The Vacheron Constantin Overseas is enjoying huge popularity at the moment, largely thanks to the well-received nearly-full titanium Everest Limited Editions released last year. For 2022 they have created the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium, which includes a number of collection firsts. Central to the design is that new skeleton tourbillon, but it’s also Vacheron Constantin’s first full titanium model.
Let’s start with that full titanium case. The brand has toyed with going full titanium before, but in addition to the super lightweight material they have always used complimentary steel components, such as in the aforementioned Everest. However, for the Ref. 6000V/110T-B935 it’s titanium all the way, from the crown to the bezel to the case to the bracelet.
That makes the watch approximately 30% lighter than if it were made of steel. That’s no small difference, although it’s worth keeping in mind the fact that extreme lightness can feel less robust on the wrist. It also seems that titanium is the material of the moment because A. Lange & Söhne have also announced their first titanium model in the new Odysseus. However, titanium doesn’t have a complete monopoly because there’s a second version of the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton, ref. 6000V/110R-B934, in more traditional 18k pink gold.
Other than the different materials, the overall shape and design of the two watches is the same. 42.5mm diameter cases with Maltese cross inspired bezels and sapphire crystals front and back. Despite the sporty material used on the titanium edition, both have water resistance ratings of just 50m. But to be fair, they are focussed on haute horology, not adventuring.
Speaking of haute horology, the beating heart of these watches are the skeleton tourbillons. Instead of creating a brand new movement, Vacheron Constantin have skeletonised the base calibre 2160, calling it the 2160 SQ. The skeletonisation process required reducing the weight of the movement by 20% without detracting from its sturdiness and 5.65mm height. The result is entirely worth it, allowing the movement to be admired fully from above and below.
There’s plenty of haute horological finishing on display including hand-chamfering, polished bevels and hand engraved horizontal grooves on the mainplate and bridges. Even the barrel has been openworked with a new compass rose design. The flagship tourbillon is now held by a rounded-off upper bridge, plus its regulating organ has been redesigned with a Breguet Overcoil, a method of improving isochronism by folding the outer spring coil towards the centre.
A criticism often levelled at skeleton watches is that the display loses a lot of legibility because the hands and indexes tend to be harder to pick out amid the structure of the movement. The Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton Titanium is by no means the worst offender though, with large hour markers and hands all coated with lume. The display also benefits from a peripheral minute track keeping thing readable, black lacquer on the gold model, blue PVD on the titanium.
In many respects, the Overseas is the perfect model for a full titanium case and it’s also the perfect model to house a skeletonised tourbillon so it makes a lot of sense on paper. In practice I think the rose gold edition will prove to be the classier watch with the titanium more of a novelty.
Price & Specs:
Model: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Ultra-Thin Skeleton Titanium
Reference: 6000V/110R-B934 (18k pink gold)
Case/dial: 42.5mm diameter x 10.39mm height, 18k pink gold or grade 5 titanium case, skeletonised dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: In-house 2160 SQ calibre, automatic, 30 jewels, 186 parts
Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 80h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds on tourbillon
Strap: 18k pink gold or grade 5 titanium bracelet with interchangeable strap system, plus two additional straps in black or blue calfskin and rubber
Price/availability: Price on request
More details at Vacheron Constantin.