Salmon Vacheron Constantin 42052 Overseas
The appeal of neo-vintage, to my sensibilities, is self-explanatory. Mechanics are modern enough to not give concern and yet the design is something entirely apart from both modern and properly vintage pieces. Tritium was still in use. Proportions were still slight back then. Not all things from 90s and early 2000s have aged extremely well. Take plaid, backward baseball hats, and Doc Martens for example. However, trends in watch collecting’s intervening years such as integrated bracelets, salmon dials, and undersized proportions have all trended toward the way this model was designed. I dare say this salmon midsize Overseas from the late 90s looks better and more at-home today than it ever has.
This is the first Overseas generation, a model which took its cues from both the 222 and Vacheron’s 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.
This example sports the radially-grained salmon dial. This is by far the rarest and currently most collected variant today. However, it should be noted that the dial is not original to the watch. It may have been requested by the owner in service or switched by a dealer. This brings to the forefront all sorts of questions of the merits or lack thereof in watch modification. Every reader will have their own views on this. The dial is a genuine VC article, just not the watch’s original. Therefore, the price reflects this. If you did want an original (oversize) salmon example, one is available but at substantial premium. Form your own opinions.
Otherwise, the example is really a fairly tight one. The dial’s lume is perfect and matched in the handset. It has a small wear where the N or Geneve is weathered. Its case has a few light knocks on its polished surfaces. All honest. Otherwise, it’s all as you’d wish. It comes with an extract from a reputable London retailer.
Find this Salmon Overseas here from Watch Brothers London for 16950 GBP.