Vacheron Constantin Adds a Retrograde Date Complication to the Overseas Collection

Last year’s big release from Vacheron Constantin, the reintroduction of the legendary 222, sparked all kinds of speculation that we’d get another variant of that sports watch at this year’s Watches & Wonders. Maybe one in steel? Or with new complications? As it turns out, we didn’t get a 222 of any kind this year, but VC paid respect to its contemporary integrated bracelet sports watch, a watch whose lineage can be traced back directly to the 222, by adding a complication that is deeply tied to the brand’s identity, a retrograde date display. It’s a first for the Overseas collection, which is itself kind of surprising. It’s one of those watches you can’t quite believe didn’t exist before now, and now that it’s here, it feels that much more well integrated with the rest of the collection. 


The new Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date features the same 41mm steel case profile that the brand has been using since the collection was relaunched in 2016. The Overseas, while pre-dating the hysteria for integrated bracelet sports watches by many years (the line was introduced in 1996) was part of a later group of integrated bracelet watches to really catch fire with collectors in the recent boom, following the Royal Oak and Nautilus, but ahead of watches like the newer Alpine Eagle from Chopard. It has a character that is distinct from its competitors, and is uniquely Vacheron, dominated by a complex notched bezel and less intense case geometry. The Overseas, more than some of its competitors in this category, has a shape that is more along the lines of a traditional cushion case. The watch is also known for its bracelet, which incorporates a Maltese Cross motif (a brand signature) in a love-it or hate-it way that essentially predicts your interest in the collection as a whole. 

For this first expression of a retrograde date in an Overseas, Vacheron has elected to go with their bright blue lacquered dial, a color that has proven to be far and away the most popular within the Overseas line. The date display spans the entire top half of the dial, from 6:00 to 3:00, with a blue arrow hand pointing to the correct date, represented by alternating dots and Arabic numerals. When the pointer passes 31, it snaps back to 1 and begins the count again. These kinds of retrograde displays are far more common on dressier watches (it’s a way to conserve dial space to keep a design a little less busy or fussy), so it immediately makes the Overseas look less like a sports watch, which I think is fine, because these high end integrated bracelet watches are sports watches more in theory than reality anyway. 

The movement is Calibre 2460 R31L/2, which in addition to displaying the date via the retrograde indicator described above, also features a moonphase display at 6:00, which Vacheron claims is accurate for a span of 122 years before it needs to be adjusted. This movement is housed within a case that measures just 10.48mm thick and can be mounted to either the integrated bracelet or the included rubber and leather straps via a quick-change system, something that sets the Overseas apart from its competition in this category within the Holy Trinity of Swiss brands. 

The retail price of the Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date is “on request,” which almost surely means that it’s not going to be eligible for our regular Three for $5,000 column. For more information, check out the official website right here.

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.