Service: Vacheron Constantin Overseas calibre 1311

IMG_0048Something a bit out of the norm today, a Vacheron Constantin Overseas that Robert had sent in for a service.

It has the calibre 1311 movement, which is a small miracle, and we’ll see in a minute why…


IMG_0050The timegrapher shows that the movement needs a service.

A first look at the movement. The rotor has a gold weight, and 27 jewels. It’s automatic, has a date, a quick-set function for the date, and a hacking second feature.

I take the movement out, and then the dial and hands off.

The dial is pristine.IMG_0255

And this is the unusual bit about the movement – the total height is 3.4mm thick! That includes the rotor and everything…IMG_0256

The bottom plate with the date ring. Very nice perlage decoration.IMG_0258

Another look at the top plate. I like the two little arrows – one indicates where to release the winding stem, and the other how to let down the mainspring.

Unfortunately, somebody with a slightly too large screwdriver removed the oscillating weight screws, and damaged the little round plate a bit.IMG_0260

With the rotor and balance removed, you can see the little stop lever for the hacking second feature.IMG_0263

The gear train on the left, and the winding gears on the right. The rotor is unidirectional, e.g. it winds in one direction, and just turns freely in the other.IMG_0265

The wheel bridge is removed, and you can see the barrel and the decoration on the plate nicely.IMG_0266

The little central second pinion.IMG_0269

That mainspring certainly needs a good clean…IMG_0273

Now I can take apart the bottom plate.IMG_0279

Almost there – just the yoke and setting lever left.IMG_0282

Once I have cleaned all the parts, I start off with the mainspring. I have put some braking grease on the barrel wall, and greased the mainspring.IMG_0284

Then I put in the balance jewels.IMG_0285

With the barrel bridge mounted, I put the gear train and the winding gears in.IMG_0286

The wheel bridge is on, and I put on the stop lever.IMG_0287

The movement is beating again.IMG_0288

A first adjustment, I will do the final adjustment once the movement is cased. I think the lift angle is a bit lower than 52 degrees, but I can’t find any documentation on that.IMG_0289

The gears for setting, winding and the date ring go in.IMG_0290

Everything is beautifully executed.IMG_0292

With the movement complete, the dial and hands go back on.IMG_0293

I case the movement without the rotor.IMG_0295

Then I put the rotor in, and seal the case.IMG_0296This VC is in very good overall condition.


29 thoughts on “Service: Vacheron Constantin Overseas calibre 1311

  1. Hi Christian,

    I have a question. Do I need to remove the bezel of the Overseas to replace the crystal? such as the Rolex watch?

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards

    • Hi David,

      Just have a close look with a good loupe, and you will find out. I don’t think it’s the same construction as Rolex, and my guess is that you can press the crystal out from the inside.

      Kind regards,


  2. If it helps I have a 35mm case sized overseas and this has the 1310 calibre , also what is very interesting the 35 mm size has no arrow mark at 3 o’clock on the dial because the Date view frame on the dial is near to the bezel .In all the 37mm case sized watches the 3 o’clock arrow is on the dial which would suggest that the 1310 in a 35 mm case was a little bit of a squash for the case size and would also fit in with update and revision in date mechanism .Also I have noticed that the dial on the quartz Overseas version of the 35mm case size has the 3pm date arrow.

  3. Hey guys, the main diff between VCs cal 1310 and subsequent 1311 is the thickness which was increased to 3.28 mm from 2.98. This was because GP discovered the mainplate was actually flexing from rotor movement so they beefed it up. Hope this helps, Dean

  4. ho comperato un vacheron constantin overseas 37/mm del 2001 completo referenza 4042/423/A vorrei sapere che differenza ce in confronto al 42040 il movimento che monta e un 1310 scritto sulla garanzia vi ringrazio FRANCO la mia mail

    • The Vacheron Constantin Overseas was introduced in 1996. “It was decided to create a sports / chic watch directly getting its design cues from the 222 launched almost 20 years before: a tonneau shaped case with a round serrated bezel, this time in the form of a broken Maltese cross. The design team was composed of Dino Modolo, independent designer in charge of many Vacheron Condtantin designs of the time and Vincent Kaufmann a young in-house designer, today heading the VC design team. First was launched the time only model housing cal 1310 based on GP calibre 3100 in a 37mm case.”
      see so more than a bit unfair to say there’s not much VC about it.

      • I am sorry Bob, didn’t mean to be rude.
        What I meant was that I have serviced them both and I haven’t noticed any differences between them.
        I will try to choose my words more careful in future commands.

        Kind regards,

  5. I have the VC Overseas 42040. Contacting Vacheron Constantin’s archive department, I was told that the calibre is 1310; not 1311. Here’s the content of the reply:
    Dear Dr. Sanders,
    Thank you for the message.
    In regards to your inquiry, the movement caliber for the Overseas 42040/423A-8, serial number xxxxxx is Caliber 1310; which is an automatic movement with 27 jewels.
    Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance. As always, I remain at your service.
    Best regards,
    Vacheron Constantin
    North America Concierge Service
    I’ve seen other articles that indicate that the 42040 has a calibre 1311 movement, but since the word came down from Vacheron Constantin; I have to give it credence. I’m pretty sure that both the VC cal. 1310 and 1311 are based on the Girard Perregaux 3100, but if there is a difference between the c. 1310 and c. 1311, do you know what it could be?

