The fourth week of September 2021 brought with it something that wristwatch collectors the world over enjoy – a surprise watch release! In this case, it was two Overseas models from Vacheron Constantin.

More specifically, they’re a Chronograph and Dual Time release based on a prototype worn by Cory Richards during his Everest summit attempt in 2019. In this article, we discuss the new releases, their inspiration, and some alternatives given that these new Overseas models are now completely sold out.

  1. Cory Richards’ Everest Expedition
  2. The Overseas “Everest” Prototype
  3. Limited Edition Overseas Released
  4. Overseas “Everest” Alternatives

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Cory Richards’ Everest Expedition

In 2019, explorer/photographer/adrenaline junkie Cory Richards made his third attempt at Climbing Mt. Everest. He had attempted this feat twice before, in 2016 and 2017, both times without supplemental oxygen; he had been successful in the latter of these two.

In this instance, he sought to summit the world’s tallest mountain via a non-standard route: part of the trek would be along an uncharted course and would therefore be “alpine-style,” or without the use of fixed ropes. Such aids are encountered along the two standard and most heavily trafficked paths and are one of the reasons that climbing the mighty Everest has become almost commonplace. If completed, Richards’ adventure would establish a new route to the peak – an exploit not achieved since 2009.

Accompanying Richards on this decidedly treacherous climb was his climbing partner from past Everest summits, Esteban “Topo” Mena, as well as a Vacheron Constantin Overseas prototype watch. If you’re a watch nut like me, you may already be familiar with this watch; it made the rounds on social media in 2019 after Richards returned to sea level. He had been forced to turn back by more than just “inclement weather,” but he returned with his life. This could not be said of 11 others who perished on Everest that same season.

Cory Richards 2019 Everest Expedition (1)

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Vacheron Constantin Overseas “Everest” Prototype

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest Prototype w Fabric Strap

Overseas Everest Prototype

The prototype VC was an instant hit. The watch was no new design; it was clearly a modified Overseas. Yet, notable architecture updates made it appear sleeker and, most notably, much cooler. Perhaps it’s the back story that bolstered the watch’s “cool factor,” or simply the fact that giving an Overseas a titanium-tantalum construction makes it look unquestionably badass. Whatever the reason, the watch world liked what it saw and knew it had to have it.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Prototype On Titanium Bracelet

Prototype on Full Titanium Bracelet

Unfortunately, no other information was made available about this prototype watch. The oldest Swiss watch manufacturer remained tight-lipped even when directly probed. That was until a photo leak forced their hand in 2021.

Limited Edition Everest Vacheron Constantin Overseas Watches Released

Details of the unexpected release remain sparse. Yet, a photo leaked on the morning of September 20th forced Vacheron Constantin to officially spill the beans on the new Overseas “Everest” Chronograph and Dual-Time Limited Editions.

Limited Edition Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest Dual Time

Seeing as how most news outlets were quick to publish full articles, it’s likely that the official release wasn’t more than a couple of days or weeks away.

The direct offspring of that Everest-climbing prototype, these new Everest limited editions possessed many of the same features. Markedly, contrasting-tone bezel and pushers, a textured dial, and a fabric strap. They also kept the crown guards that characterized the prototype and separated it from the current catalog’s Overseas Chronograph (ref. 5500V) and Dual-Time (ref. 7900V) models.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Limited 5510V-000T-B923

The 150-piece limited editions weren’t exact replicas, though. The new Chrono and Dual-Time dials have a slight tinge of blue* that differentiates them from the original. This difference poses the perfect variation from the original while keeping the essence that made the prototype such an extraordinary piece.

*Most horological news outlets report both new Overseas Everest watches as having textured blue-gray dials. However, Vacheron’s product listing photographs show the Dual-Time with a gray color and the Chronograph with the aforementioned blue-gray tone. It’s not 100% clear whether both dials are the same color.

New Vacheron Everest Limited Edition Watches

Dial Tone Comparison & 2 Strap Options

The case construction is also different. Whereas the prototype employed tantalum elements to contrast the lighter-toned titanium, the limited editions achieve this same color clash with bead-blasted, brushed, and high-polish titanium finishes (the bezel ring is steel).

