The newest Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph remains the occasional center of debate since its first unveiling two year ago. A reconfiguring of its sub-dials, alteration of its bezel and case design, and most notably the switch from a big-date display at 12 to a standard date between four and five o’clock were all contentious issues amongst the collecting community, though overall the updated model has been generally well received. Most recently, the replica Vacheron Constantin unveiled a pair of black dialed variants including this reverse-panda dialed chronograph. Capitalizing on an ever-growing trend in the replica watch industry of late, the new dial is the first chronograph in the collection to ever feature contrasting sub-dials—a real departure from anything previously offered. It’s safe to say I’ve been a fan of the majority of the new Overseas line since day one, so taking the new reverse-panda out for a spin was something I just couldn’t turn down.
One of the vast changes that came with the newest version of the Overseas is its new in-house manufactured column-wheel chronograph movement. Good for a 52-hour power reserve, the new caliber uses a vertical clutch coupling and column wheel mechanism, and is elaborately finished with Geneva striping throughout. Different from its predecessor, the caliber of the new Overseas Chronograph is visible via a sapphire display caseback. It is said the caliber took Vacheron five years to develop, though they haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel here. The three-register configuration displays chronograph hours and minutes via sub-dials located at six and three o’clock, as well as running seconds located at 9.
Though there are a few changes to the new model, Vacheron thankfully didn’t reinvent the wheel with the overseas redesign. The gear-like notches in its bezel have been broadened to a six notch pattern instead of eight, and a fair bit of effort went into softening its case edges, giving it a more refined aesthetic.
On the topic of the bracelet and strap setup, this is also a major change for the new overseas line across the board. The ability to rapidly change straps on a watch has been something more and more brands have been getting onboard with recently, and though the straps of the new Overseas look much akin to those of the previous version, the brand has conceived a very easy-to-use strap changing system that is fitted to every new overseas model currently available.
Having worn the fake watch for almost a week or so, I can safely say the Overseas is an easy one to bond with. Splitting my time between its integrated bracelet and rubber strap, the strap option remains the most comfortable in my books, mainly because it helps reduce the overall heft of the watch both physically and visually. In the case of the smaller 3-hand or dual time models, the Overseas could even tuck under a shirt cuff, however the case thickness of the chronograph makes it just a touch to chunky for formal attire.