What are the defining characteristics of the OS?

Many people have written on their opinions of the new OS on this forum and other forums. A number have questioned what is the defining characteristic of the OS as compared to AP or PP or others. 

On another forum http://www.rolexforums.com/showpost.php?p=6420908&postcount=74 some interesting points are raised on the OS generation changes. 


In my opinion the oversize minute dial and big date were the key characteristics of the OS. They defined the look. 


Of course most people maybe tired of reading these points, but I felt the OS did have a defining look but this look is altered now.


Maybe it is a philosophy - AP and PP changes are evolutionary and incremental while VC seems to prefer to go with revolutionary changes. 


Time will tell.

for me 3 elements truly define the Overseas as a collection
01/25/2016 - 12:00

putting aside specifics per model as the big date (which I liked better)


1- the case shape, slightly tonneau: the new generation is slightly more round


2- the bezzel in the shape of a broken Maltese cross


3- the bracelet with the Maltese cross half links, the new version is a bit more subdued


Not sure I would call it an revolution as IMHO the Generation 3 is much less of a break than gen 2 was from the original model

For the OS collection
01/25/2016 - 14:05

I would agree with Alex's points:

1. Bezel, looks like a broken Maltese Cross AND also reminds me of the crenellations around a porthole (nautical theme)

2. The tonneau shape

3. Bracelet design.  Even though it was not on the Gen. 1 OS, it is a defining and instantly recognizable / iconic aspect of the OS

I love the Big Date on the OS Chronograph and wish they kept it for Gen. 3.  I also wish they kept the more defined Maltese Cross links of the Gen. 2 bracelets.

I understand your comments about the Big Date, but that only applies to the Chronograph, not the entire OS collection.

To summarize, the defining characteristics of the OS are in its exterior case and bracelet designs and not as much with the dial.

BR, Dan

I would go with what both Alex and Dan are saying. But I would like to add
01/25/2016 - 15:51


AP RO is  great watch, but too many versions, and way too common.

PP Nautilus is great, but except for the 5711, all the others are way too expensive. Also, 2016 is the 40th Anniversary of the Nautilus, so expect some changes.

VC OS in a sense is rarer then the above two, and in this bracket of high-end watches, especially when compared to the Nautilus, is well priced compared to what you are getting. Both the time-date only OS and chrono in SS are well priced (list price that is). 

The date at 4:30 was an issue for me, but I have grown used to it. I do not think they could incorporate a date at 12 like the previous version, and this version being more rounded, it would not look as nice. I think some designs are created as to age well into the future, and they will become the next icons over time. This is also true with auto design. We do not like something now, but love it few years later.

I think both the time-date only and chrono (sorry for not using calibre numbers - my apologies to Alex / Dan),  in SS / Blue dial look great in pics. My friends who attended SIHH shared pics with me and I really like both. And both have a transparent caseback.

The defining charecteristic is this: If you want a sports / versatile everyday watch (not a gold / platinum dress watch), but do not want Rolex / Omega or even AP RO, then there is nothing Better and Rarer than this handsome new third generation VC which is not so loud, yet has a transparent caseback.  

I know many gave negative comments, but these will age well.

The new OS will bring a lot of new / younger clients to the brand. And over time I am sure we will see black dial / grey dial / titanium case / guilloche black dial / etc. etc.

Agree with Alex and Dan with 1 addition...
01/25/2016 - 23:36

Some visual nod to the spirit of travel/adventure.  In Gen 1 and 2, it was the ship on the caseback.  In Gen 3, it is the wind rose on the rotor.  I cannot imagine an OS without some visual salute to the spirit of travel/adventure.

Same as Dan and Alex
01/26/2016 - 17:16

The bracelet design was not in the first version but the second and third are so stunning that it has become a must.

And on such a watch with a "integrated bracelet" sign, it is a big part of the success.

The bezel, I wasn't a big fan of it, but the last version is really good.

Big date is to me not part of it, it wasn't the case on the three hands version.

Surprisingly Dial is not such a big part of the DNA contrary to the Nautilus "Roler Shutter" and the Royal Oak "tapestry", but if something striking happens like for the bracelet, it will become part of it :) 


Good question...
02/01/2016 - 22:54

...and the timing of your question now soon after the launch of Generation III is perfect.

