Vacheron Constantin is one of the world’s oldest watchmakers, with an uninterrupted history that dates back to 1755. While this renowned “Holy Trinity” brand is best known for its superb collection of high-end dress watches and complicated timepieces, Vacheron Constantin is also a significant player in the ultra-luxury sports watch category thanks to its popular collection of Overseas timepieces. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas made its debut in the 1990s but is actually based on a 1970s design. From the 222 to the 333 to the Phidias and finally to the Overseas, join us as we uncover the origins, evolution, and variety of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas watch collection.
The Origins: Vacheron Constantin 222, 333, and Phidias
Vacheron Constantin 222
In 1977, the Vacheron Constantin 222 watch was introduced to honor the brand’s 222nd anniversary. Much like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus that came before it, the Vacheron 222 was a luxury sports watch with an unconventional tonneau-style case shape, distinctive bezel, and integrated bracelet. The monobloc case measured 37mm, and like the original Royal Oak and Nautilus, the 222 relied on an automatic movement that was based on Caliber Jaeger-LeCoultre 920, which could only be accessed via the dial. The integrated bracelet included hexagonal links and the whole design was very much in line with what was fashionable in high-end watches at the time.
However, unlike the offerings from AP and Patek, the Vacheron “Triple Two” was not designed by Gerald Genta; the 222 was conceived by Jorg Hysek (the same designer behind the Breguet Marine and TAG Heuer Kirium watches), who was only 24 years old at the time.
Along with the flagship “Jumbo” 37mm variant, Vacheron Constantin expanded the 222 collection to include 34mm midsize models, 25mm quartz versions, and 31mm square iterations. The references are as follows:
Vacheron Constantin 222 models:
|44018||37mm||Vacheron Constantin 222 “Jumbo”||Automatic|
|46003||34mm||Vacheron Constantin 222 (Midsize)||Automatic|
|46004||31mm||Vacheron Constantin 222 (Square)||Automatic|
|6001||25mm||Vacheron Constantin 222 (Ladies’)||Quartz|
|60701||25mm||Vacheron Constantin 222 (Ladies’)||Quartz|
The collection was in production until about 1985 and it’s estimated that Vacheron only made 750 examples of the original VC 222 “Jumbo”: 500 in steel, 150 in gold, and 100 in two-tone steel/gold. However, in 2022, the brand revived the watch in the form of the Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222 to much success.
More on Vacheron Constantin from Grey Market:
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph “Panda” for 2023
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin 4300V/000R-B064
How to Sell a Vacheron Constantin Watch
Vacheron Constantin 333
In the mid-1980s, Vacheron introduced the 333 model, which retained some of the design traits of the 222, such as the hexagonal-linked integrated bracelet, and overall slim and sporty profile. However, Vacheron Constantin 333 dropped the notched bezel that was characteristic of the 222 and featured an octagonal-shaped case with prominent grooves at 3 and 9 o’clock. Furthermore, the date window was unconventionally placed at the 9 o’clock position. Available in 33mm and 23mm sizes, the Vacheron Constantin 333 was made in steel, gold, and two-tone variations (some diamond set models too) as well as in automatic or quartz editions.
Vacheron Constantin 333 models:
|Reference #||Size||Model||Movement Type|
|46007||33mm||Vacheron Constantin 333||Automatic|
|73001||33mm||Vacheron Constantin 333||Quartz|
|61002||23mm||Vacheron Constantin 333||Quartz|
The Vacheron Constantin 333 watch collection was eventually discontinued in the 1990s to make way for the Phidias as the brand’s sports watch option.
Vacheron Constantin Phidias
The 1990s saw the birth of the Vacheron Constantin Phidias watch, which was both an evolution and a mash-up of the 222 and 333 watches. The integrated bracelets remained but the center hexagonal links were replaced with rectangular ones. The Phidias sports a round case topped with a round bezel and Vacheron made it in various editions including time and date, chronograph, and GMT World Time.
Aside from varying functions, the Phidias collection also housed several material, size, and movement options.
Vacheron Constantin Phidias models:
|48010||33mm||Vacheron Constantin Phidias|
|47020||35mm||Vacheron Constantin Phidias|
|48020||35mm||Vacheron Constantin Phidias|
|49001||35mm||Vacheron Constantin Phidias Chronograph|
|48200||35mm||Vacheron Constantin Phidias GMT World Time|
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Generation 1: 1996 – 2004
In 1996, Vacheron Constantin introduced the Overseas watch, inspired by many elements of the 222 from the 1970s. The watch included a Maltese Cross-inspired cut-out bezel on top of the tonneau-shaped case, as well as an integrated bracelet with straight center links (like the Phidias) and a time and date dial. Dials were available in five colors: white, blue, black, grey, and salmon. While most dials included faceted hour markers, there were also some dials with large Arabic numerals.
Vacheron made the first generation of the Overseas in 37mm “Jumbo”, 35mm midsize, and 24mm ladies’ sizes, all available in steel or solid gold.
1st-Generation Vacheron Constantin Overseas Models
|42040||37mm||Jumbo Overseas (Caliber 1310)|
|42042||37mm||Jumbo Overseas (Caliber 1311)|
|42050||35mm||Midsize Overseas (Caliber 1310)|
|42052||35mm||Midsize Overseas (Caliber 1311)|
In 1999, the Overseas Chronograph ref. 49140 joined the lineup. The case was larger than the time/date version, measuring 40mm in diameter, while the dial was home to three sub-dials for the chronograph function, as well as a big date indicator right below 12 o’clock.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Generation 2: 2004 – 2016
In 2004, Vacheron Constantin introduced the second generation of the Overseas watch collection, featuring larger cases (42mm) without crown guards, redesigned bracelets with half Maltese cross-center links, new dials, and upgraded movements with soft-iron inner cages for anti-magnetic resistance.
Vacheron initially offered this generation of the Overseas in time/date and chronograph variants but also eventually added dual time models and perpetual calendars.
2nd-Generation Vacheron Constantin Overseas Models:
|47040||42mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas|
|49150||42mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph|
|47450||42.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time|
|49020||42.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar|
|25250||34mm||Vacheron Constantin Quartz Ladies’ Overseas|
The second generation of the Overseas was available in an assortment of materials, dial colors, and watch bands.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Generation 3: 2016 – Present
In 2016, Vacheron Constantin launched the third generation of the Overseas collection by introducing five new models across 12 references. Some design updates included a new bezel with six “spokes” rather than eight, new case sizes, new movements that bear the Hallmark of Geneva, and a new easy-fit system for a simple way to switch out straps.
The first batch of the latest generation Overseas watches that were introduced in 2016 included the following:
2016 Vacheron Constantin Overseas releases:
|5500V||42.5 mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph|
|4500V||41mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding|
|2305V||37mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Small (discontinued)|
|4300V||41.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar|
|2000V||40mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin (discontinued)|
Vacheron Constantin has since expanded the collection with more models, materials, and complications.
Newest Vacheron Constantin Overseas models:
|7700V||43.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time (discontinued)|
|2300V||37mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Small (discontinued)|
|7900V||41mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time|
|6000V||42.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon|
|1205V||33mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Lady Quartz|
|4000V||41mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date|
|4605V||35mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Diamond Self-Winding|
|4600V||34.5mm||Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding|
Although the Overseas is one of Vacheron Constantin’s youngest collections, it has quickly become the brand’s most popular, and the watches are typically valued above retail on the secondary market. Thanks to its wide assortment of complications, sizes, and materials, the Overseas collection offers plenty of options to suit a range of tastes.