Introducing the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph “Panda”By Sheng Lee
Thoughtfully redesigned and thoroughly upgraded in 2016, the latest-generation Vacheron Constantin Overseas now welcomes a new addition to its chronograph wristwatch collection. Previously available only in colours that offered less contrast, the Overseas Chronograph now boasts a dial in striking two-tone combinations of silver and black.
Perhaps because of the watchmaker’s classical roots, the Overseas Chronograph has had a more reserved style in the past. While a high-contrast, blue-on-silver “panda” limited edition was created for the Zurich boutique, standard versions featured subdued colours such as blue, brown, silver, and black.
The new “panda” version of the Overseas Chronograph breaks away from its more reserved style, offering a sporty and chic option with a dial that’s highly legible and recognizable as a chronograph from a distance. The contrasting colours of silver and black give the watch a youthful and modern look, while preserving the traditional style of the brand. As described by Christian Selmoni, the brand’s Style & Heritage Director, the new dial combines the brand’s “traditional haute horlogerie spirit with refined sporting elegance.”
Notably, the interchangeable strap system, which is present in all Overseas watches, becomes particularly significant when paired with the striking “panda” dial. The two-tone palette expands the options for a variety of straps, resulting in a range of styles and looks. As Mr Selmoni notes, the “panda” dial works particularly well with “the steel bracelet for a casual look, a leather strap for a dressier style, or a black rubber version for sportier wear.” And the easy-to-use strap-changing system makes experimenting with different looks more accessible.
Measuring 42.5mm wide, the watch has a bold presence typical of sports watches but wears relatively comfortably thanks to the slim cal. 5200, the brand’s first in-house automatic chronograph movement. With a vertical clutch and column wheel, it is technically on par with other high-end sports chronograph movements from brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.
The Overseas Chronograph is an excellent sports watch in most regards, but it has a history of being offered in subdued shades. Therefore, it’s exciting news for collectors who appreciate a more playful dial that Vacheron Constantin has introduced a “panda” variant, which is arguably the most striking regular-production version to date. It’s worth noting that this newest version is not a limited edition like the Zurich boutique edition, making it potentially more accessible to enthusiasts around the world (depending on demand).
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Panda
Movement: Cal. 5200; automatic; power reserve 52 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Case: 42.5 mm x 13.7 mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 150 m
Strap: Steel bracelet, black calf leather strap, and black rubber strap