The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Limited Editions Everest was ‘inspired by the prototype watch worn by American explorer and photographer Cory Richards during his ascent of Mount Everest’. The Maison offers two limited-edition models, the aptly named Overseas dual time Everest and the Overseas Chronograph Everest. Each model is housed in a combination of titanium and steel and cleverly plays with different colours and textures.
In 1977, Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest unveiled the 222, created to mark the brand’s 222nd anniversary. The model tapped into the horological zeitgeist of the 70s with its steel case, integrated bracelet and luxury sports watch remit. At the time, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, IWC Ingenieur SL and Patek Philippe Nautilus were all designed by Gérald Genta, however, Vacheron Constantin bucked the trend, entrusting the design of the 222 to a young Jörg Hysek.
Notable features included the crenellated bezel and a Maltese Cross positioned in the bottom right corner of the case. The Vacheron Constantin 222 continued in service until 1985. Today, examples of the watch attract feverish activity within the auction house scene and resale prices can only be described as eye-watering.
The 222 was the precursor of the Overseas model, first launched in 1996. The Overseas doffed its hat to the 222, but appeared more refined. The 3-rows steel bracelet featured a central row of recessed links, the hour markers were more intricate, incorporating many facets, the bezel retained the crenellated design but was simpler and less fussy.
In my opinion, the current Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest model (‘reinvented’ in 2016) is the most attractive version to date. Today’s would-be wearer is indulged with a choice of steel or gold options. Smaller case sizes, gem-set bezels and quartz models deliberately target the ladies’ market. The Manufacture also offers automatic three-handers with a date display, dual time models, a world timer, several chronographs, ultra-thin perpetual calendars (some in skeleton form) and even tourbillons.
Put simply, the first Overseas model of 1996 has transitioned into an über-luxurious, sublime expression of watchmaking. However, is the Overseas still a sports watch? Personally, I think it is too sophisticated for such a utilitarian role. Indeed, several references bear the Poinçon de Genève, the Genevan hallmark found on some of the finest expressions of Haute Horlogerie.
In 2019, Vacheron Constantin produced an Overseas dual time prototype for the American explorer and photographer Cory Richards. The intrepid explorer wore the watch whilst undertaking his third ascent of Everest via the North-East Ridge. Unusually, the case of the prototype was made of titanium and tantalum. Moreover, the bespoke case featured two crowns, shielded by robust protectors. After Mr Richards completed his mountainous exploits, his watch was sold by Philips for $106,250 with the proceeds going to charity.
Now, the historical Maison has unveiled two new versions inspired by Cory Richard’s prototype watch, the aptly named Vacheron Constantin Overseas Limited Editions Everest. The first model is the Overseas dual time Everest, presented in a 41mm titanium and steel case. The inventory of functions includes hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, GMT hand, day/night indicator (home time) and pointer date (local time). The movement is similar to the standard Overseas Dual Time (Calibre 5110 DT), except the Manufacture has applied NAC treatment to the bridges and the rotor now sports an Everest engraving, hence the movement is named the Calibre 5110 DT/2.
The second model is the Overseas Chronograph Everest. The 42.5mm case, once again, is executed in titanium and stainless steel. The in-house Calibre 5200/2 is identical to the ‘regular’ version’s Calibre 5200, save for the aforementioned NAC treatment and Everest engraving.
Both models are limited to 150 pieces each and come supplied on a grey Cordura fabric strap embellished with ebullient orange stitching. The models also feature a grey-blue grained dial and carry the emblem of the prestigious Poinçon de Genève on their cases and movements.
While I accept the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Limited Editions Everest were ‘inspired by the prototype worn by American explorer’, I hope the 300 fortunate souls who own one of these models look after their gorgeous timepieces. Indeed, to subject such a paragon of fine watchmaking to harsh temperatures and multiple shocks is sacrilegious to say the least.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest has skillfully used different colours and textures to differentiate these new models from their older siblings. Indeed, these Everest editions look more sporty, a characteristic that diminished when the Overseas was updated in 2016 and the collection began having elocution lessons. I remain a fan of the ‘regular’ Overseas collection, however, if the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Limited Editions Everest are a foretaste of what is to come, then I look forward to seeing further variants.
