A 60 million year-old mountain, growing a quarter of an inch every year. Temperatures of minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) and winds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). Known by its Nepalese neighbours as Sagarmatha (meaning “mother goddess of the sky”) and as Chomolungma (“mother goddess of the universe”) in Tibet, Mount Everest towers over the world at an incredible 8848 meters high. So how can one pay tribute to one of Mother Nature’s most formidable creations? Swiss watch manufacture Vacheron Constantin is doing so with the introduction of two new limited editions: the Overseas chronograph “Everest” and the Overseas dual time “Everest”.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas “Everest” Chronograph and Dual Time Limited Editions
The story (and man) behind the watches
The new limited edition “Everest” models stand out from the mainstream Overseas collection due to their sportier, more fast-paced aesthetic. For the first time, the cases are made of steel and titanium, accompanied by a grained dial. The inspiration behind the “Everest” watches, which are limited to 150 pieces each, lies in the prototype (Ref. 7910V/000T-B603) worn by American explorer, photographer, and VC ambassador Cory Richards during his ascent of Mount Everest in 2019. During that trip, Richards and his climbing partner attempted to create a new route – without supplemental oxygen – by which they would approach Everest from Tibet.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Prototyp (Ref. 7910V/000T-B603)
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time “Everest” Limited Edition (Ref. 7910V-000T-B922)
In case you don’t yet know the face of these exclusive new watches, we’ll introduce you. Cory Richards is a National Geographic adventurer, expedition photographer and alpine climber. When there isn’t a thick layer of ice solidified to his face, Richards has a dashing, carefree appearance, an easy smile, and tousled blonde hair. Despite dropping out of school at 14 years old, the free-spirited 40-year-old’s repertoire is broad, having photographed his way across the world, from Antarctica to Burma to Everest. He also is a known mental health advocate. Richards frequently takes part in the Instagram hashtag #MentalHealthMondays and openly shares his personal thoughts and feelings in detail.
The ideal ambassador
According to Vacheron Constantin, the aim of its two new limited editions Overseas is to celebrate adventure and self-surpassing. Having learned about Richards’ background, it is easy to understand why the brand chose him to represent the watches. After all, the idea behind the entire Overseas line is convey the spirit of travel and an openness to the world. If you take a look at Cory Richards’ portfolio, you will see how these values are an embodiment of himself.
According to Richards: “In very real terms, every Overseas “Everest” is truly “One of Not Many” [the brand’s current campaign slogan]. That limited nature only acts to amplify everything that has been accomplished and expressed in the watch itself. Much like a timepiece, we are greater than the sum of our parts. Each of us is made of our own collection of movements and gearing, the machinations of the lives we’ve lived… and the outward expression of that is unique. I see this collaboration as a continued expression of that concept.”
Limited editions: Rarer materials
The two new timepieces are housed in a satin-brushed and polished case, consisting of titanium and stainless steel. This is already a departure from the rest of the Overseas collection, with the watches usually having pink-gold, white-gold, or steel cases. These new watches not only use titanium for the case, but also for the polished pushers plus bead-blasted bezel and pusher guards. The recognisable six-sided titanium bezel contrasts with the stainless-steel bezel ring lying beneath it. The use of titanium in particular makes clear that adventure is in the DNA of these limited editions; as a light, robust and corrosion-resistant metal, neither a trip to Everest, with its extreme conditions, nor everyday life will phase these watches.
Both timepieces have sapphire crystal casebacks, allowing for a view of the 22-carat pink gold oscillating weights within. While usually featuring a wind rose, the limited editions’ rotors showcase an engraving of Mount Everest. This decoration takes its design from a photograph taken by Cory Richards. It’s a thoughtful, meaningful touch, not to mention a tribute to Vacheron Constantin’s high level of finishing and craftmanship.
The dial is also out of the ordinary for the Overseas line. Usually, the watches feature silver or deep blue sunburst dials that exude elegance. By contrast, the limited editions have blue-grey grained dials with bright, highly legible orange accents. The 18-carat gold applied hour markers and hands glow with blue Super-LumiNova at night.
The sports watches’ departure from the typical sunburst dial decoration in favour a rougher texture could easily remind one of Audemars Piguet’s unexpected titanium Royal Oak model. As was the case with that release, these two limited editions might well attract a different clientele to the usual Overseas fans.
The final design change on the “Everest” models is the grey Cordura strap with nubuck calfskin lining with orange stitching. What remains the same, though, is that the straps use the Overseas self-interchangeable strap system – a key selling point when it comes to these watches. The system, first appearing at SIHH in 2016, allows the wearer to switch between strap options without requiring any tools. As with other Overseas models, the watches also come with a rubber strap, this time in grey.
Overseas Dual Time “Everest” (Ref. 7910V/000T-B922)
In 2019, the mountaineer ascended the ‘roof of the world’ route of Everest via the North-East Ridge. This is known as the most difficult, dangerous route climbers can take. On his wrist was an Overseas dual time prototype, specially developed by Vacheron Constantin on his wrist. It led to the creation of the Overseas dual time “Everest” limited edition, the watch at hand.
