Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin introduced its new Overseas collection for the Middle East and India recently. This was long overdue and widely expected by watch experts. Consider this: the Overseas was first launched in 1977, but with a different name. Called the Reference 222, it was a play on the 222nd anniversary of the Haute Horlogerie manufacture. Over the past three decades, Vacheron’s relationship with the Overseas collection blew hot and cold.
The first model under the Overseas name was launched in 1996 and a metal bracelet was introduced in 2004. With the launch of the new references though, there is hope for more attention to the series by the brand.
There are five new models (12 references) in the latest collection—from simple, three-hand watches with or without dates to chronographs and ultra-thin models—featuring three new, in-house calibres. The watches are either in steel or gold, come fitted with interchangeable straps/bracelets (in rubber, leather and metal) and bear the Hallmark of Geneva.
“The Overseas collection offers a variety of innovative new features yet it strikes a balance between function, elegance and traditions. For us, it is the perfect collection that represents the values of the brand,” said CEO Juan-Carlos Torres during the launch.
The watch case is curved just enough to merge seamlessly with the bracelet. The bezel has six sides, an in-house design specialty. The dials are coated with a translucent blue, silver-toned, rosy beige or grey lacquer, depending on the model, and alternate between sunburst, snailed and velvety finishes. The watches are powered by mechanical self-winding movements protected from magnetic disturbances.
The watches are water-resistant up to 50m for the ultra-thin models, and to 150m for the others. Priced between Rs12 lakh and Rs70 lakh, they can be bought at Johnson & Co. in Delhi, Horology in Hyderabad and Chennai, and Timekeepers in Mumbai. Little though explains why Vacheron Constantin’s only flagship store in India launched in Delhi’s DLF Emporio mall in 2010 was recently closed down.