Vacheron Constantin's Overseas watches may be the sportiest models you will find in its display cabinets. But this Swiss brand, which has continuously been making watches since 1755, cuts no corners and lavishes insane levels of perfection and care in making every one of these women's watches, even if you intend to thrash it around on the tennis court or in the pool.
The Overseas models are inspired by the wanderlust shown by Jacques Vacheron who, in 1810, travelled across Europe selling his Swiss-made wares to the elite of his time. As the company expanded, so did his voyages, spreading the name of Vacheron Constantin to all corners of the globe, from America to China, thus ensuring its continued survival.
Showing a similar enterprising spirit, in the 1930s the firm decided to create a stainless-steel watch for travellers embarking on the great ocean liners and trains of the time. In 1973, to celebrate the house's 222nd anniversary, it took the idea a step further and designed a new Overseas model using a one-piece case and screw-down bezel to ensure it was water tight and able to face the most hostile of environments.
While less formal than other women's watches by Vacheron Constantin, the Overseas Lady date automatic combines a robust construction and pedigree mechanics with just the right amount of opulence. The three models shown are presented in white gold or pink gold, and the attention lavished on every facet of this watch is evident on both the inside and outside. I like to think of these as the female James Bonds of the watch world: sophisticated, high performance and dangerously attractive.
The latest addition to the Overseas women's stable is the white gold Lady date automatic, with a black dial, diamond-set hour markers, date display at 3 o'clock and hands filled with lacquer. Embellished with 626 diamonds, it would add allure to a cocktail party outfit or be the star of an evening at a nightclub.
But for all its glamour, this watch is waterproof to 5 bars and resistant to a magnetic force of 25,000 A/m - qualities you would expect of a much more butch man's watch. The automatic Calibre 1226 has a power reserve of 40 hours and was entirely conceived and manufactured in-house at the firm's Geneva headquarters. The case is one solid piece of gold making - as safe as a Swiss bank account with no joints into which water or dust could find their way in.
The other two models, both in rose gold, are powered by the same Calibre 1226 but offer a more modest 88 diamonds set around the dial. They are available on farmed American alligator leather straps or a striking all gold bracelet. The elegant ease with which these watches carry off their impressive horological credentials and resilient construction is testament to Vacheron Constantin's centuries-long experience.