The New Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase and Retrograde Date

The New Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase and Retrograde Date

The New Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase and Retrograde Date

The Overseas, the spiritual successor of the Vacheron Constantin 222, has been the brand’s main sports watch since 1996. Despite being eclipsed by watches like the Royal Oak and Nautilus throughout its adolescence, the Overseas has developed into a mainstay of the nearly unreachable waitlist watch world.

That tendency is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to the latest Overseas publication at Watches and Wonders 2023. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moonphase Retrograde Date Watch boasts the same form factor and deep ocean blue dial we’ve grown to adore, but with a moonphase and a retrograde date complication seen on an Overseas for the first time.

With a quick glance at the blue dial and 41mm case, it’s clear this is an Overseas. The six-sided bezel, which echoes the Maltese cross, as well as the signature integrated bracelet, are all present. Things get extremely intriguing when you take a closer look at that unfathomable lacquered blue dial.

Vacheron Constantin has put a retrograde date complication in an Overseas for the first time. Vacheron Constantin is no stranger to this problem, having created a plethora of them over their nearly three-century history. It’s one thing to include a retrograde date into a dress watch or statement piece, but to do so in a sports watch while also including a moon phase display and nevertheless making the design just as sporty and, well, as Overseas as ever — that’s quite a feat.

The retrograde dates circle the dial from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., then return to 1 at the end of the month. On an aesthetic level, the sky blue dates and blue-on-blue pointer date hand contribute to the layout’s success. The digits on the date correspond to the Arabic minute markers positioned along the rehaut, resulting in a seamless, integrated color scheme that draws attention away from the complexity.

The moon phase complexity is, of course, the Overseas Moonphase Retrograde Date’s second trick. Though not commonly seen on sports watches, moon phases provide a fanciful, though antiquated, complication that can be entertaining to watch. Given that this is Vacheron Constantin, it should come as no surprise that the execution is flawless.

Vacheron calls theirs a precision moon phase since it needs to be corrected once every 122 years, and the number of days since the last new moon (from 0 to 29 12) is displayed above the aperture. I’m not sure why, and the 29 12 is a little off-putting, but the digits do match the rainbow of dates above. All functions of the watch are controlled by the fluted crown, a reference to user-friendliness.

Vacheron Constantin used its in-house automated Calibre 2460 R31L/2 to create the dial magic. Adding a retrograde date is difficult enough, but making it sturdy enough for a sports watch without adding weight (the watch is only 10.48mm thick) and maintaining water resistant is a difficult issue.

As a result, there are 275 components that are beautifully detailed and visible behind the display caseback. The 22k gold-oscillating weight with stylised compass rose takes center stage, but as the rotor spins, there’s plenty of decoration to go around. Not surprisingly, the calibre also receives the Hallmark of Geneva as a recognized timepiece.

The inability to readily change straps is a common complaint leveled against integrated bracelet watches. Vacheron Constantin offers a blue rubber and blue leather strap, as well as a simple, tool-free method for switching between them.

The introduction of this newest Overseas will do nothing to slow the Overseas hype train. Though there will be plenty of purists who prefer the simplicity of the time and date-only models (or the über complicated perpetual calendar), Vacheron Constantin has done a remarkable job of integrating both a retrograde date and moon phase complication while retaining the sports watch aesthetic with all the hallmarks of the line.