Overseas moon phase retrograde date: first ever sport watch with a retrograde display for Vacheron Constantin
- VAC_Overseas_PdL_Date_Retro_Calibre 2460 R31 L2_V
- VAC_Overseas_PdL_Date_Retro_Calibre 2460 R31 L2_R
- First retrograde display in the Overseas collection.
- Technical complexity expressed in a sporty-chic style.
- In-house Calibre 2460 R31L/2 with a precision moon-phase requiring a one-day correction only every 122 years.
For the first time ever, the Overseas line thus incorporates a retrograde display, a function that is part of Vacheron Constantinâs living heritage and continually reinvents itself. The new model keeps the collection iconic attributes immediately recognisable: six-sided bezel evoking the Maltese cross, fluted crown, polished and satin-brushed finishes, translucent lacquered dial, luminescent hour-markers and hands, by combining them with a retrograde date and a precision moon-phase.
The Overseasâ sporty-chic philosophy
In 2016, Vacheron Constantin made its Overseas watch the symbol of sporty-chic watchmaking. New horizons were explored for this model emblematic of the Maison, through a collection with a revisited design and new calibres that perpetuates its original spirit of 1996. Uniting strength and distinction, a sporty temperament and inherent refinement, the Overseas collection successfully blends performance and style, High Watchmaking and a certain aura of casual elegance. With the passing years, various versions of the Overseas have made their mark with their characteristic six-sided bezels, in-house self-winding movements and interchangeable bracelets/straps.
Everything contributing to the collectionâs visual signature and horological qualities is to be found in the new Overseas moon phase retrograde date model. At the heart of a 41 mm steel case beats in-house Calibre 2460 R31L/2, combining for the first time in this collection a retrograde date and a high-precision moon phase. The iconic blue lacquered dial features a play on light thanks to the velvet-finish flange and sunburst satin-brushed centre. The complications are displayed with extreme legibility. The entire spirit of the Overseas collection is concentrated in this new watch that is totally versatile and intrinsically horological.
Aesthetic balance and horological details
Several months of aesthetic research were required to combine a precision moon phase and a retrograde date in a sporty-elegant case, while ensuring extreme legibility and perfect balance. Achieving this complex pairing involved first integrating a retrograde date â a classic signature of the Maison â into a sports-inspired watch. This challenge was successfully met, notably thanks to the work on the blue-tinted retrograde hand. Next came the task of considering how to display moon phases without losing the sporty feel of the timepiece.
Within the collection, the Overseas retrograde moon phase date thus offers a rare combination in which technology is placed in the service of style and vice versa, serving as a reminder that the Maisonâs signature retrograde displays can be reinvented.
A retrograde date display is one in which the indicator does not complete a full turn of the dial, instead travelling along its entire measurement segment and then returning to its starting point to begin a new journey. This mechanism requires great precision and rigorous discipline, particularly with regards to shock- and wear-resistance. It has been reinterpreted in this timepiece entirely in line with the Overseas collectionâs aesthetic and technical codes.
In-house Calibre 2460 R31L/2, an extremely accurate self-winding movement
This timepiece is driven by in-house self-winding Calibre 2460 R31L/2 with a 40-hour power reserve. This 275-component movement can be admired through the sapphire caseback, notably the circular-grained surface of its mainplate and its 22K gold oscillating weight adorned with a stylised compass rose recalling the themes travel and exploration. The moon phases are displayed through a 6 o'clock aperture graduated from 0 to 29Â½ and thus serving to read off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. This complication, known as the age of the moon, corresponds to the actual cycle of this heavenly body which completes one full rotation around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The precision moon-phase mechanism requires a one-day correction only every 122 years. The retrograde date indication by central hand occupies the upper part of the dial.
For enhanced user-friendliness, all adjustments are done via the crown: winding, correction of the date and moon phases, as well as setting the time.
Because an active lifestyle also involves countless surprises, the Overseas watch adapts to all situations by opting for versatile elegance. Its simple and practical strap/bracelet interchangeability system enable it to be delivered with a steel bracelet accompanied by two additional straps in calfskin leather and in blue rubber.