    Wonderful article, by the way.

    Kindest regards,

    • Hi Bill,

      I’m afraid I have no idea what the difference between the 1310 and the 1311 is, and I just took the calibre number directly from the movement.

      Best regards,


      • Christian,

        After telling me that my movement was a 1310, I asked the Vacheron Constantin Archive Department, what year that it was changed from 1310 to 1311. They revised their earlier statement telling me that from the very beginning c. 1311 was used.

        I apologize for any confusion I have created and appreciate your understanding. Here’s their comments:
        Dear Dr. Sanders,

        I hope you are doing well.

        Our Technical Department responded today regarding your question concerning the caliber 1311. They have confirmed Vacheron Constantin started using the 1311 caliber in the Overseas 42040 when it was launched in 1996.

        We remain at your disposal should you need any further information.

        Best regards,

        Vacheron Constantin
        North America Concierge Service
        By the way, if you visit The Hour Lounge (, there is a gentleman looking for someone to service his VC. You sound like the right person.

        Kindest regards,

    • Hi Bill, this is my watch and I too obtained an Extract from Vacheron Constantin’s Archives for it. However, my filing system isn’t the best so, if I find it at the weekend, I’ll post an update.

      If you look here:

      You’ll see the author states that #1311 is a revised calibre, with some additional Vacheron changes over the 1310 which, he says, include a revised rotor and calendar system and a slightly reduced size. Apparently, to fit the newer style dials properly. He also suggests that the 1311 changed it’s date immediately at around midnight and not gradually as before, from around 11:30 to 12:30, speculating that this must be the new calendar system at work.

      • Thanks Bob,

        I had read Eric’s article some time ago, and that’s where I first saw the reference to the 1311 and had assumed that mine was also a 1311 until I heard from Vacheron Constantin that it was a 1310. Since Christian read the ébauche calibre right off the movement, and you can see the reference number 42042 in the pictures above, mine may be 1) an earlier model — it’s 1996, or 2) the VC archivist got it wrong. I had purchased a screwdriver for the case screws, and so it looks like the back is coming off.

        If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to share my findings here.

        Kindest regards,

        • Hi Bill, you can also see 1311 on my movement in the photos above – e.g. the 3rd pic down (1st one showing the movement) has it at around the 7 o’clock position, just above the 42042 ref (you’ll probably need to zoom in to see it).
          Best Regards, Bob

          • One more point: I think the Overseas was introduced in 1996 so if that’s when yours is from then it would be highly likely it would have the earlier 1310 movement.

          • Hi Bob,

            I don’t know if they ever did have a c. 1310 that was actually released. I think what happened, and this is backed up by the VC Archive Dept., is that when they first got the Girard Perregaux 3100, they re-named it c. 1310, but after substantial re-working, they changed it to 1311 and dropped it in the very first 4042s (mine!) in 1996. Girard Perregaux was having a lot of teething problems with the 3100, and the first movement based on the 3100 actually solved those problems before Girard Perregaux did on their one ébauche!

            Kindest regards,

          • Let me unravel a couple references. I seem to always screw up the Ref # on the OS1. The correct one for my watch is 42040 (and it’s on the images provided in Christian’s articles..) I mention 42042, and 4042–but I really mean is 42040. Sorry.

        • Hi Bill,

          Yes, what you say sounds logical. Did you ever get the back off to check what it said on your movement?

          Best regards,

  6. Hi, I have a VC overseas like this one except the dial is blue Arabic. I am wondering how difficult it is to remove the bezel from the watch. Someone said there were 16 screws holding the bezel and the case together as one piece. I plan to polish the bezel (particularly the inner side attached to the crystal) but there seems to be no luck to do iso without the case.

    Thx a lot. Yang

  7. Great watch! What was the timegrapher’s verdict after servicing? Does the fairly oversized second hand at the shorter end of it add to the accuracy of the watch? Like a counterbalance?

    • There is a timegrapher photo from after the service on the blog post – just not one after the final adjustment, which I forgot to take.
      I’m not sure a counter balance on a second hand will greatly add to accuracy, but that’s what the shorter end of the second hand is about, yes.

  8. Very nice! I’ve been waiting for this one ever since I saw it in the “photo library”. Is it the 37mm?

    … and it would be interesting to have a chat withe the bloke who had a go at it with the wrong screwdriver.

  9. Since VC had its 200th anniversary on the day I was born, I had to get one of these. Plus, I like it a lot too!

  10. That’s a marvel of a movement… apparently based on the Girard Perregaux 3100.

    Love the case execution as well 😉

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