Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!

Hi guys,

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)


Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!

Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!

Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club! Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club! Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!

Re: Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!
07/17/2014 - 22:15

Congratulations "Mr. King"

It's a great choice!

The people in the London Boutique are great.

Enjoy the watch in good health.

But you know it's like eating peanuts or potato chips (crisps): You can't eat just one"!


Welcome to VC ownership and THL!
07/18/2014 - 02:21

Hi, its a beauty.  (But I'm biased, since I have one as well.  It sits well on my 6.5" wrist as well).  

The next step is to join The Hour Club (which you already qualify for since you have a VC watch now)  :-)

If you want, I think you can provide the VC Boutique on Bond Street with your watch's movement and case serial numbers and they can help you check with Geneva on the year your watch was actually produced.  (both of these serial numbers will be required when/if you apply to join The Hour Club).

The cal 1137 has been a very reliable and accurate movement for me.  

Other chronograph collectors and speciaists can correct me, but I believe cal 1137 has a vertical clutch.  This allows it to be run all the time if you wish, without significantly affecting wear or time-keeping accuracy.  This is because the chrono's gear train is essentially always running anyway.

But I believe vertical clutch and column wheel chronograph designs are mutually exclusive.  So if it has a vertical clutch, it cannot have a column wheel.

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.

Thanks, Dan


A watch that's worth a King
07/18/2014 - 10:48

Congratulations. Old or new reference, it doesn't matter, it's a beauty the same.

Dan, column wheel and vertical clutch can live together. The column wheel coordinates the chronograph functions also in the horizontal coupled chronographs, the difference is given by the way the chronograph functions are engaged (in other words and very briefly, how the the fourth wheel - that is in the classic architecture - is engaged), which can be done thanks to a horizontal system (switchable intermediate wheel) or a vertical one (vertical clutch system).

Easier to understand watching, rather than explaining it in words :-)


07/18/2014 - 11:29

Sorry, paid attention later to your further comment. As per the advantage of having the vertical clutch, the easiest to perceive is the lack of the jump of the trotteuse while starting the chrono functions. Having  the chronograph center wheel always driven, the energy required by a vertical clutch system is higher and needs to be balanced somewhere else(in the movement)  with more power; this is not a plus in terms of isochronism.

Thanks for both posts on chronograph details!
07/18/2014 - 11:34

It is very helpfulyes.  Have a great weekend!  BR, Dan

Way too kind, boring details
07/18/2014 - 12:33

The naked truth is the Overseas is a beauty, even if it hosted a hamster running endlessly on a wheel inside :-P

Some say (purists mainly) vertical clutch isn't a fine solution, I find it (for what it matters) definitely a step ahead, technically speaking, it's the intended use/style/design, of the watch that makes one solution more consistent to the other.

I love this complication, whatever its configuration anyway. 

Have a great we you too! :-)

Here is an interesting link
07/18/2014 - 12:18

to an old TimeZone article about the F. Piguet chronograph movement.  The pictures, and explanation, help me alot!



Welcome to the club (both literally and figuratively)
07/18/2014 - 11:55

I really like your watch, you picked a nice one.  An Omega Seamaster was my gateway drug into an Overseas also.  I have the 47450 on the bracelet. As Joseph said, it really is hard to stop at one.

You have clearly done a bit of research already, but I think you picked the right member of the trinity to start with. You will see more Royal Oaks out and about.  The Vacheron is a more unique piece (in my opinion) and you will really enjoy the company's history and the collection of folks that hang out here. As you can already tell, there are many very knowledgeable people here. I encourage you, as Dan did, to check out the Hour Club as well. You can learn about some of the other collectors and their pieces. Also, if you haven't already found it in your research, you should check out the spiritual ancestor to the Overseas - the 222. It's a really cool watch.

Enjoy, welcome, and wear it in good health. 


Congratulations. I like the way you write that you always wanted a
07/18/2014 - 16:12

'trinity' watch. Its a nice way to view Vacheron. It has; it is; and always will be a 'trinity' brand, inspite of so many superb achievements and innovations by other brands and independents in recent years.

Do not worry about after-sales. VC after-sales is quite good and any brand (even the legendary 'other' trinity) can get a bit inconsistent with after-sales.  These are hand-made products and are serviced by humans so do not worry so much.

Enjoy your purchase.  Wear it in good health.

Why not welcome with "wristies" of his new family members!
07/18/2014 - 17:27
I'll start with a shot taken on my wrist just now. I happen to be wearing mine today.  


Maybe a little more light, to see its sibling better
07/18/2014 - 18:12

This one has harsh light - I prefer the subtle dim photos, but sometimes you just need to see. 

Maybe a little more light, to see its sibling better

Same picture, with flash. 


Welcome from my side :-)
07/18/2014 - 19:12
Why not?
07/18/2014 - 19:39
Welcome to THL from its black dial sibling.
07/18/2014 - 19:34
Welcome to THL from its black dial sibling.

Congratulation with your great choice of timepiece. Wear it in good health.


You've crossed the threshold...
07/19/2014 - 12:53

Delighted to read your copy and admire the attached photographs. Nicely compiled.

You've taken your first step to join The Hour Lounge and make new friends. The Hour Club is also an option to consider.

Welcome on board!

Best wishes


Re: Thanks for the comments
07/21/2014 - 15:36

Thanks everyone for the kind comments and information, I will check out the hour club.

