In the 1970s a new category of watches was born that would forever change the watch industry—the integrated bracelet sports watch. These new watches represented a significant departure from traditional watch design, featuring barrel-shaped cases, industrial bezels, and wide bracelets with large central links that were seamlessly fitted to the lugs. At the helm of the initial offerings were premium steel watches conceptualized by legendary designer Gerald Genta, starting with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972 and the Patek Philippe Nautilus in 1976. Eager to add their own entry, Vacheron Constantin worked with designer Jörg Hysek to launch the reference 222 in 1977. While the Royal Oak and Nautilus would go on to have lengthy and illustrious careers, the 222 was discontinued just seven years later in 1984.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Vacheron, fresh off its acquisition by the Vendôme Luxury group (now Richemont), would re-enter the integrated bracelet category with the introduction of the Overseas. Designers Dino Modolo and Vincent Kaufmann focused their efforts on creating a travel-ready watch that was inspired by the 222, yet distinctively different. The new Overseas sported the usual barrel-shaped case, but was now fitted with a three-piece bracelet, crown guards, and a polished bezel that was a direct nod to the brand’s Maltese cross logo.
During its production from 1996 to 2004, the first generation Overseas was offered in a 37mm “jumbo” size, a 35mm mid size, and a 24mm ladies size and came in five different dial colors—white, black, blue, gray, and rarest of all, salmon. In addition, the watch came powered by either the automatic caliber 1310/1311 or quartz caliber 1320. Both were COSC certified movements, and the latter was likely an addition aimed at satisfying converts from the Quartz Crisis who now preferred the convenience and affordability of battery-powered timepieces.
Since its introduction, the Overseas has become a mainstay in Vacheron's catalog and has taken its place as the third member of the Holy Trinity of integrated bracelet watches. Yet unlike first generation models of the Royal Oak and Nautilus, the 90s Overseas hasn’t been subject to the same inflated pricing from the steel sport watch craze. This will surely change in the coming years as collectors discover these incredible value propositions, especially examples sporting a stunning and highly desirable salmon dial like this one.
Vacheron Constantin stainless steel bracelet
Max Wrist Size:
7.25 in (16.5 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The case is very clean and shows minimal signs of wear with nice definition between brushed and polished surfaces. The polished bezel exhibits only a couple hairlines and micro scuffs. The case top and the lugs are well-defined. There is a faint softening at the corner at 7 o'clock. The case sides contain a couple tiny nicks and scratches visible upon close inspection. The caseback is in near-mint condition with virtually no signs of wear and a protective sticker present. The engravings are sharp and legible and the three-masted ship is wonderfully detailed.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The salmon sunburst dial and polished hands are in excellent condition. The dial shows a few faint aging spots, which are not uncommon for this reference. The tritium plots across the dial and hands are fully intact and show no degradation or cracking. The hand plots are a slightly lighter shade of yellow than the dial plots. When exposed to UV light, the tritium briefly glows and then fades away within 1 minute. The sapphire crystal is clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The integrated Vacheron stainless steel bracelet is in fantastic condition with virtually no stretch. The brushed links have captured a few hairlines on the 12 o'clock side, but the overall appearance is very clean. The clasp shows no notable scratching.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding, time setting, and date changing are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.