium, while the lever arms were made in the latest Overseas Dual Time, a watch that can keep you on time and bronze and the escape wheel made in gold. Throughout the next 100 on track when you are literally “overseas”. years, engineers or scientists working in close proximity to magnetic Offered in three metals (in stainless steel with either a silver or 207 206 REVOLUTION REVOLUTION BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin BROUGHT TO YOU BY vacHeROn cOnsTanTin black dial, in yellow gold with a silver dial, and in a special 250-piece Creating luxury symbols up to the task of real sporting life is a rose gold limited edition case with an achingly gorgeous chocolate concern for Vacheron Constantin. The case backs of all Overseas dial), the Overseas Dual Time is a brilliant merger of the iconic watches are screwed tightly into the one-piece case, compressing Overseas form with real world practicality. On the dial is every piece numerous water resistant gaskets and ensuring the watch’s 150-meter of information needed by the modern corporate samurai. Local time is water resistance. As with all modern Overseas watches, the Dual Time told from the watch’s centrally mounted hands; home time is read from also features a soft iron anti-magnetic shield. Finally, even the bracelet a subdial at 6 o’clock. This indicator uses only an hour hand (because of the Overseas has been optimized to offer comfort and security minutes remain the same in all major 24 time zones) and is rendered in while remaining visually stunning with its rhythm of brushed and a 12-hour format for better clarity. polished textures. So how do you tell the difference between day and night hours? Take That the latest Overseas models have turned out so winningly comes a look at the small integrated day and night indicator that is located just as no surprise when you consider that these watches hold a particularly to the left of the home time subdial. Setting your watch to an alternate special place in the heart of CEO Juan-Carlos Torres. Torres’ first time zone is as easy as depressing the pusher located at 2 o’clock on project upon joining Vacheron Constantin was the 222, the steel and the watch case. As with the chronograph pusher on the chronograph gold sports watch designed by Gerald Genta and that in truth still version, this pusher features a locking crown that enhances water provides the genetic tissue of the modern Overseas. Torres says, resistance and has the added benefit of preventing the time from being “When I entered Vacheron Constantin, this was the first watch project accidentally changed. At 9 o’clock on the main dial is the watch’s power I worked on. I saw the 222 and I immediately said this watch is strong. reserve indicator, letting you know how much of the automatic caliber So in the future, I might take the design cues of the 222 as the platform 1222’s 40-hour reserve remains. At 3 o’clock on the main dial is the on which to evolve the next generation of the Overseas. It could be the indication for date. perfect balance between power and elegance.” H On the dial is every piece of information needed gIRL by the modern corporate samurai. Local time is WITH ROSE told from the watch’s centrally mounted hands; gOLD home time is read from a subdial at 6 o’clock Photo: Geoff Ang Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual 209 208 Time in stainless steel REVOLUTION REVOLUTION