A Week On The Wrist: The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin is surely a flat watch, with a case thickness of 7.5 mm (and a diameter of 40 mm). The development is the Vacheron caliber 1120, which, as we referenced in our earlier initial coverage of this watch at the SIHH , started life in 1967 as the consequence of a collaborative development advancement program which included Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe; AP, VC, and Patek all utilized the development under various caliber designations, with Jaeger-LeCoultre creating it as the JLC caliber 920, although JLC has never actually utilized the development in their own watches. The development was at the hour of its launch in 1967 the most slender full rotor self-twisting development on the planet, and rather amazingly, it remains the holder of that record today, 49 years later.
Naturally, it’s for the most part been utilized in watches notable for their thin profiles. The most slender watch from Vacheron utilizing this development isn’t the Overseas Ultra-Thin, but instead, the Historiques Ultra-Thin 1968 , a square-cased wristwatch with a case thickness of 5.4 mm, water resistant to 3 bar/30 meters. Audemars Piguet’s Jules Audemars Extra Thin , which utilizes the same development, is 6.7 mm x 41 mm; the Royal Oak Extra Thin, which utilizes the caliber 2121 – the same development as the VC1120/AP2120, yet with the addition of the date – is 8.1 mm thick, at 39 mm in diameter, with a water resistance of 50 m.
The absolute first watch from Vacheron Constantin to utilize the caliber 1120 – without date – was the reference 7398, in September of 1967; this was a round, flat (clearly) dress watch, and it was one of three watches launched that year by VC (references 7399, with a pad case, and reference 7400, another round watch, followed later in the same year).
Right from the start, the Overseas Ultra-Thin is a very enticing watch. In contrast to many ultra-slight watches, which as a rule come on straps and are amazingly light in the hand, as well as virtually unnoticeable on the wrist, the Overseas Ultra-Thin has a palpable haul to it. Given the slim profile, it is anything but an unpleasant sensation at all; there is barely sufficient load to the watch, on its bracelet, that you’re aware of its quality, and when you combine that with the flexibility and beauty of execution of the bracelet, putting the Overseas Ultra-Thin on interestingly is a lot of a “amazing” experience.
Whether by karma, or plan, or some fortunate combination of the two, Vacheron’s managed to create a sensation experience in the watch all in all that has to be felt to be believed.
The bracelet on the Overseas Ultra-Thin is absolutely phenomenal. The combination of brushed and cleaned surfaces catch the light in a really hypnotizing way, and the superb degree of finish on the white gold connections and clasp, combined with the mass of the watch, give it an inclination in the hand and on the wrist I really can’t recall getting from any other watch bracelet I’ve at any point handled. It’s not simply the on the money mass or the beautiful metalwork, it’s the combination of the two, and the bracelet is agreeable to such an extent that it feels almost invigorated. As much as this would put off those with phobias about snakes, the sensation is extremely akin to handling one – there’s a feeling of adaptability and gracefulness, sure, yet additionally connectedness, in a manner of speaking. It’s one thing for a watch to have nothing to which you can protest; it’s another thing to have it draw you in what feels like an almost active fashion, and it’s almost frightening – as on the off chance that it really has that life-0f-its-own quality that so many of us want in a watch however sometimes really get. Regardless of whether by karma, or plan, or some fortunate combination of the two, Vacheron’s managed to create a sensation experience in the watch overall that has to be felt to be believed.
Wearing a watch like this can be, contingent upon your tastes, a lot of an activity in what you may call horological adequacy. I always wonder, when I’m test-driving a watch, regardless of whether it very well may be a watch you’d wear as your daily wear watch. Some of the time the inquiry is dead before it can leave the gate – most specialist complications aren’t candidates, for clear reasons; many games watches are not, because of size or other plan aspects that limit their versatility; many dress watches are clearly too fine to even think about being anything other than, indeed, dress watches.
The Overseas Ultra-Thin, then again, comes extremely, near being an unequivocal yes in terms of not exclusively being a watch you could wear each day, yet in addition a watch you would want to wear each day. It’s fine enough to be suitable for practically any occasion I can imagine shy of by-the-book white ti e (and you could possibly pull off it and still, after all that). It’s also, curiously, very powerful for a ultra-dainty watch, as befits its participation in the Overseas family. It’s antimagnetic, to some extent – there’s no full delicate iron walled in area yet there is a delicate iron casing ring, which gives, if not a similar level of assurance as a full inward case and dial, at least some level of insurance (similarly a full nook would: by giving a favored pathway to magnetic field lines). It’s even rated to 5 bar/50 meters water resistance.
Generally speaking, when I’m wearing a watch for A Week On The Wrist, I want to have at least a little time away from it; and when in doubt, it’s ideal to take at least a little break from wearing an audit piece. (Here and there it’s a major alleviation; have a go at wearing a watch you could do without personally for an entire week – it resembles having a house visitor you can’t dispose of.) I can sincerely say that on account of the Overseas Ultra-Thin, taking it off was always an occasion for lament and putting it on again after having been away from it, in any event, for a brief timeframe, was always a wellspring of that small yet unmistakable pleasure we as a whole always desire to get from any watch. It was an update that watches are intimate things and not at all like a ton of adornments, are regularly worn consistently – as such, they should be something you can cherish consistently, not simply tolerate.
