Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph, Ref. 49150, Stainless Steel

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This reference 49150 is one of only 50 pieces to be produced as part of a collaboration between Vacheron Constantin and the Japan-based automobile magazine, Engine. An intriguing fusion of car and watch design, it is an excellent visual representation of both passions.


It was way back in 1918 that a young watchmaker called Georges Schaeren kick-started the car watch trend when he launched his Mido dial name in Biel in 1918. He had the ingenious idea of designing watches in the shape of radiator surrounds to demonstrate allegiance to a particular marque, with his first and most successful creation being a horseshoe-shaped Bugatti watch featuring a winding crown at 12 o'clock to mimic a radiator cap.

The sales psychology was brilliant, because only extremely wealthy people could afford cars, meaning Schaeren could attach hefty price tags to his watches - and the drivers all wanted one because they liked to be able to demonstrate that they owned a prestigious, sporting car even when they weren't behind the wheel.