As mentioned by others, there is something special about Vacheron Constantin. When looking at the other two trinity brands (Patek and AP), Patek Philippe to me are a little like the Rolex of the high end bunch, and AP are the 'trendy' brand that a lot of football players and rappers wear. This is not a flame against those brands as they are both absolutely fantastic, (Patek’s 5130g-019 World Timer is my grail watch and for a long time the Royal Oak was my dream sports watch). Vacheron to me seem like the understated brand of the three, that only a WIS would wear, only someone who truly knows and appreciates the history, the finish and movement of a high end watch. Another thing that drew me to Vacheron is the history, being the oldest of the three and (correct me if I am wrong) also having a continuous uninterrupted history. I own other, what I would call high end watches (Breguet type XX, JLC ultra thin reserve de marche, Girard Perregaux 49580), all very well made, excellent finishing etc however the Vacheron has a certain cachet the others do not.

In the not too distant future I would like to add a simple dress watch in a precious metal. Originally it was always my plan that this would be a Patek Philippe Calatrava, many consider this to be the ultimate dress watch. While it would be a great choice, I cannot help but start to lean towards something from the Patrimony line.

Anyhow, thank you all for your kind comments and information, it’s much appreciated!

Re: Re: Thanks for the comments
07/22/2014 - 00:56

A most hearty and warm welcome!  As jtodd and others have said, the denizens of The Hour Lounge are friendly, generous, and wise beyond measure, and you will find yourself thinking fondly and often of your conversations here.  Similarly, you will enjoy The Hour Club.

What has roused me from my illness to respond after many months, is your mention of desiring a simple dress watch in a precious metal.  Some of us have never looked up from gazing transfixed at a vintage Patrimony Extra Plates housing calibre 1003 - such is the allure of an extra flat Vacheron Constantin dress watch - thus allowing almost every other delectable watch from the many collections of the Maison with the longest uninterrupted history, to pass us by.  Counting myself amongst those enamoured with thin vintage Vacheron Constantin pieces, I found the article "Slim Is In: A Look at Vacheron Constantin's Ultra Thin Calibers" to be highly inspirational.  I couldn't decide between a Patrimony (refs 4961, 4962, 6115, 6351, 33093, etc) and a Calatrava (ref 3512), but was fortunate in not having had to.  However, if one feels vintage pieces to be a mite underscale, there are always the Historiques Ultra-fine 1955 and Ultra-fine 1968, arguably the last words in contemporary-sized extra flat watches.  

Congratulations on your comely Overseas 49140; no doubt it has already found its home amongst all the other handsome Overseas siblings pictured above.  As, I am sure, have you. 

thanks for sharing and welcome to the Lounge!
08/04/2014 - 10:38
Re: Finally joined the Vacheron Constantin club!
08/26/2014 - 19:37

I'm new to THL (but a TZ/TRF/WUS regular), and am in a similar boat as the OP.  I have a white/silver-dialed VCOC 49140 on the way and I can't wait!  My gateway drug/watch was a Glashutte Original Senator Navigator with Date, and many watches later, I'm in the process of shaping my collection to only "keepers."  I already have another of the trinity watches, a black-dialed AP Royal Oak Chronograph 25860. And while I'd love to round it out with a Nautilus, it's going to have to wait or I'm going to have to win some $$$.  In the mean time, I'll have two classic chronographs that fit me perfectly (6.5" wrist).  I love the look of my AP and think the silver VC will be a perfect complement to my AP.  I am just hoping that I can at some point put a strap (leather and/or rubber) on the VC for a little variety.  I have a City of Sails rubber strap on my AP and love it.

Welcome to the Lounge and to VC. soon you will see that the keepers in your
08/27/2014 - 00:57

Collection are all your watches plus all the new ones you want to have :-)

Welcome to both THL & THC!
08/27/2014 - 04:58

Hello from a twin:



Ref. 49140 is the 1st Gen. OS Chronograph, with the older style bracelet.  Unfortunately it does not have interchangeable straps designed for it (unless you get one custom made).  The 2nd Gen. and onward, Ref. 41950, OS Chronograph allows for interchangeable strap options.

I'd love to see some pictures of your other beauties.  Here at THL, we obviously love VCs...but we love other watches as well! smiley  I would suggest you start a new thread if you were to post pictures.  This thread may not see a lot of activity because it is relatively old, a new thread would put your topic on top of the page. 


Best Regards, Dan

Re: Welcome to both THL & THC!
08/27/2014 - 20:03

Thanks for the warm welcome.  My twin is on the bus (or truck) to its new home.  I am interested in custom-made straps for this older VCOC (so any details would be appreciated here or via PM).  I will post pics of some of my collection in a new thread.  Getting the rubberclad-style strap on my AP just gives it a whole other look that I love (plus it spares my newly polished bracelet from the daily dings and scratches I can't seem to avoid).  I've tried Offshores, but really my 6.5" wrist just doesn't quite cut it.  Looks okay by today's standards, but my incoming VC 49140 and my AP ROC 25860 are classic and will always be in style.  One more day!

I know ABP in Paris is very well known
08/29/2014 - 03:33

for very high quality straps, some say they are better than the Brands...but obvioulsy not inexpensive.

What I've been told (because I've never looked into it myself) is that there is a metal insert/piece that also has to be made in order for a strap to be secured to the Gen. 1 Overseas.

BR, Dan