Now obviously, perhaps the most intriguing features of the Overseas Ultra-Thin is that you don’t get only a bracelet. The Overseas Ultra-Thin uses the new interchangeable strap framework that Vacheron has turned out for its revamped Overseas assortment. Such things can appear to be gimmicky obviously, or if nothing else, a little déclassé (we’ve all seen swap-able straps used to attempt to sell unexceptional watches) to say nothing of alarming in the event that you don’t feel absolutely sure that the locking framework is secure. In this case I’m happy to say the framework works extremely well. It’s actual speedy, it’s dead easy to utilize, and happily enough, the watch takes on a totally different character contingent upon what you’ve decided to keep it on your wrist. Changing the strap or bracelet is also a lucky opportunity to see exactly how meager the watch really is – not record breaking, yet at the same time, pretty damned flat.
With the white gold bracelet, this is a calm however unmistakable exercise in extravagance, especially in the event that you can easily recognize the gray pearlescence of white gold from the colder, really precluding chilliness of cleaned steel. Put the watch on one of the straps you get with it, however – you have a decision of one or the other elastic or black lined gray aligator – and it becomes something you could wear either to a day at the beach or to a formal occasion, contingent upon your disposition and circumstances. To change the strap or bracelet, you simply push in the little tabs covered up in the end-connections of the bracelet or the finishes of the strap (where spring bars would normally sit) and you can slide the strap or bracelet off; to attach one, you simply snap it into place. In the week I had the watch for audit, there were absolutely no issues with security with the system.
There are such ideas about what makes a watch plan fruitful. Some are contextual obviously – a minimally clear jumper’s watch, or a watch with inadequately planned ergonomics that make it hard to operate, are by any reasonable meaning of configuration, planned badly. From both a style and functionality standpoint, there is always an inclination to fall back on dependable guidelines that may or may not yield great outcomes – “toning it down would be best” is probably one of the most exceedingly terrible guilty parties, because less is unquestionably not more besides under unmistakable circumstances. What individuals really mean – or really should mean, anyway – when they say “toning it down would be ideal” is “each component is flawless in itself, stands in the most ideal relationship to each other component, and there’s nothing unnecessary to detract from one or the other style or functionality.” That is an incredibly, hard arrangement of criteria to satisfy, yet as reluctant as I am to say it for various reasons – the cost of the Overseas Ultra-Thin, for one, and a general resistance to appearing to be too emotionally associated with a survey for another – I’m constrained by the overwhelmingly certain reaction I had to the Overseas Ultra-Thin to say that it comes awfully, awfully close.
So is this an ideal watch? Obviously it’s not; the inquiry has no real meaning, but to work as what rationalists like to call an instinct siphon. Be that as it may, it is, in case you’re defenseless to its particular set-up of charms, an almost overpowering watch; and regardless of whether you’re not, I believe it’s hard to avoid seeing the level of plan insight it addresses. There are such ways this thing might have gone out of control – the twee and unnecessary revival, for instance, of the Maltese cross medallion on the lower right hand corner of the case, from the vintage 222; it would have been charming, certain, yet it would have been a mistake – one of those minuscule yet fatal openings out of which all the rightness of a plan can leak. (So would have been a seconds hand, or a date window.)
Should this watch have been offered in steel? It would have been a more affordable watch however it also would have been a completely extraordinary one; everything from the appearance of the metal with the impact of the completing techniques, to the overall feeling of appealing yet not overpowering mass that this watch has in white gold, would be absent in steel. (It is not necessarily the case that the Overseas Ultra-Thin would be a bad watch in steel – likely it wouldn’t be – however it merits bringing up that it would be a very different watch.) Is it excessively costly? The inquiry is prima facie absurd – obviously it’s excessively costly, excessively costly by half, and by any rational measure, you should take one glance at the sticker price, think about all different watches you could get for nearly 60,000 dollars, and say to yourself, “Indeed, this is nature’s way of saying, ‘don’t contact.'” (To be fair, nonetheless, the AP Jumbo in rose gold, the nearest thing I can consider to the VC Overseas Ultra-Thin, with exactly the same development however for the date guichet, is almost exactly the same price.)
The just issue with that, will be that any other watch wouldn’t be this watch, and on the off chance that you want this watch – with its all-too-rare ability to appear to be both brilliantly straightforward without being oversimplified; with all its plan virtue; with all its capacity to remind you exactly how satisfyingly right a couple of components standing in ideal harmony to each other can be – it will set you back, pretty much, $55,700 dollars.
It’s a bit of maddening that less is so expensive more, yet at least in this case you can take more than solace in the fact that less really is more.
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Reference 2000V/120G-B122: case, 40 mm x 7.5 mm, white gold. Antimagnetic casing ring, water resistance 50 meters. Dial, grey-lacquered, sunburst satin-completed base with velvet-completed moment track. 18k white-gold hands and markers. White-gold bracelet, gray alligator, or elastic strap. Development, caliber 1120, 40-hour power hold, 2.45 mm x 28.4 mm, 19,800 vph, running in 36 gems. Geneva Hallmark. Available August-September 2016; cost, $55,700. Visit VC online here.
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