‘Everest’ Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time
As a bitter old soul waiting to die, I can’t remember the last time a watch made post-2018 from a non-independent genuinely excited me. Except for one, which you’re looking at. It’s what happens when watch brands listen to their customers and aren’t afraid to be a little brave in the details. In 2019, National Geographic explorer, photographer, and all-around enviable man Cory Richards summited Everest, but did so with a one-off prototype Overseas Dual Time on wrist made specifically for the cause in full titanium. The watch that did the whole adventure was then auctioned for charity at Phillips in 2019 for 106K USD. In retrospect, that was a pandemic-induced fire sale. But the watch inspired everyone who reads this kind of media, and so in 2021 VC obliged us with an ‘Everest’ edition Chronograph and Dual Time in 150 examples each.
Effectively, it’s a more sporting sports watch executed in titanium, except for the bezel which remains steel for scratch resistance. And no one could get one, as per usual. It’s what I call the 911 Dakar business model. For those who don’t know, there is a man on a rainy island called Richard Tuthill who’s been taking old 911s, jacking them up, and making them faster than anything on dirt for decades. Then fans started making their own, the safari 911 was a fad. Humans like to be part of a group, a flock, an identity. And when the group gets so dilutedly-large that its most hardcore members feel they’re not being spoken for, a new, more niche in-group forms. The base 911 says luxury. A 911 Safari says I like driving. Taking note, Porsche indulged their fans years later with a factory-built 911 Dakar in limited production that would cost a laughable quarter mil. It’s the ‘extract maximal msrp on niche enthusiasm’ model, but I’m really not that opposed. Because despite the unattainability, it makes bedroom-poster products, things that will be aspired toward for generations. An Overseas says luxury, opulence. An Everest says I really like watches, you already know I have multiple homes.
And it is that aspirational, everyone loves the Everest. The only possible legitimate criticism I’ve heard towards it, other than the unavailability, is that the orange is a bit childish. No, it’s purposeful; that’s like those annoying people who complain ambulances are too loud. Same for its Cordura strap, which is more Patagonia than Bond Street and perfectly judged (fun fact, Cory Richard’s prototype is actually the only example out there with a full titanium bracelet too). The sad thing about the Everest, though, is that I doubt any other explorers wound up with one. Cory doesn’t have his any more. The new ones went to friends of VC, not the bearded titanium spoon enthusiasts at Nat Geo. And the secondary market ones . . .well we know that story. On the bright side, it can serve a new purpose. Its rotor engraving will now be the sole available mountain vista for urbanites of the world’s major cities’ finance districts. A great buy in modern integrated, non-integrated sporting steel that’s actually titanium.
This example is just as you’d want it, no visible wear at all, with a full set. Nothing much to note. The secondary market for these has been on a wild rollercoaster, from asks in the hundreds of thousands originally now down to a less eye-watering sub 100. I honestly doubt they’ll be there long, however, for both the rarity and level of likability I see surrounding these. I’m not trying to make a sales pitch, hell if anything the opposite, I want to be able to pick one up in about five years.