What results is a watch that is incredibly sporty while also being incredibly luxurious. The design is indubitably flashy, yet the execution is wholly refined and absolutely what one has come to expect from a modern Overseas.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas “Everest” Limited Editions

  • Chronograph, Reference 5510V/000T-B923
    • Case Diameter: 42.5mm, Titanium & Steel
    • Movement: VC 5200/2, 52-Hour Power Reserve
    • Price: $37,000 [VC.com]
  • Dual-Time, Reference 7910V/000T-B922
    • Case Diameter: 41mm, Titanium & Steel
    • Movement: VC 5110 DT/2, 60-Hour Power Reserve
    • Price: $31,300 [VC.com]

Both models feature sapphire casebacks, a 22K gold winding rotor, and interchangeable fabric & rubber straps.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Everest Gold Rotor Thru Caseback

18K Gold Rotor On Both Chrono & DT Models

By this point, if you’re not left craving these limited edition Overseas (Overseases?), then you may not have a heart. And this would likely serve you well as you won’t be crushed by the reality the rest of us are deliberately ignoring: very few will ever get to see this watch in the flesh, and even fewer will get to own it. 

The 300 units (150 each) sold out so quickly upon release that it leaves one wondering whether they were ever available to the public at all. 

Vacheron Overseas Chrono Everest Limited Edition On Fabric StrapIt’s not out of the question for the brand to pre-sell such unique watches behind closed doors, and rightly so. Brands have to find ways of rewarding the most loyal clients, namely those who have generated millions in revenue for their respective VC boutiques. These individuals get “the call” before any others; they’re also the ones least likely to turn around and flip the watch on the open market, a move considered distasteful by many watch manufacturers. Building such a relationship with a watch manufacturer provides access and, in this case, VC loyalists hit the jackpot… allegedly.

Vacheron Overseas “Everest” Limited Edition Alternatives

Some of the unique characteristics highlighted in the Everest Limited Editions Overseas watches can be had in existing Overseas watches. Most importantly, they’re also much more accessible. No, they’re not the same thing, but the following watches are home runs in their own right, and they’ll undeniably scratch your newfound itch.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Ref. 7900V/110A-B546

The closest you’re likely to get to the new Everest Dual Time limited edition is the modern Overseas Dual Time found in the current catalog. The case dimensions are the same, as are the dial layout and the movement. Regrettably, the new pusher shoulders, along with the contrasting bezel and pusher details are not.

Moreover, the modern example is crafted entirely of stainless steel whereas the limited release employs titanium, so there will be a significant weight difference here. Indeed, if you’re climbing 29,032 feet (8,848.86 meters), every gram counts so it makes sense that titanium was used. Lastly, the production version is available with the outstanding Maltese cross-themed bracelet, one that arguably goes head-to-head with the Royal Oak bracelet, and which can’t be purchased with the Everest version.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time 7900V-110A-B546 Black Dial On Wrist

The Overseas Dual Time reference 7900V is available in silver, blue, and black dials. I’ve presented the black one here as it resembles the Everest edition the most. Nevertheless, the blue dial is just as phenomenal and worthy of consideration as well.

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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph “Deep Stream” Ref. 49150/000W-9501

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chrono Deep Stream 49150-000W-9501

Overseas Deep Stream 49150. Photo: Christies.com

The Overseas reference 49150 is part of what was known as the second generation of Overseas watches and which was replaced by the current Overseas iteration back in 2016.

Watch collectors recognize this Overseas, nicknamed the Deep Stream, by its 42mm steel case, contrasting-tone titanium bezel, and big date complication. Additionally, the 2nd generation Overseas had a case that possessed a more aggressive shape whereas the new Overseas (3rd generation) are seemingly more oval in nature.

Other 2nd gen Overseas are also available without the contrasting titanium bezel and with a beautiful textured dial. For the purposes of this article, we’ve chosen the Deep Stream version, though you can admire the polished-bezel versions below. The Deep Stream Overseas also highlights where the inspiration for the contrasting bezel present in the Everest releases may have come from.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chrono Black Silver Dials

Overseas 49150. Instagram: chrono1010prague

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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Ref. 47450/B01A-9226

Like the previous feature, this Overseas Dual Time reference 47450 is also part of the second generation. It features the same steel case and polished bezel, and is sold on the full stainless steel version.

A glance at the dial reveals the differences from the modern Dual Time: the second generation DT had a power reserve indicator at 9:30, a dual time subdial at 6, a date subdial at 2, and an AM/PM indicator at 7:30. Evidently, some considered the dial of this previous Overseas Dual Time to be slightly crowded, which is why it was simplified in the modern Dual Time.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time 47450-B01A-9227

Overseas Dual Time 47450. Instagram: chrono1010prague

Additionally, the modern Overseas possess in-house movements that allowed the new Dual Time’s dial to be cleaned up: the second time zone is now at center axis, the date is at 6, and the AM/PM indicator is at the more-traditional 9 o’clock position. While the power reserve indication is gone, it’s likely that you wouldn’t miss it, given that the new in-house caliber provides a 3-day power reserve.

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Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed our take on the new Overseas Everest limited collections, make sure to check out some of our other watch-related content below:

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