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Watches & Jewellery

Don't Expect Typical Sports Watches At This Vacheron Constantin Retrospective

The ongoing showcase is taking place at the brand's Marina Bay Sands boutique, which marks its 10th anniversary in 2020.

Partly thanks to its image as a stately, 264-year-old high-horology company, Vacheron Constantin isn’t exactly the first brand that comes to mind when one thinks about luxury sports watches. In the year where it is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Marina Bay Sands (MBS) boutique and introducing two additions to its sporty Overseas range, the Genevan brand would have you know that it has plenty of experience in this realm. (From the 1850s to the early 20th century, for instance, it was producing competition-winning pocket watches designed for scientists and explorers, and these timepieces were also used by certain military corps.)

A Vacheron Overseas ad camaign from 1977

From now until August 24, Vacheron Constantin’s MBS store will be showcasing six timepieces dating from 1944 to 2010, demonstrate its legacy in fine sports watches, which it defines as “both instruments featuring impeccable precision timekeeping and models capable of withstanding the challenges of an active lifestyle”. Here’s a little background to the exhibits – and remember to drop by if you can, because there’s nothing like seeing watches in the metal.

This article first appeared in The Peak.

Pocket chronometer in 18K yellow gold (1947)
Since the 19th century, Vacheron Constantin has been creating accurate and reliable pocket watches to meet the needs of scientists, sportsmen and explorers. Many of these pocket watches won top honours in chronometry competitions. Pulsimeter chronograph Reference 4072 in gold and steel (1944)
In the early 20th century, movements were increasingly miniaturised and wristwatches became more common. One of the brand’s most acclaimed wrist-worn chronographs was the Reference 4072, which was first launchd in the 1930s with a single pusher. "222" steel watch with integrated bracelet (1978)
Created to mark Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd anniversary in 1977, the 222 is considered the first iconic sports watch of the brand and is the forerunner of the Overseas. The sllim watch was designed by Jorg Hysek, and was produced until 1985 in various sizes (the one shown here is 37mm). Phidias GMT World Time watch in gold and steel (1995)
Four years after the 222 was discontinued, the brand launched the Phidias, marking its return to the sporty and elegant watch segment. Designed by Dino Modolo, the Phidias featured an integrated, curving two-tone bracelet. The world-time function is characteristic of the useful complications accompanying the brand’s sporty timepieces today. Overseas steel self-winding chronograph watch (1999)
Also designed by Dino Modolo, the first Overseas watch was a direct descendant of the 222. The model was first presented in 1996 and marked the start of an all-new collection. It was inspired by travel and was first launched in three sizes with self-winding movements, before being released in various iterations. Overseas II self-winding watch in steel and titanium (2010)
With the first Overseas collection an immediate success, the second generation of the model was introduced in 2004. The design evolved into one that was sportier and bolder, especially its new integrated bracelet whose links were inspired by the Maltese cross. It also got larger with a 42mm diameter, in line with the prevailing preference for larger timepieces.