4 of the Best Vacheron Constantin Overseas Alternatives
James Elliott24 May 2021 | 7 min read
Vacheron Constantin is one of the most sought after luxury watch brands in the world. Since Jean-Marc Vacheron founded the company in 1755, the manufacturer has been putting watches on the wrists (and in the pockets) of royalty, celebrities and public figures from across the globe.
The level of craftsmanship and high-end components means Vacheron Constantin watches come at a price. The Overseas model is no different. As one of the most popular, modern-day VC pieces, the range of Overseas models combine elegance and class with high-quality movements and a brand people trust and respect.
For the vast majority of watch buyers, the $20,000 entry mark for an Overseas model is simply too expensive. In this article, we’ve pulled out four alternatives (two budget, two luxury) that can give you elements of the classic Overseas stylings at a more affordable price.
What Makes the Vacheron Constantin Overseas so Great?
In the category of luxury sports watches, there’s one name in particular that stands out. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the watch that many believe started it all – setting out to create a fully integrated steel piece that could be worn as a day-to-day companion for the lucky owner.
In the 1970s, this was a big deal, and when the Royal Oak was released, it was renowned for its bold edges, and integrated case/bracelet design. Soon, other brands, including Vacheron Constantin, looked to follow suit with watches such as the VC 222 in the frame as contenders.
Jump forward to the modern-day and the luxury sports watch market is still pretty competitive. At the real luxury price point, VC are still fighting with AP’s Royal Oak. But, for Vacheron Constantin, the Overseas has allowed them to step out the shadow and create something modern and unique for watch fans to adore.
The 41mm Overseas is loved for its blend of sleek design and high-quality finish. The dial sits atop a steel base frame that integrates nicely into the bracelet, although it isn’t fully integrated thanks to VC’s bracelet swap technology.
The dial itself hits the balance between being simple enough to remain clean, without being boring. The mixture of the chapter ring details, hours markers, date window and spear-shaped hands give the wearer enough to look at and admire without leaving them questioning where exactly to look.
Of course, with a watch brand like Vacheron Constantin, you know the real value and power comes in the parts you can’t see. Inside the case, the 5100 movement delivers highly accurate performance and up to a 60-hours of power thanks to it’s high-quality components, including a 22K gold oscillating weight.
And like with most luxury watches, the brand itself is a huge contributor to why it is so loved. More than most other luxury watch brands, there’s something special about a Vacheron Constantin that commands respect from serious and amateur watch fans alike.
4 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Alternatives
What makes it a great alternative? – Similar simple black dial on an integrated-looking steel case and bracelet. A 70’s throwback without the glitz and glamour of the Overseas.
To get us started on the alternatives, we’ve pulled out the Tissot PRX. Only released in 2021, the PRX is a throwback to 70’s watch styles and makes our alternatives lists because of the structural similarities it shares with the Overseas.
The 40mm piece combines a plain black dial with slender silver hands and hour markers and, like the Overseas, puts a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The PRX also has that integrated bracelet look and feel, which really speaks back to the design themes of the 1970s.
For those taken by the PRX, you’ll get a high-quality Swiss quartz ETA F06.115 movement, sapphire crystal and 100 metres of water resistance. Tissot is also a highly recommended budget Swiss brand and is a manufacturer we frequently feature in our articles here at Watch & Bullion.
Whilst the Tissot PRX definitely shares qualities with the Overseas, it’s worth calling out the stark difference in quality. It’s obvious to see in the appearance that the Overseas is far more polished and luxurious, and the movements inside are in a completely different league also.
But, if you’re on a very tight budget and want to emulate the steel sports watch characteristics of the Overseas, a Tissot PRX is a great option and will only set you back around $375. For that price, you’re getting a great watch from a respected Swiss manufacturer all wrapped up in a 2-year warranty – not bad at all!
What makes it a great alternative? – A good all-round black-dialled sports watch (like the Overseas) that delivers an automatic movement on a budget.
