There is a particular friction I feel when I see 3700 Nautilus regularly trading hands above 200K. You see, I am a firm believer that one should purchase only what speaks to their soul. Rational watch purchasing is no way to live. Furthermore, I understand the appeal of the Nautilus line. History’s most storied watchmaker has but one true integrated sports offering. Yet, when premiums are this dear, a part of me has to ask: do buyers know a (to my eye) more attractive sports steel is available with a comparably excellent calibre, real pedigree, and understated proportion at an order of magnitude lower ask? Sure, many just buy the Patek to say they have bought that Patek. I understand that. But I would implore that buyer to be a more interesting person.
All of which leads me to this: the first Overseas generation, a model which took its cues from both the 222 and Vacheron’s 1990s then-contemporary range. The production was not continuous, VC waited almost twenty years after the 222 folded to resume a steel 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 knowns 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 it 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 GP pedigree, and patina is only lightly showing. The black dial is timeless. But there’s depth to the model also, with things like the uber-rare 42041 LHD variant, occasional salmon dials, sigma dials, ‘GENÈVE dials vs GENEVE dials, arabic variants, precious metals, and enough detail variance to keep any enthusiast truly on their toes. I don’t want this to be read as a mark against the Nautilus; it is an institution which deserves its place. I simply hope my efforts in writing here also make those buyers aware of the huge value that the Overseas, and to a lesser extent the 222, still is.
Moreover, this is a stellar example. Case lines are crisp and unaltered, echoed in the bracelet. Its dial sports a slight greying from sun exposure, also visible in gold tritium tones on indices and its handset. The only small mark against it is a pin hole degradation in the hour hand’s lume which equally indicates original application. Could be fixed, I’d leave it. The watch comes with an extract from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this 42052 Overseas here from 41 Watch for 15650 USD.