A Tourbillon in Steel? It’s a Baller Move for Vacheron Constantin and We Dig it
Case Diameter: 42.5mm
Case Thickness: 10.39mm
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Unique Features: Tourbillon
Upshot: As we’ve noted before, the Overseas is Vacheron’s casual sports watch line. It was originally launched as the ref. 222 back in 1976, and was updated in 2016 with a world timer, an ultra-thin, a perpetual calendar, and a chronograph. Though the line’s been expanded to include gold options, its heart remains that of a steel sports watch with a funky case design and six-sided bezel. To that unbeatable formula, Vacheron’s added…wait for it…a tourbillon!
Who It’s For: Tourbillons and their rotating cages, it should be noted, were initially made to counter the effects of gravity on a pocketwatch as it sat in its wearer’s pocket. On a wristwatch, its effects are negligible. On the other hand, the escapement is probably the most mesmerizing piece of watch machinery ever made. To put one inside a steel sports watch is both bizarre and awesome — the kind of thing that would make a Red Bar vet freak out. Given its price, it’s also worth noting that the Overseas Tourbillon is made for someone who can drop “new house” money on a wristwatch.
First Take: Generally, a tourbillon demands a flashy package: a gold case, skeletonized dial, loads of other complications, and the like. This watch is incredibly understated in stainless steel, with a dial that looks a lot like the Overseas Self-Winding — handsome, simple, and mostly empty. Except for that freakin’ tourbillon spinning away at six o’clock. Oh, and thanks to Vacheron’s interchangeable strap system, you can wear a tourbillon on rubber.
Insight: Call the combination of understated steel sports watch and tourbillon bizarre — but maybe it’s brilliant. What better way to isolate timekeeping’s flashiest complication than to surround it with simple, clean trappings? There’s surely a high-end collector out there who’s been waiting for Vacheron to understate its tourbillon, and for them, this is the watch of a lifetime.