If we had to nitpick about many popular luxury sports watches today, one thing that baffles us sometimes is exactly where the “sports” part comes in. This is a question that definitely won’t arise with Vacheron Constantin’s latest pair of Overseas releases: A dual-time model and a chronograph, both of which are directly inspired by a prototype watch that accompanied American explorer and photographer Cory Richards on an Everest expedition in 2019. That watch eventually sold at auction for over US$106,000 (about S$143,000), with all proceeds benefitting the National Geographic Society.
It might seem out of character that Vacheron Constantin, a venerable brand best known for its high-end, dress timepieces, created a hardy titanium and tantalum watch for mountain exploration for one of its ambassadors. But that is exactly why it is a savvy move, and one that gives Vacheron Constantin an interesting edge in the sports-luxe realm dominated by Nautiluses and Royal Oaks.
While the original prototype has a brushed titanium case and bezel with a tantalum base, the new timepieces feature cases with a six-sided Maltese cross-inspired bezel made of titanium, and steel bezel rings. They also share matte blue-grey, grained dials that are punctuated by bright orange accents. The same vivid orange is used as contrast stitching on the Cordura strap, which can be easily switched — thanks to a self-interchangeable system — with an additional rubber strap that comes with each watch. And both, of course, are powered by the brand’s own in-house movements, jazzed up with a 22K pink gold rotor that features an engraving of Mount Everest, based on a photo by Richards.
Measuring 42.5mm in diameter, the Overseas Chronograph “Everest” is powered by the automatic calibre 5200/2. This in-house chronograph movement features a column wheel as well as a vertical clutch (which ensures a smooth, rapid start once the chronograph is started). The watch is available in a limited edition of 150 pieces.
Also available as a 150-piece limited edition, the Overseas Dual Time “Everest” measures 41mm across, and is powered by the self-winding manufacture 5110 DT/2. An orange hand (with a matching day/night indicator at 9 0’clock) indicates home time, while the local time is synced with the analogue date display at 6 o’clock. While it all boils down to which complication and watch size you prefer, both are options worth exploring, indeed.
The Overseas Chronograph “Everest” retails for S$53,500, and the Overseas Dual Time “Everest” retails for S$44,900.