Geneva, 22 September 2021 – Vacheron Constantin’s sportiest collections is opening up to new aesthetic horizons with two new variations: Overseas chronograph “Everest” and Overseas dual time “Everest”. These two numbered 150-piece limited editions are ideal for everyday wear as well as for the most daring feats, as testified by American explorer and photographer Cory Richards who wears the dual time version and shot the chronograph model in Colorado.
A symbol of discovery and openness to the world, the Overseas collection explores new heights of elegance and robustness with two models radiating a resolutely sporting temperament. Inspired by the world’s highest peak, the Overseas chronograph “Everest” and Overseas dual time “Everest” watches celebrate adventure and self-surpassing. This mindset is personified by the American explorer and photographer Cory Richards, one of the talents chosen by Vacheron Constantin to embody its One of not many communications campaign. In 2019, this seasoned mountaineer undertook his third ascent of the ‘roof of the world’ via the North-East Ridge – considered the most difficult and perilous route – with an Overseas dual time prototype specially developed by Vacheron Constantin on his wrist. This unique watch now lends its aesthetic codes to the two new Overseas Limited Editions “Everest”, photographed for the occasion by Cory Richards himself.
The new models, all of which are recognisable by the famous six-sided bezel evoking the Maltese cross, are distinguished by a powerful and distinctive style expressed through a skilful combination of materials, alternating between titanium and steel. The case, the bezel, the pushers and pusher guards are made of titanium, a light, robust and corrosion-resistant metal. The only differences are the finishes: satin-brushed and polished for the case; polished for the pushers; bead blasted for the bezel, crown and pusher guards, reflecting the grained dial finish. The anthracite grey tones contrast with the shimmering gleam of the stainless-steel bezel ring. On the dial side, these watches opt for an elegantly grained finish punctuated by bright orange accents, a dynamic colour matching the shade of the stitching on the Cordura strap with nubuck calfskin lining, providing a blend of sturdiness and softness on the wrist. To ensure their versatile elegance, both models are equipped with Overseas collection’s self-interchangeable strap system. This ingenious concept enables tool-free swaps between the Cordura and rubber straps supplied with the watches, thereby adjusting the styles in step with the mood and the occasion.
The light and versatile Overseas “Everest” watch opts for the horological complication much appreciated by sports enthusiasts and outdoor activity lovers by offering chronograph functions. Equally suited to adventure and everyday challenges, this 150-piece limited edition is at home in every situation. Its 42.5 mm case features a contrasting combination of titanium and stainless steel, while its harmoniously dial composition ensures optimal legibility of the chronograph indications, particularly thanks to the bright orange colour of its central chronograph hand.
Steadily beating time behind the scenes if self-winding Calibre 5200/2. This twin-barrel in-house movement is fitted with a column wheel orchestrating the chronograph function’s start, stop and reset operations. This accurate and reliable mechanism also features a vertical clutch to prevent any potential hand stuttering when the chronograph is started. Technical performance is complemented by a particularly contemporary aesthetic. The NAC treatment on the baseplate echoes the anthracite grey shades of this model, while the 22K pink gold oscillating weight bears an engraving of Mount “Everest” based on a photograph taken by Cory Richards during one of his expeditions to the Himalayan summit.
At the exact intersection between performance and style, the Overseas dual time “Everest” watch is an open travel invitation. Directly inspired by the prototype built to accompany Cory Richards on his latest ascent of the ‘roof of the world’, this timepiece issued in a 150-piece limited edition provides all the functions useful to globetrotters and experienced explorers.
At the heart of its 41 mm case, carved from a combination of titanium and stainless steel, the Overseas dual time “Everest” watch opts for the in-house self-winding 5110 DT/2 movement enabling simultaneous reading of two time zones. In addition to the classic local-time indications, an arrow-tipped fourth orange hand displays the original (home) time, coupled with a matching-coloured day/night indicator. The pointer-type date display at 6 o’clock is synchronised with local time, which can be adjusted by a dedicated pusher. The two time zones at 12 o’clock can be corrected by turning the crown in either direction. Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, the anthracite grey NAC treatment on the baseplate gives the movement a decidedly contemporary character. Setting the signature touch to this model, the 22K pink gold oscillating weight is adorned with an engraving of Mount Everest inspired by a photograph taken by Cory Richards.
