Insider: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ref. 49150. A Classic that Needs No Introduction.

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ref. 49150/B01A-9095 is a timepiece that needs very little to no introduction. The Vacheron Overseas is a watch inspired by the sea and by the lines of the Vacheron Constantin '222' —a 37 mm watch designed by Jorg Hysek Sr. in 1977 to celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the manufacture and to compete against the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak— and in our opinion with some cues from the defunct Vacheron Constantin Phidias. On a side note, the Vacheron Constantin 222 is often erroneously attributed to Gerald Genta because of the similarities in case construction with the iconic Royal Oak and the IWC Ingenieur SL, however, legendary watch designer Hysek is the real man behind it. The Vacheron Constantin '222' was produced in a limited number with 500 pieces in stainless steel, 120 in stainless steel and gold and only 100 pieces in gold.

 Photo: Christie's.

Photo: Christie's.

The Overseas is a practical watch with a classic, yet very sporty look. A watch available with our without a chronograph or in a very practical version with dual time and power reserve indicators. Originally launched in 1999 under the Vacheron Constantin reference 49140, the first iteration of this watch was in production until 2004 when it was replaced by the 49150. However, the same automatic calibre 1137 powers both references. Fitted with a 42 mm satin-brushed stainless steel case with a very sleek profile only 12.45 mm thick, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ref. 49150 is ready to take on any challenge that your wrist commands.

The Dial

The dial on the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ref. 49150/B01A-9095 is a silvery white dial with one of the nicest 'guilloché' patterns out there and stepped registers. With a nice clean layout, the dial features a running seconds indicator a 6 o'clock, an oversized double date aperture at 12, a 12-hour chrono register at 9 and a 30-minute chrono register at 3 o'clock. The inner flange features a minute track in black that provides perfect contrast on the dial.

The Case, Bezel, Pushers & Crown

The 42 mm satin-brushed stainless steel case is very nicely finished and further elevated by a highly polished bezel inspired by Vacheron Constantin's Maltese cross. With a very sleek profile only 12.45 mm thick, the watch is water resistant to 150 meters and fitted with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on the inside for superb readability. The chrono pushers as well as the winding crown, are all of the screw-down type and knurled for superior grip.

The Bracelet

The bracelet was redesigned when the Overseas collection got a face lift and it now has a design that features the 'v' shape element of the Maltese cross —a.k.a. Amalfi cross— more prominently. The Maltese cross is the symbol of the Knights of Malta and the official seal of the island of Malta. The cross is eight-pointed and has the form of four "V"-shaped elements, each joining the others at its vertex, leaving the other two tips spread outward symmetrically. The bracelet is very nicely finished with a perfect satin-brushed finish and mirror polished edges. The clasp on the bracelet is a double folding deployant clasp with the Maltese cross on it.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ref. 49150 is the anti-magnetic automatic in-house calibre 1137. This anti-magnetic calibre offers protection to magnetic fields of up to 25,000 A/m. The movement is composed of 183 parts, 37 jewels and column wheel chronograph and provides a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement is protected by a solid case back with the legendary sailing ship motif on bas relief.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears slightly smaller than its actual size and extremely comfortably. Its color scheme allows for a perfect match with any outfit or type of shirt you are wearing. Arguably, this is one of the best sports watches ever made by the 'Holy Trinity of Watchmaking' —in case you didn't know, it is conformed by Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. If one could only have three iconic sports watches from the best watchmakers in the world, this would be one of them along with the Nautilus and the Royal Oak. Also available with blue dial as ref. 49150/B01A-9745 or with black dial as ref. 49150/B01A-9097.

Sticker Price $21,000 USD. For more info on Vacheron Constantin click here.