The Overseas with its name, its wind rose engraved rotor and overall feels is a watch that calls for travels. It’s the type of watch you strap on your wrist and are magically transported to a sultan’s lavish palace in the mysterious orient, aboard a luxurious liner across the ocean to New York or flying over the Hermitage in a balloon.
However, the Overseas collection didn’t offer a timepiece made for travelers and explorers…until now.
Recently Vacheron Constantin presented an ultra-cool Overseas world time housing Calibre 2460WT, needless to say it is the only world timer featuring 37 time zones (and not the habitual 24) as it indicates timezones offset by 30min and 45mins such as Teheran, Delhi or Nepal.
So it was time to take the Overseas Worldtime on a test drive on the wrist.
For a review of Vacheron Constantin World Time watches clik here
Calibre 2460WT was first introduced in the Traditionnelle worldt ime in 2011 and it is the first time it is being used in another collection.
It took 3 years for Vacheron Constantin engineers and watchmakers to devise an ingenious solution of pawls or feelers who can recognize, via a 37 toothed outer ring, if the chosen time zone is a full hour zone or an offset one.
One of the main challenges for the team was this: What happens if in 5 or 10 years, a country or countries change their time zones? The watch movement is designed so that the click ring can be changed, and the cities portion of the dial can be simply changed, so the watch will always be current.
It is interesting to also underline the fact that all indications are adjusted via the crown, thus considerably simplifying the use of this watch.
The case of the Overseas world time, like with all the new Overseas models, is a bit rounder than that of the previous generation. In this specific version it is large: 43.5mm in diameter and 12.6 thick but the upside is that the dial is extremely legible.
All the codes of the Traditionnelle world time are maintained: the central Lambert projection world map and the 37 cities/timezones on a rotating disc on the periphery.
Says Vincent Kaufmann Head of Design “the world time is a very technical watch and we wanted the dial to reflect this, that’s why we chose a Lambert projection rather than a more poetic type of map to depict the earth.” The Lambert projection is a type of map often used for aeronautical charts, the projection minimizes distortions resulting from projecting a three dimensional surface on a two dimensional one.
This world map is in relief providing a fantastic 3D effect and unlike the ”dress” version the longitude lines have been removed consequently giving the dial more air and making it look less cluttered.
Furthermore, a sapphire crystal, of which half is slightly tinted makes a full rotation every 24 hours indicating which part of the world is going to bed and which part is enjoying the daylight (interestingly, the idea came to the design team while in an airplane and checking flight information the position of the plane was shown over a world map with darker areas distinguished night from day time).
A Small arrow stamped directly on the top part of the case at 6 o’clock indicates the home time zone
The Overseas world time may look, and certainly is, complex yet it is extremely user-friendly. The wearer chooses the reference time and places it opposite the triangle at 6 o’clock. The time in the reference location can then be read off either by the hour hand, or by the 24-hour disc, while the time in the other 36 time zones is simultaneously readable. On the model with blue dial the cities with offset time zones are indicated in blue whereas in the model with silver dial the cities with offset time zones are indicated in red.
The Overseas world time, like all the new Overseas models comes with 3 bracelets: steel, alligator and rubber (bearing a Maltese cross motif).
With the new Overseas, the design team wanted to offer a watch with more and added an ingenious strap/bracelet changing system, which includes a mechanism where the buckle can be detached from one strap and placed on another.
A notable change has also been made to the steel bracelet. The design team wanted to keep the Maltese cross links which had become a true symbol of the Overseas models but decided to tone them down for a more subtle effect. However, a lot of thought, trial and error went into creating the bracelet as the team wanted to have a specific surface finish which could lead one to believe that the link was in 3 rows and not in one piece.
Under the joining point of each bracelet/strap there is a little clasp which can be slightly pushed back to set or release it from the case. Tests to the equivalent of 3 years daily switch were undertaken to assure that this system would be sturdy and reliable (you wouldn’t want your watch to fall off unnoticed).
There is also a brilliant length adjustment mechanism on the bracelet enabling you to add a few millimeters to the length for greater wearing comfort.
Please bear in mind that these are just MY thoughts and impressions and that what may be true today may no longer be valid in 2 months so don’t quote me!
What I like less
I find that the strap/bracelet tappers too fast on the attachment point
The rounder case which takes away from the openly sporty look and feel of the watch
I was a great fan of the original Maltese cross bracelet and liked its brutal look
What I like
I am a great fan of complications in sporty cases
The rotor with wind rose engraving
The interchangeable strap/bracelet system meaning I can have 3different watches in one
A more modern and monochromatic dial with a 3D effect
With the launch of the Overseas world time Vacheron Constantin has finally added a watch aiming for travelers. A fantastically designed watch with lots of presence on the wrist, easy to read and which completes an already full collection covering most ends of the spectrum going to simple time only automatic to an extra slim perpetual calendar
Both the steel WT and your review, that is! I share your admiration for steel watches with complications, by chance I'm wearing a steel QP at the moment. The movement details you've provided are most welcome, and the pics inspire a serious case of gottahaveitis...
even repeater in the future! Enjoy your QP, it's the BP?
I would love to see a high complication Overseas! A tourbillon or minute repeater... Or both ;) would be amazing! A Grand complication overseas would be pretty amazing and it would suit the case lines... It's elegant sporty! I wonder if VC are listening and whether or not we could expect something really complicated?
Exciting! I wonder how complicated they will go and how long we will have to wait? VC are producing done beautiful pieces! Looking forward to a complicated overseas. ;)
32 degrees here!
I consider the OS line to be VC's best for general, every day, wear.
So functions like the chrongraph and even Perp. Calendar on the Gen. 2 made perfect sense to me.
But now that we have a WorldTime OS. It is not just beautiful and fucntional- it is conceptually and by design the most harmonious complication to put into an Overseas!
of the coolest watches VC has made in years!
In the back my head, I'm still thinking of the 222.
I agree Alex.
The combination of the dial and the OS case do look incredible together. I think that's what VC should have done originally instead of the Traditionelle case.
Thanks Alex. Been a busy spring/summer so I have been lurking and not really contributing. LOVE LOVE LOVE this watch though. Currently researching if kidneys can be lab-grown so I can sell more than one.
kidney could do :-)
agree with you that this is one of the Coolest VC's in years. Probably one of the Coolest watches in the world right now. I am completey in love.
Maybe you just let on a Hint that there will be an OS T and OS R.
The other watch I am very eager to see is the Brown Automatic. If one cannot afford the OS WT, then perhaps just buy the OS Automatic (Brown or Blue) and a Map to go with it....
auctomatic and a map
Thank you for your excellent review, Alex.
Overseas Worldtime really excite the emotion of a traveller.
The watch is a beauty, if it was 39mm it would be the perfectest sporty worldtimer ever made, past, present, future. Simple as that :-)
gotta try it on :-)
But my eyes prefer larger watches, especially when there are complications that require tiny numbers and words.
This applies to the World Timer, chronos, and perpetuals for me.
Considering also, I'll probably be needing glasses in the near future