Vacheron Constantin's New Watch Will Follow the Moon for the Next 122 Years

Vacheron Constantin’s New Watch Follows the MoonCharles-Elie Lathion

Last year Vacheron Constantin had a runaway hit with its 222 watch, an 18k gold update of a steel model from the 1970s that had originally been produced in a run of less than 500.

Demonstrating all the restraint and sense of proportion the watch community is known for, reviewers immediately declared it the best watch of 2022. "A statement like no other," "the best thing since sliced bread," and having "a mystique few watches can match."

The knock-on effect of all this has been to accelerate demand for another of the brand’s watches: the Overseas. The 222-adjacent model was introduced in 1996, and had got off to a slow start—before demand for "sports luxe" watches really began to accelerate in the 2010s.

Vacheron Constantin is one of the world’s most exclusive watchmakers, defined by its limited production numbers. One of its hashtags is #OneOfNotMany. With no means of increasing output by the double digits it needs to keep up with orders, it now finds itself unable to keep up with the demand around the Overseas. A nice problem to have—unless you’re one of those people at the back of the waiting list, presumably.

Charles-Elie Lathion

Today it announces a new Overseas model, and one that’s unlikely to tamp down the current excitement around the line: the technically dazzling Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date.

As its name suggests, the new model adds two of watchmaking’s trickiest complications to the Overseas’ distinctive barrel-shaped case and integrated bracelet design.

The retrograde display at the top of the watch shows the passing of the month using a date hand that moves in an arc from the 1st to the 31st of the month, before returning to its starting point. Retrograde watches have their origins in the 18th century and the complication is a particular favorite of Vacheron Constantin’s, though this is the first time it has featured in its (relatively) more casual Overseas line.

Vacheron Constantin

The mind-bogging piece of precision engineering that is the moon phase, meanwhile, tracks the Moon as it completes one full rotation round the Earth—in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The watchmaker says this will require a one-day correction only once every 122 years. Situated at the bottom of the dial, it displays the sunlit portion of the moon as seen from Earth at any given point during each lunar month.

“It’s watches as an art,” says the brand’s style and heritage director, Christian Selmoni. “It is a watch that displays high watchmaking codes in a modern case, adapted to everyday life. It took three years of research and development.” Elsewhere, this watch’s specs are equally high-end.

It comes in a 41mm steel case with a blue-lacquered, sunburst satin-brushed dial and 18k white gold hour markers. The self-winding movement is powered by an oscillating weight that’s made of 22k gold. As with other Overseas models, the strap is easily interchangeable—and comes in stainless steel, calfskin leather, and blue rubber options. Something to think about to pass the time on the waiting list, perhaps.

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