If you liked the look of that first Tissot but wanted something with a ‘proper’ movement under the hood, you’re in luck. The Tissot Gentlemen is another watch from the budget-friendly Swiss brand that delivers many of the design characteristics of the Overseas alongside Tissot’s Powermatic movement.
Here’s how the Tissot Gentleman breaks down. 40mm in size, plain black dial, slender silver hands, silver hour markings, detail around the chapter ring, date window at 3 o’clock and a stainless steel bracelet. There’s a hell of a lot of similarities with the Overseas right there!
As with the previous Tissot, whilst the movement here is slightly more powerful given it’s automatic, it’s still not a like-for-like comparison with the Overseas by any means. But if you throw in sapphire crystal, 100nm of water resistance and a 2-year manufacturer warranty, the Tissot Gentleman is an all-round good buy.
At $550, you’re still well below the $1,000 mark and can get your hands on a steel sports watch that does mimic many high-level themes of the Overseas. A great alternative for those on a low budget!
What makes it a great alternative? – Black dial luxury sports watch with a powerful movement that all links back to the history of the original luxury sports models.
As we move further up the Swiss watch ladder, we’ve pulled out the IWC Ingenieur as an alternative to the Overseas if you’re looking for a simple black dial steel sports watch from a luxury brand.
You may remember in the intro to this article, we spoke about how the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet set the scene for the luxury sport market. Well, both the original Royal Oak and IWC Ingenieur were designed by the same person, the famous Gerald Genta.
Like the Overseas, the IWC Ingenuier has benefitted from some modern-day tweaks, but the similarities between the two watches still remain. The 40mm IWC delivers the same fundamentals as the Overseas, with a plain black dial accompanied by slender silver hands and hour markers.
The case and bracelet stylings are a little different, with less of an ‘integrated’ look and more akin to a generic modern-day sports watch. Inside the case you’ll get IWC’s high spec 35111 calibre movement, delivering super tight accuracy thanks to the 25 jewelled movement that beats at 4Hz.
With IWC, you’re into the realms of luxury Swiss watches and from a technical perspective and beginning to rival Vacheron Constantin’s quality. At around $5,000 brand new, you’re still saving around 75% off the cost of the Overseas, and it’s a nice alternative as a Swiss-quality, black dial sports watch.
What makes it a great alternative? – Another luxury Swiss watch brand whose historic routes inspire their latest models – also, similar case/bezel designs and movement quality.
To finish up, we’ve pulled out something a little bit different from luxury Swiss brand Girard Perregaux, with their Laureato model. There are a number of similarities here to the modern-day Overseas, but this watch also does a great job at giving a nod to the past and delivering some history.
At 42mm, it’s a good-sized watch that’s similar in size to the Overseas. Whilst the fundamentals of the dial are similar, the Laureato markers and hands are slightly thicker and are white rather than silver. It creates less of a sleek design style than the Overseas, but the pattered dial of the Laureato does make for something a little different.
It’s the design styles on the dial bezel where these two watches align most, with both watches playing back to their history. With the Overseas, Vacheron Constantin has taken a serrated twist, whereas Girard Perregaux stays with the classic octagonal styles, which were popular in the 70s. What both watches do achieve, though, is a bezel design on an all-steel watch which helps them stand out from the crowd and gives the wearer something to admire.
Many retailers will have a limited stock of Girard Perregaux watches. But, if you like this piece of Swiss luxury, you’ll be looking at around $13,000 to become the proud owner of a Laureato. For the price, you’re getting the closest of all our alternatives to the pure luxury of Vacheron Constantin, whilst ensuring you stay rich in steel sports watch history.
Vacheron Constantin really is one of the most sought after brands in the watch world. Their Overseas model strikes a balance between honouring the history of luxury sports watches whilst providing a modern twist.
The overall design styles of the watch are modest enough that there are a range of black dialled sports watches from more affordable brands that serve as great alternatives. No matter your budget, there will be something out there to help you get an element of VC style without having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars!
If you’re a fan of luxury sports watches, we’d also recommend checking out our Patek Phillipe Nautilius alternatives too. It’s a gorgeous watch with several alternatives to keep those on a budget happy too!