The Wraith (Click to show)
Great work mate, looks very classy indeed!
Thank you kindly, mate
Its always nice having a watch shop near work, although that can be dangerous too . As you know I am a fan of VC offerings, however, I am not a fan of the current Overseas lines at all. Sadly, IMHO, VC's best efforts at a sports watch was their original attempt at a competitor to the Royal Oak and Nautilus, known as the 222. It was not a Genta design (IIRC it was George Hyseck), and much like other designs of the 1970s it had a case with integrated bracelet, a bezel that was distinctive (and part of the sandwich effect for waterproofing much like that of a RO or Nautilus) and the case is somewhat like that of a RO, IWC Jumbo SL, and Rolex Oysterquartz ref 17000. Again much like its 1970s competitors it is quite sought after today. It also shared the same base movement that was used in the AP Jumbo RO and the original 2 handed ref 3700 Jumbo Nautilus. The three makers each finished the movements as they sought fit. VC then had the bizzarre and unattractive 333, only to be followed by the less attractive Phideas. Finally, in the mid 1990's they released the original Overseas. The original version's movement was based on a GP movement and it sometimes had issues. The chronograph used the tried and true F.Piguet 1185 (also used in the RO chronograph, Breguet Marine, various BPs, and the 38mm automatic Cartier Pasha Chronograph). The time only was I believe 37mm and the chronograph was 40. Both were quite nice looking and understated, but the bracelet links had a tendency to get tangled and locked up together. The new bracelet was designed to avoid that tangling/locking issue.
The latest Overseas models were designed in house, the chronograph was bumped up to 42mm, eliminated the crown protecting shoulders, and was supplied with a new bracelet that incorporated their Maltese Cross into its design. The Dual Time shares the same JLC derived base that is used in JLC's own watches, and in the RO Dual Time. The Chronograph uses the same F.Piguet 1185 as a base which is also used in the RO Chronograph. I think the advancing of other timezones is easier on VC's Dual Time than on the RO Dual Time, due to its dedicated 2nd crown, but I find it looks awkward and unbalanced (somehow the 2nd crown IMHO looks better on JLC's own watches). This is subjective but I found the RO Dual Time and RO Chronographs far more attractive in terms of cases, bracelets, and dials. While I find asymmetry attractive on some dials, I am not a fan of varying the sizes of the subdial on VC's chronograph, nor am I a fan of their using the second hand on the small seconds subdial that they have previously used on dress watches (I think all subdial hands should be identical in design).
More importantly, when I was in the market for a luxury sports watch, in my field trips to compare the offerings from VC, Patek, and AP, I found the finishing of the cases and bracelets of the Nautiluses, and ROs to be superior to that of the Overseas. Granted one can say, well the Overseas costs a bit less than the others...but its still in their price range, and I think it should be on par with its direct sparing partners. Sadly IMHO it isn't. I also though the bracelets for the Nautilus and RO blend in seamlessly with their watch cases. They look and feel like a complete unit with their watch cases. The Nautilus and RO also seem better balanced because they feel like a complete unit. While the Overseas bracelet I thought seemed like an "Add on." I also thought the Nautilus and RO case constructions seemed more impressive and more intricate to produce, than the Overseas case which by comparison seemed clunky to me. I also preferred the understated bracelets of the Nautilus and RO, and found the Maltese Cross Bracelet a bit too flashy, and maybe a bit too much like advertising for VC...reminding me of when Ebel incorporated "E"s into a bracelet years ago. The Crosses as a bracelet might seem novel at first, but I think they could be tiresome later on.
I think VC makes a fantastic product, but for the reasons stated above, it was never a close contender in my search for a luxury sports watch. I would much rather have one of their dress watches than their sport watches. However, luckily there are a variety of offerings from each brand to satisfy different tastes. Anyway, just thought I would share my thoughts on VC's sports watches.