For me, these watches are an expression of years of refinement and effort. They are the manifestation of the reduction of the superfluous in the pursuit of the essential…and the essence of craftsmanship. All of my endeavours have mirrored this journey…be them in art and photography or exploration. For me, the ultimate expression of any craft is best understood through what we are able to strip away and shed as we drive towards perfection. I see this in the details…what is included and why. I’m reminded of the sweat and blood and tears and joy that all greatness requires. And in the movements I see the countless hours of dedication required to bring any goal to life. I see the time given. I see my life reflected back at me through minutes and seconds and I am reminded that there is still a road ahead and an unfolding of countless journeys yet to come.
I wanted our shoot to reflect countless hours spent over a lifetime pursuing exploration. The late nights spent in the dark, hovering above the expanse of the world below. When we leave behind the comfort of our everyday lives and willfully exchange it for discomfort, we are invited into a space of our own evolution and we discover what we are capable of. In the mountains or on the ocean, time dilates and minutes can be experienced as hours, and days remembered as mere seconds. Oftentimes, our success or failure is tied to how we optimize our time…when we wake, how quickly we move, how much we sleep…it is all a measure of time. Speed equates to safety and can literally mean the difference between life and death. Can we beat the sun before the ice melts and rocks begin to rain down? Can we cross a slope before the snow becomes too unstable to traverse, warmed by the heat of the day? Can we beat a storm or must we retreat? It is all a measure of time. I wanted to tell that story of a day moving through an environment, optimized and by attention to detail and efficiency through the awareness of time. It is a story of goals and willingness to observe and respect what is necessary to achieve them, measured out to the last second.
Wearing an Overseas “Everest”, I’m reminded of everything from my childhood and everything that brought me to this moment in time…the trials, the seemingly endless learning through trial and error. The failures balanced against the successes. I’m actually emotional when I stop and contemplate what this watch actually says…about my life and what it can mean to others who wear it. To share such an enormous piece of me condensed into something so refined and beautiful is a humbling honor beyond the words I have. I guess what I feel most is gratitude. Gratitude for the time spent in the company of countless mentors and friends. Gratitude for the places seen and the effort given. And gratitude for everyone who has worked so hard to express all of that in a timepiece that encapsulates it all with such articulation, beauty, and thoughtfulness. I’ve always loved watches, but this is much more than that.
It’s hard to accept myself as one of not many because I believe that we are all truly extraordinary in our own expressions. But I also work to celebrate the pieces of me that have brought this to life and appreciate that path. In very real terms, every Overseas “Everest” is truly one of not many and that limited nature only acts to amplify everything that has been accomplished and expressed in the watch itself. Much like a timepiece, we are greater than the sum of our parts. Each of us is made of our own collection of movements and gearing, the machinations of the lives we’ve lived…and the outward expression of that is unique. I see this collaboration as a continued expression of that concept. The movements in me are echoed in the craftsmanship I look to countless times every day, leading me further into an exploration of self, art, and the planet. For that, I can’t be more humbled and grateful.
A watch for sports enthusiasts and adventurers, Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest is reaching new heights and exploring new aesthetic territories, as the collection welcomes two 150-piece limited editions: Overseas chronograph “Everest” and Overseas dual time “Everest”. Inspired by a prototype developed by Vacheron Constantin in 2019 to accompany Cory Richards on his third expedition to the ‘roof of the world’, they are distinguished by a powerful and bold design. Available in a diameter of 42.5 mm for the chronograph version and 41 mm for the dual time interpretation, the case combines the lightness and robustness of titanium with the shimmering gleam of stainless steel. This sophisticated look brimming with contrasts is paired with a self- interchangeable rubber or Cordura strap lined with nubuck calfskin. On the technical side, the chronograph model is equipped with self-winding Calibre 5200/2, while the dual time model opts for self-winding Calibre 5110 DT/2. These two in-house movements feature an extremely contemporary anthracite grey NAC treatment. Setting a signature touch, their 22K pink gold oscillating weight is adorned with an engraving of Mount Everest inspired by a photograph taken by Cory Richards.