Written by Alisha De Fazio
When Vacheron Constantin first debuted the Fiftysix® back in 2018, I was somewhat unsure of how I felt about the collection. Why? Well for starters being a completely new collection, (Yes it takes its inspiration from a 1956 model – Ref. 6073) I felt it lacked those graceful Vacheron Constantin design codes and secondly it was positioned as an ‘Entry-Level’ collection; very unexpected from a watchmaker that has always specialised in the fine watchmaking / haute horlogerie space. Once I tried on the pieces everything made sense and all my initial thoughts pretty much went down the drain and then every year thereafter, I found myself waiting in anticipation for the next Fiftysix®project. Today I have a whole new level of appreciation for these babies. Last week, at Watches & Wonders 2020, Vacheron Constantin unveiled, two very elegant, retro-contemporary styled Fiftysix® references in pink gold with a warm, cosy sepia-brown-toned dial and a matching calfskin strap. INTRODUCING: Fiftysix® Self-Winding and Fiftysix® Complete Calendar.
Presented in an 18k 5N Pink Gold case the new Fiftysix® Self-Winding comes with a warm, vintage inspired, sepia brown-toned dial with a matching calfskin leather strap. Topped by a box-type crystal typical of the 1950s, the sector-type dial is distinguished by the refinement of its opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes. The resulting beautiful interplay of light and shade enhances its legibility. The 18K 5N pink gold Arabic numerals and hour-markers highlighted by blue luminescent material stands out against this ‘rich’ dial, and complements the brown strap wonderfully. There’s also a date window at the 3 o clock position. With a case size of 40mm and thickness of just 9.6mm (2mm thinner than the new Fiftysix® complete calendar model), the new Fiftysix® Self-Winding is super sleek and looks incredible on the wrist. Inside the watch is a self-winding mechanical movement (Calibre 1326) which beats at a frequency of 28,800vph, offering a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement which is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback provides an admirable view of the meticulous Côtes de Genève decoration swept over by an openworked 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight whose design is inspired by the Maltese cross. A shape that echoes the Vacheron Constantin emblem and is also evoked in the case lugs and on the crown.
Reference: 4600E/000R-B576, Caibre: 1326, Manufacture calibre, Mechanical, self-winding, 26.2 mm (111⁄4 ’’’) diameter, 4.3 mm thick, Approximately 48 hours of power reserve, 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), 142 components, 25 jewels, Indications: Hours, minutes, central seconds Date, Case: 18K 5N pink gold, 40 mm diameter, 9.6 mm thick, Transparent sapphire crystal caseback, Water-resistant tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres), Dial: Sepia brown-toned, opaline centre, sunburst exterior, 18K 5N pink gold Arabic numerals, 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers highlighted by a blue luminescent material, Strap: Brown calfskin leather with calfskin lining and beige stitching, Buckle:18K 5N pink gold pin buckle Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Fiftysix® Complete Calendar
The new Fiftysix® Complete Calendar, is a little more complex than the Fiftysix® Self-Winding watch. It features a triple complete calendar complication with the day of the week and month located just below 12 and a moon phase aperture at 6 o’clock – that requires no adjustment for 122 years. All of this works beautifully against the sepia brown-toned dial. The subtle sector-type dial features opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes creating fascinating light effects, setting the stage for 18 carats 5N pink gold moon discs standing out against a blue sky. Around the circumference, the chapter ring bears specially designed Arabic numerals, alternating with gold hour- markers coated in luminescent material, as are the hours and minutes hands also visible in the dark. This results in exemplary legibility of the complete calendar indications, accurately driven by the 2460 QCL/1 self-winding movement, also equipped with a stop-seconds device. The sapphire caseback reveals traditional Côtes de Genève finishes, swept over by a 22 carats pink gold oscillating weight delicately openworked in a shape inspired by the Maltese cross. A strong symbol also evoked in the shape of the lugs and on the notched crown of this watch that stylishly mingles historical influences with the aesthetic codes of contemporary elegance. It’s not just the gold that glitters here; the design is what makes this watch stand out!
Reference: 4000E/000R-B065, Calibre: 2460 QCL/1, Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical, self-winding, 29 mm (111⁄4’’’) diameter, 5.4 mm thick, Approximately 40 hours of power reserve, 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), 308 components, 27 jewels, Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece, Indications: Hours, minutes, central seconds, Complete calendar (day of the week, date, month) Precision moon phase, Case: 18K 5N pink gold, 40 mm diameter, 11.6 mm thick, Transparent sapphire crystal caseback, Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters), Dial: Sepia brown-toned, opaline centre, sunburst exterior, 18K 5N pink gold Arabic numerals, 18K 5N pink gold hour-markers highlighted by a blue luminescent material, Strap: Brown calfskin leather with calfskin lining and beige stitching, Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold pin buckle Polished half Maltese cross-shaped