There are days where you just want an F-off brick of integrated gold on wrist. When those times arrive, it is hard to say F-off more tastefully than with a first generation Overseas. By the 90s, Switzerland’s renaissance of mechanical watchmaking was fully embraced at VC. Shortly after being acquired by Vendome (now Richemont), VC wanted a knockout release to re-establish Maltese cross dominance. The Overseas which resulted laid the foundation for modern Vacheron in may ways. While it was a slow seller in period, first generation Overseas are more desirable today than ever for their slim cases, tritium dials, robust calibres, and restrained design.
The model took its cues from both the 222 and Vacheron’s 1990s then-contemporary range. Production was not continuous, VC waited almost twenty years after the 222 folded to resume a sports offering. When they entered the fold, they did so with characteristic grace. The Overseas entered the arena in two sizes, the 35 and 37mm variants. Those two sizes were both produced with two calibres: a a Girard Perregaux 3100 ébauche known as the 1310 and latter in-house adaptation with reinforcement called the 1311. Each size and movement is given its own reference: this 42052 marks this example out as the mid-size variant with the strengthened movement.
The appeal of neo-vintage, particularly here, hardly need be explained. The 35mm proportions are slight. Its technical competence is above reproach with the Girard Perregaux mechanics. The charm arrives in full via hallmark 90s patina. The white dial is timeless. But there’s depth to the model also, with things like the uber-rare 42041 LHD variant, non-lume dials, sigma dials, ‘GENÈVE dials vs GENEVE dials, arabic variants, precious metals, and enough detail variance to keep any enthusiast truly on their toes. This yellow gold variant is a beast on wrist at 215 grams and sports a white dial with deep guilloché pattern. Bricks hardly come more attractive.
This example has a sharp case with light to moderate surface wear. Its dial is perfect, with all tritium applications and even yellow cream. It comes as a naked watch from a well-regarded Parisian retailer.
Find this 42052 here from Tokant Paris for 28450 EUR.