At the crossroads between technical sophistication and the pursuit of aesthetic principles, the new Overseas moon phase retrograde date succeeds in incorporating an astronomical complication by combining it with a retrograde date display, a true signature of the Maison, within a sporty-elegant case. Equipped with in-house 5.4 mm-thick Calibre 2460 R31L/2, this timepiece reflects the grand watchmaking traditions in the inherently modern and contemporary spirit of the Overseas collection.Interview with Christian Selmoni
Does the Overseas moon phase retrograde date watch mark a milestone in the history of the collection?
The Overseas collection born in 1996 can be viewed as the heir to the 222, Vacheron Constantin's first sporty-chic watch launched in 1977. Today, the timepieces in the Overseas collection channel the attributes of the "tool watches" of the 1950s in terms of their shapes and technical features. They are robust, elegant, functional and versatile. In a sense, their evolution symbolises the changes in societal behaviour, horologically rewriting the new codes of modern and contemporary life. The new Overseas moon phase retrograde date marks an important milestone because it combines its technical qualities with those of the era and of style.
Which do you see as the main technical and stylistic features of this model?
Since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has consistently cultivated the refinement of its watches as an art. Within the Manufacture, technical expertise is dedicated to serving elegance. The Overseas moon phase retrograde date watch combines a retrograde date, the Maisonâs style signature, with a precision astronomical moon. It is a watch that displays High Watchmaking codes in a modern case adapted to everyday life. The integration of watchmaking functions and complications from the grand Geneva tradition within a sporty-chic case requires a wealth of ingenuity.
How long did it take to create this watch?
It took three years of research and development to integrate the traditional functions and complications of the retrograde date and the precision moon-phase display into the Overseas collection. This watch involves a rare degree of technical elegance. It is the first time that an Overseas watch has been enriched with a retrograde date and a precision moon phase. The latter system that is far more complex and accurate than its standard counterpart has a 135-tooth wheel, enabling the moon to be displayed with a difference between the mechanism and the true lunar cycle of only one day in 122 years.
How the retrograde display is an aesthetic signature of Vacheron Constantin?
After the 1930s, there was a lull in the creative inspiration behind special displays. At Vacheron Constantin, the craze for unusual dials reappeared in the 1990s, notably with the Mercator watch presented in 1994. The company's designers were inspired by the early 20th century "arms in the air" display and integrated it into the much smaller volume of a wristwatch. A tribute to the 16th century geographer GÃ©rard Mercator, this creation features a double retrograde display of trailing hours and minutes on an enamelled or engraved dial. The positioning of the hand axis at 12 o'clock provides an ideal surface for expression on this model from the MÃ©tiers d'Art collection. Three years later, in 1997, at a watch show in Berlin, the Maison distinguished itself with its limited edition of the Saltarello watch with jumping hours and retrograde minutes on a sunray guillochÃ© silver-toned dial.
With the advent of the new millennium and the apogee of the mechanical watch, watchmaking daring translated into greater freedom for the dials. Vacheron Constantin's retrograde displays became part of the current collections. The first examples appeared in References 47245 and 47247, two wristwatches showing the days of the week at 6 o'clock and a retrograde calendar on a semi-open dial in the case of the second model.
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
22K gold Overseas oscillating weight
27.2 mm (11Â½âââ) diameter, 5.4 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Precision moon phase, age of the moon
41 mm diameter, 10.48 mm thick
Soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistant tested at a pressure of 5 bar (approx. 50 metres)
Translucent blue-lacquered, sunburst satin-brushed base with velvet-finished flange
18K white gold hour-markers and hours, minutes, date hands highlighted with blue Super-LumiNovaÂ®
Steel, half Maltese cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links, secured by a stainless steel triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort-adjustment system
Blue calfskin leather with grey stitches
Delivered with a second steel triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and interchangeable system, compatible with both additional straps.
Model exclusively available from Vacheron Constantin boutiques.