I've always liked the Overseas collection, and an opportunity came up to purchase a serviced Vacheron Constantin 49140, I could not resist. I've been wanting to get a 'trinity' watch ever since I got into this hobby at the age of 17 first buying a vintage Omega seamaster, 9 years later I have finally managed to reach that goal. Since the watch came last Monday, it's been on my wrist every day and none of the other watches in my collection have had a look in.
First impressions are, this is a superbly made watch. The brushed/polished finish on the case and bracelet is superb. The 49140 is the old style which was produced between 1998-2004. It measures 40mm exc crown and has a simpler style bracelet compared to the current maltese cross bracelet. I really love the bezel design which incorporates the Vacheron maltese cross, this is something which is still currently used on the current Overseas models. The watch contains a vc cal 1137 which is based on the Piguet 1185. As far as column-wheel chronograph movements go it's up there with some of the best, and with a solid gold rotor, Vacheron finish it to the level you would expect. One minor gripe is that the watch does not hack (something that is also the case with the Breguet Type XX). Another slightly annoying issue is when a link is removed or added it tends to be either a little too tight or too loose.
When compared to the current 42mm version that I have tried on, there are pros and cons depending on how you feel about the differing styles. I personally do think the newer version is nicer, however the old style does have a more simple and elegant design. I had also considered the 39mm AP Royal Oak, but felt the Overseas is a little more interesting and AP was significantly more expensive. Due to the contained 40mm size (It actually wears smaller than most 40mm due to the small lugs and smaller dial) I have found it actually works well as a dress watch and since the watch is relatively thin for a chronograph, it fits well under the cuff. Those with smaller than 7/6.75 inch wrists may find the 40mm is more suited as the 42mm wears a lot larger.
I actually took the watch to the Vacheron boutique in New Bond st London to get a bracelet link inserted and I have to say the service there was very good. I received a nice leather box which can be used to case the watch when traveling. I have read on forums that Vacheron's after sales service can be a little inconsistent, so I hope when it comes to servicing time I will not regret the purchase.
Anyhow this thread would not be complete without pictures! (my wrist is just under 7 inches)