Collector Notes – The Vacheron Constantin Overseas, a Retrospective (Live Pics + Pricing)

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas has always been one of our favorite watches at Shreve, Crump & Low.  The Overseas collection falls into that majestic category of stainless steel integrated bracelet, luxury sports watch, and is often compared to the likes of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and Patek Philippe Nautilus.  The 1st iteration of the Overseas was released in 1996, 20 years after the Patek Nautilus in 1976, and 24 years after the AP Royal Oak released in 1972 – the originator of the stainless steel luxury sports watch.  However, in this post we will cover the difference between the 2016 ref. 5400V (the third revision of the Overseas) with it’s predecessor ref. 47040.

CASE 

ref. 47040 (left) vs. ref.5400V (right)

The overseas collection offers many variations of watch including the time-only above, but also a chronograph, perpetual calendar, dual time, and now a world time (all refs offered in various dial colors and metal combinations) For the simplification of comparisons sake we are looking at the time-only versions with the white dials.

When it comes to the aesthetics of the piece, the new ref. 5400V looks more Vacheron-esque, it has a refined and elegant sensibility, while the ref. 47040 in contrast looks rugged and actually more sporty.  It is very important to note the case diameter on the new 5400V has shrunk from 42.5mm to 41mm, yet the 47040 is actually slimmer by 1.3mm.  The bezel to case proportion appears more balanced on the 47040 Overseas than the design of the 5400V.  The VC Maltese cross component on the bezel is more smoothly merged into the design of the 5400V, but the similar bezel on the 47040 while more boldly integrated feels more at home on the watch.

The screw-down crown on 47040 appears more securely fashioned to the case compared to the 5400V, which is more exposed on the latter, but still screw-down.

DIAL – IMPROVEMENT ✓

The dial design of the 5400V is certainly an improvement over the dial of the 47040.  Vacheron is heralded in-particular for their use of traditional hand-turned, rose engine lathing machines to decorate the guilloché dials of their more elegant dress watches, the 47040 has a stamped dial, which for some purists was a disconcerting feature.  The silver-toned sunburst, satin dial of the 5400V is a welcomed nuisance.  In general the dial 5400V is more visually refined.  In additional to slimmer hour indices and hour, minute second hands, Vacheron has also removed the rather uncouth arabic/baton hybrid markers at the 3/6/9/12, as well as the “AUTOMATIC” designator above the 6 0’clock, which ultimately lends to this cleaner look.  Some may accuse the outer second track on the 5400V of being too busy, we believe it frames out this new dial quite elegantly.

Of course one of the biggest change-up to the dial of 5400V is the repositioning of the date window to the 3 o’clock.  While almost all purist bemoan a date window as the bane of a perfect dial, the repositioned date at the 3 o’clock makes sense on a sport watch.  It also stands out better than the date window on the 47040, which gets lost like all date windows between the 4 and 5 o’clock…definitely an IMPROVEMENT ✓

BRACELET

ref. 47040 (left) vs ref. 5400V (right)

The Overseas’ bracelet is one of the most intricate and thoughtful in the realm of luxury sport watches.  Like the Overseas’ bezel Vacheron again looks to integrate the Maltese cross feature into the highly tooled design of the link bracelet, which once sized to the wrist makes for a sharp, but comfortable fit.  I personally appreciate the pronounced taper of the bracelet on the 47040 from the case to the clasp, though the thickness on 47040 bracelet is not tapered and can wear slightly bulkier than the the 47040.  This is the opposite on 5400V, the width taper is not as pronounced, but the links are nicely tapered in from thick at the case to thinner at the clasp.

showing all three strap options

There is also the newest feature of the 5400V Overseas bracelet, which is the quick-change feature giving the wearer the ease to swap out the bracelet to either a black alligator strap or textured black rubber strap with the flick of quick release trigger (both of which come with the watch).

MOVEMENT

The solid case back of the 47040 conceals an anti-magnetic cage that helps protect the caliber 1126 within.  While the exhibition caseback of the 5400V showcases the new 5100 caliberone of the biggest new features of Overseas collection, complete with a solid 22k gold automatic winding system.  This new movement is Vacheron’s in-house 5100 automatic caliber, which is a milestone to be noted, and closely examined over the next few years.  This new caliber is both smaller in diameter by 2.2mm and thinner by 1.5mm than the 1126, while also managing to gain an impressive 20 hours of extra power reserve via two main-spring barrels.  That is not to say the caliber 1126 needed replacing, the Caliber 1126 is a movement built off the legendary Jaeger Le Coultre caliber 889 which was co-developed by JLC, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe.  A variation of each has been used in the AP Royal Oak, Patek Nautilus and JLC Master Control.

caliber 1126 (left) vs. caliber 5100 (right)

It is rare and brief period of time, generally ranging from 6-24 months of time when a watch brand releases a new model that overlaps with the availability of a previous model.  At Shreve, Crump & Low we are currently offering both the 47040 and new 5400V you can further browse our selection here

Collector Notes – The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ in White Gold With A Black Dial (and a very special Saxonia)

It is a daily occurrence the passionate watch sales associates on the Shreve, Crump & Low watch floor receive guests to purchase, discuss and obsess about the latest and greatest the watch industry has to offer.

This Shreve, Crump & Low exclusive online, video-feature series “Collector Notes” is aimed to better educate, inform and ultimately help you to curate your own collection along your collecting journey.  One of the most frequent questions asked by our repeat collectors is simply, “…so what’s new?

Mr. Christopher Hislop, V.P. and Boston Store Director

The gentleman on the receiving end of that inquiry will often be Mr. Christopher Hislop, the Boston store director with an extensive pedigree in fine timekeeping.  Mr. Hislop arrived at Shreve, Crump & Low in 2011 having joined the watch industry a decade earlier. A native Bostonian, he has carried the torch of stewardship in the long line of leaders of America’s oldest luxury goods retailer. Prior to Shreve, Crump & Low Mr. Hislop has held positions in sales and marketing at watch retailers as well as at A. Lange & Söhne’s North American operation.  Yes we are certainly biased, but there is truly no one better individual in North America we consider more refined on the Lange brand or watches in general than Mr. Chris Hislop.

Please enjoy our inaugural video feature “Collector Notes”:

Please reach out to [email protected] to inquire for further pricing and availability requests or via phone 1-800-225-7088

To browse our available A. Lange inventory click through here.