Vacheron Constantin unveiled a brand new Overseas Chronograph model to join its 2023 catalog. Say hello to the Overseas Chronograph ref. 5500V/110A-B686, complete with a silver and black “Panda” dial and a set of interchangeable bracelets and straps. Let’s dig into the details.
What’s New in this Overseas “Panda”?
Vacheron Constantin debuted the latest generation of the Overseas Chronograph (with an in-house-made movement) in 2016, and the collection quickly became one of the brand’s most popular. Since then, the evergrowing Overseas Chronograph lineup has welcomed several new variants in a range of metals and dial colorways.
Now for 2023, Vacheron Constantin has added a silver and black dial colorway to the collection in the form of the stainless steel Overseas Chronograph ref. 5500V/110A-B686. This particular dial execution, characterized by black subdials on a white or silver background, is known in watch circles as the “Panda” dial thanks to its resemblance to the face of the famous bamboo-eating bear.
Although Vacheron already had an Overseas Chronograph with a “Reverse Panda” dial (black background punctuated with white subdials), fans of traditional Panda chronographs (of which there are many) will no doubt appreciate this addition. White and black Panda-style dials rose to prominence during the heyday of the motorsports-inspired chronographs of the 1960s, and they’ve been desirable ever since.
Back to Basics: What is a Chronograph Watch?
If we zoom in on the face of the new watch, we see a silver-toned sunburst satin-finished dial, a trio of snailed black counters, and a black velvet-finished flange with a minute track. The inclusion of the black flange is particularly striking and serves as a nice frame for the dial. There are also 18k white gold hour markers and hands, coated with Super-LumiNova, in addition to a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.
What’s the Same?
Aside from the new dial configuration, everything else on the new Overseas Chronograph ref. 5500V/110A-B686 remains the same. The watch’s stainless steel case measures 42.5mm in diameter and 13.7mm thick, featuring the same integrated lugs and Maltese cross-inspired bezel characteristic of all current Overseas models. As Vacheron Constantin’s flagship sports model, the Overseas offers a respectable 150m water-resistance rating.
The back of the watch is furnished with a sapphire crystal for a view of the in-house Caliber 5200. Caliber 5200 is an automatic column-wheel chronograph movement, developed and manufactured entirely by Vacheron Constantin. Its 22k gold rotor is embellished with a wind rose to symbolize travel and exploration while the twin barrels provide approximately 52 hours of power reserve. There’s also the vertical clutch to prevent any jittering when the chronograph hand is activated. Finally, the soft iron casing ring ensures some anti-magnetic protection for the movement.
A fantastic design feature of the Overseas is its patented tools-free interchangeable system, which allows wearers to easily switch out the bracelet for a strap when the mood strikes. The Overseas Chronograph 5500V/110A-B686 is paired with a stainless steel bracelet with the signature half-Maltese cross links but the set comes with two extra straps: a black calfskin leather strap with grey stitching and a black rubber strap. It’s almost like three watches in one package!
Vacheron Constantin “Panda” Overseas Chronograph ref. 5500V/110A-B686 Specifications
- Material: Stainless steel
- Case: 42.5 mm diameter, 13.7 mm thick
- Dial: Silver sunburst with black counters and flange
- Bracelet/Strap: Steel bracelet, black leather strap, black rubber strap
- Clasp: Triple-blade folding clasp with push pieces
- Movement: Caliber 5200
- Water resistance: 150 meters
- MSRP: $32,400
Overseas watches are some of the best-selling modern Vacheron Constantin watches in today’s market, competing with the likes of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
The chronograph variants are especially popular due in part to their even sportier aesthetic. Adding an on-trend Panda dial variant was a smart move on behalf of Vacheron Constantin; the resemblance to the white dial Rolex Daytona 116500LN has not gone unnoticed.
This new 2023 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V/110A-B686 will certainly be a hit for the brand and we foresee it doing very well in both retail and grey markets. The official sticker price is $32,400 but we’ll likely see these watches trading at a premium once they become available.