For me:

1.  The name "Overseas" tells us what this watch is intended for. There is a coherence of concept, purpose, design and acutal performance of the watch. The combination of design, robustness, antimagnetism (however important or unimportant it might actually be) and a good water resistance are essential to the mission of this watch to serve as a companion for travel, sport AND business --- the watch must transition seamlessly among all of these situations . I think all of these elements were carried through into the new generation, while opinions may vary on the specific execution.

2.  The Maltese Cross theme as executed through the bezel and the bracelet in particular. I am glad both of those elements were retained, even while, again, opinions may vary on the execution. The VC logo is unique to the brand, and it is brilliantly used in the Overseas models in each generation.

3.  The shape of the case: the Overseas has always had a tonneau shape as did the 222 and as does the AP Royal Oak. Each generation has seen the shape change slightly, and it has always been distinct compared to the APs.  Among the Overseas, my preference is for the case shape of Generation II, but again, I have not yet seen the new models in the metal, so I will reserve final judgement.

4.  Not much has been said yet of the legibility, the performance in the field as it were, in different light and circumstances. I cannot comment on the new models as I have not seen them let alone lived with them.  I can say, as I have lived with a couple of Overseas from Generation II, that the legibiligy in all kinds of light and lack of light is a defining characteristic for me.  In this respect, both my Chrono and Automatic perform so well and at a level beyond what I have experienced with so many other watches.  The new design of the hands, for instance, for the Generation III models may or may not reflect light as well, but I will have to wait to find out. 



A comparison of 222 thru OS Gen III
02/02/2016 - 00:05

A design comparison 222 to OS Gen III

One thing that immediately strikes my eye when comparing the newest Overseas with Gen I and II is the case profile.  The new design has a flatter curve at the flanks similar to the 222, but a sharp taper at the lugs; "big hips" you might say cheeky.  The dial also appears smaller but I think that is an illusion caused by the new bezel.  In fact, the 222 and Gen I have smaller dials in proportion to case width if my rough measurements are accurate.

What about the Phidias?
02/13/2016 - 14:38

Wasn't the Phidias between the 222 and the Overseas (OS 1)? I very much liked this particular one, but I was warned off and advised to get the Overseas, a choice I do not reregret; however, I never understood exactly what was wrong with the Phidias. Phidias

Before and After the 222
02/13/2016 - 19:39

WR of 5 atm due to its non-screwback case, no all-steel version, and an unremarkable caliber left a lot of people confused by the Phidias' sporty appearance.  Really a casual dress watch, the VC catalog described the Phidias collection as "...the symbol of classicism and harmony".

If we look to VC watches before the 222, one could consider the Chronometre Royal Ref 2215 as the grandfather of the Overseas.  Introduced in 1975, it was VC's first attempt to answer the success of the Royal Oak.  The styling hadn't quite moved forward with the times, plus the watch was burdened by a rather agricultural movement.  Still, it had proper water resistance with a screwback case, and a steel version was available.  But it was superceded within a few years by the 222, which was a hit on all counts.

Before and After the 222

Between the 222 and Phidias was another pug; the 333.  This watch is often mistakenly called a Phidias as the design was so close, but the left-side date display is a quick giveaway.  Although the 333 had an all-steel version, it was not sufficiently water-resistant and clearly foretold the future direction that resulted in the Phidias.

For the whole story, review Alex's article; The Evolution of Vacheron Constantin Sports Watches.

What the ad copy said...
02/02/2016 - 04:54

222 (VC brochure, translated from German)

The 222 is our latest creation. It arose from the desire to complement our selection of luxury watches with a modern-day, functional and exclusive model for the man of today

Gen I (print ad)

OVERSEAS.  Time Set Free.  Born of centuries of experience.  Designed to weather any challenge.  Now ready to share your horizons….The world is yours.

Gen II (VC website)

OVERSEAS “An invitation to travel.  The sleek, sporty Overseas line is intended for all those who love complications that are useful in everyday life”.

Gen III (VC website)

OVERSEAS – A Unique Perspective On The World…The Overseas collection, the traveler’s perfect ally, invites you to embark on an unprecedented experience around the world.

"The world is yours", I kindda like that. Reminds me of
02/02/2016 - 12:22

a David Guetta song cheekycheeky






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