Powering the Overseas dual time “Everest” watch, which comes in a 41 mm case, is the horology house’s self-winding 5110 DT/2 movement. This allow for a simultaneous reading of two time zones (Cory Richards, for example, could opt for the local time at Everest alongside the time back in America). An arrow-tipped orange hand displays the original (home) time, matching the day/night indicator at 9 o’clock. Meanwhile, a pointer-type date display (at 6 o’clock) is synchronised with the local time, which can be adjusted via its dedicated pusher. Both time zones can be corrected by turning the crown in either direction.
Let’s not forget to cover the facts and figures and return to the movement itself. The calibre 5110 DT/2 offers a power reserve of 60 hours and beats at a frequency of 4 Hz. Consisting of no less than 234 components and 37 jewels, the movement carries the Hallmark of Geneva and is treated with NAC for a contemporary look that matches well with the dial.
Overseas Chronograph “Everest” (Ref. 5510V/000T-B923)
The 42.5 mm limited edition Overseas chronograph “Everest” benefits from the orange accents and darker, edgier dial possibly even more than the Dual Time. Highly sporty, it also looks fast-paced, modern, and highly legible – everything you want in a chronograph. Naturally, the lighter titanium case is also beneficial for those using the versatile timepiece for sports.
Back in 2018, the introduction of the reverse panda dial Overseas chrono also signalled that the horology house was willing to sway further towards sporty Overseas models. The new “Everest” limited edition chrono, however, takes this a step further, from its bright accents to new case material.
Powering the watch is the in-house, self-winding calibre 5200/2. This twin-barrel movement uses a column wheel to orchestrate the chronograph function’s start, stop and reset functions. Furthermore, the inclusion of a vertical clutch helps to avoid any potential hand stuttering when the chronograph starts. As with its sibling, the baseplate’s NAC treatment gives the watch an extra dose of different in comparison to the mainstream Overseas collection.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest: The Verdict
It seems fitting that Vacheron Constantin should name these Overseas limited edition models “Everest”. After all, the sporty Overseas models are always ready for adventure, from the robust case design to resilient movement – none more so than this pair. Secondly, Vacheron Constantin’s casually elegant Overseas is metaphorically the “Everest” of the horology house right now; it is easily one of the brand’s most talked-about and best-selling collections.
A new chapter or a one off?
That said, these new models are a world away from the main Overseas collection. They move away from “sporty elegance” towards tougher timepieces that look ready to face rough winds and extreme temperatures. Watches you can rely on anytime, anywhere. This is the first time that we have seen such rugged, action-packed Overseas models. The drastically different duo take a step away from the incredibly en vogue elegant sports watch hype, providing fans with a refreshing new interpretation that flawlessly combines adventure with masculinity.
Overseas “Everest” Chronograph Limited Edition
So is this courageous couple of watches just a one-off? In our opinion, it would seem so. While some brands use limited editions to gauge public reaction to new designs, the Overseas line prides itself on its elegance. Therefore, it seems unlikely that we will see any similar kind of watch appear in the mainstream collection. Rather, the hardy Vacheron Constantin Overseas “Everest” watches are exactly what limited editions should be; something special, offbeat, and distinctive. We expect the two 150-piece editions to remain “One of not many”.
Overseas “Everest” Dual Time Limited Edition
Inspired by an adventurer
Finally, the man who embodies the watch is not simply an inspiring face for the brand. Rather, Cory Richards’ open and motivated attitude to life makes him a real role model. As explained at the start of this article, the photographer not only epitomises the values of the horology house, but also more specifically, the adventurous Overseas collection. He also evidently has a real appreciation for watches, not least the Vacheron Constantin Overseas “Everest” models.
“I’m actually emotional when I stop and contemplate what this watch actually says… about my life and what it can mean to others who wear it,” he says. “To share such an enormous piece of me condensed into something so refined and beautiful is a humbling honor beyond the words I have. I guess what I feel most is gratitude. Gratitude for the time spent in the company of countless mentors and friends. Gratitude for the places seen and the effort given. And gratitude for everyone who has worked so hard to express all of that in a timepiece that encapsulates it all with such articulation, beauty, and thoughtfulness. I’ve always loved watches, but this is much more than that.”
|Overseas Chronograph “Everest”
Overseas Dual Time “Everest”
7910V/000T-B922 (Dual Time)
|Titanium and Stainless Steel
Diameter: 42.5 mm
Height: 13.7 mm
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 12.8 mm
|150 m (≈ 15 bar)
Grey Cordura® fabric with Orange stitching, featuring a black nubuck leather lining. Delivered with a second strap in grey rubber
|Caliber 5200/2 (Chrono)
Caliber 5110 DT/2 (Dual Time)
|ca. 52 hours (Chrono)
ca. 60 hours (Dual Time)
28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock, date, chronograph with column wheel (30-minute- and 12-hours-counter)
Hours, minutes, central seconds, second timezone, day/night (AM/PM) indication at 9 o’clock, synchronised with home time, date at 6 o’clock, synchronized with local time, set by pusher.
|EUR 36.300 (Chrono). Limited to 150 pieces.
EUR 30.700 (Dual Time). Limited to 150 pieces.