On 12th of November 2020, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awarded the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton with the Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize. An extraordinary achievement and recognition for one of the most spectacular QP launched this year. The watch is the Overseas’ highlight piece launched by the Maison of connoisseurs at the virtual Watches & Wonders 2020. This is a presentation of the watch with hands-on video and a large image gallery.
The watch launched at W&W2020 represents the pinnacle of the Overseas collection. The model adds the gorgeous calibre 1120 QPSQ/1 into a sporty attitude. Taking into considerations the case versatility with the fast-changing strap (with leather and a rubber straps already included in the retail package), the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton promises an excellent companion as a gentleman’s daily watch.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
I was not able to see the watch in the spring or summer due to the pandemic situation. Luckily, Vacheron Constantin Germany made it possible and I have spent some moments with it just a few hours before the GPHG ceremony started. The watch confirmed me an already good impression. But it was good to see it and feel it since nothing compares with a live, “face to face” meeting.
An ultra-thin case accompanied by an exceptional bracelet
For those familiar with the Overseas Collection, the presentation of this superb piece will bring no surprise. A precious metal case of only 8.1mm thick (at a diameter of 41.5mm) is accompanied by an exceptional designed and executed bracelet. The triple-blade folding clasp sums Maltese cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links. The system can be observed in the hands-on video above.
The case slim design with a beautiful and comfortable integrated bracelet offers pleasant wear. Usually, a precious metal wristwatch tends to become a little tiresome due to its weight, but I find this ultra-thin piece quite gracious and enjoyable.
The slim case body presents a polished finish that is extended to the bracelet. On both sides, the caseband holds recessed pusher for the calendar setting. For a daily wearer, these pushers are unnecessary. The Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton requires no intervention until March 1, 2100, neither for its calendar indications nor for the moon phases.
The Maltese cross decorated crown is well balanced between the diameter of the case and its slim body. It offers a good grip and can be easily used for set/wind.
Floating dial elements
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton expresses itself with an airy, open watch face. The indexes, writings and decoration float inside the thin case. The engaging view was possible due to an extremely thin sapphire dial. The transparent sheet holds the applied hour indexes, the Vacheron Constantin Maltese cross and the printed elements.
The cutest detail of the dial is the moon phase indication presenting a stylised set of star constellations. The “sub-dial” also wears the brand’s logo as an applied element.
The date can be found on the 3 o’clock position. Those familiar with the functionality of the perpetual calendars will recognise the arm responsible for the date jumps in the month with 30 days or less.
The day of the week uses the indication on the left side of the dial. It is interesting to see how the hours’ indexes seem to float. These applied elements are filled with luminescent material for better legibility.
The top of the dial is reserved for the months’ view. We can observe a simplified indication of months and the leap years by using a single hand making a complete rotation every four years. This system imposes to have the months written four times on the dial but saves space in the movement.
The dial open design reveals partly the exceptional movement underneath – calibre 1120 QPSQ/1. The movement was given a sportier decoration to fit better in the Overseas sporty note.
NAC instead of engravings
Calibre 1120 QPSQ is used in Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar. At only 4.05 mm thickness, the movement is an expression of the Maison’s technical capabilities. But instead of engaging the master engraver, the brand decided for a simpler and sportier note – NAC electrolytic treatment. The traditionalism is brought into modernism.
Of course, the movement is charmingly decorated, keeping the high level of expertise expected from this formidable house: straight-graining the surfaces to give them a satin-brushed finish; bevelling straight lines and curves to make the create light effects; circular brushing, sunburst finishing, circular-graining and polishing to ensure varied reliefs – excerpt from the official press release. One can easily notice the Poinçon de Genève hallmark synonymous with provenance, quality craftsmanship and reliability.
The adornment can be easily observed from the face of the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, along with some of the gears and trains of the QP. The watch offers an excellent way to learn the intricacy and behaviour of the perpetual calendar. The back offers another set of details that helps explain an understand the watch’s functionality. A fascination detail is the 2.75 Hz balance wheel and escapement, both featuring an anti-shock system.
Gorgeous interpretation of an all-rounder QP
Perpetual Calendars tend to be watches with a certain sobriety. You expect a QP in a traditional case and a black tye attire. Vacheron Constantin metamorphosed the Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin into a modern, all-rounder daily Overseas that could fit various moods and situations. Clearly, it will not be recommended to go diving or to go climbing, but all the normal day activities can be covered just buy a strap change.
The easy strap change system, the gorgeous presentation of a sought complication and the versatility of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton are motives for which this watch earned the prestigious prize.
On a personal note: I am a big fan of the skeletonised watches (from simple three hands, up to high complications), of the practical everyday pieces that can fit in the same day business meetings and a walk with the dog in the park and, most important, highly decorated / exceptional implementation of the mechanical movement. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton is a serious contestant for the position of a daily only watch or one of the most important pieces of a very curated collection. I could easily understand why I will not need or wish another watch besides this one…
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton Technical Specifications
- 1120 QPSQ/1
- Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
- Mechanical, self-winding
- 22K openworked oscillating weight in the shape of a Maltese cross
- NAC treatment
- 29.6 mm (12½’’’) diameter, 4.05 mm thick
- Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
- 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour)
- 276 components
- 36 jewels
- Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
- Hours and minutes
- Perpetual calendar (date, day of the week, month, leap year)
- Moon phases
- 18K 5N pink gold
- 41.5 mm diameter, 8.1 mm thick
- Soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection
- Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
- Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 5 bar (approx. 50 metres)
- 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers and hours & minutes hands highlighted with white luminescent material
- 18K 5N pink gold bracelet (half Maltese cross-shaped polished and satin-brushed links), secured by a 18K 5N pink gold triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort-adjustment system
- Delivered with a second strap blue Mississippiensis alligator leather featuring a blue nubuck lining, with a micro-perforated effect, hand-stitched,
- Delivered with a third strap in blue rubber
- Each additional strap comes with an 18K 5N pink gold buckle
- The peak of artisanal watchmaking expertise
Piece only available through the Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
- 105’000 € / 115’000 USD
- 130,000€ RSP in Germany