Vacheron Constantin brought a touch of history back to this year’s SIHH with a fresh tribute to one its most pioneering decades: 1956.
The FIFTYSIX collection models itself off the Swiss watchmaker’s reference 6073 with a host of design elements that pay homage to the original timepiece. Most importantly though, Vacheron Constantin are making these new pieces more accessible to the everyday wearer with its retro-contemporary style that evokes both elegance and masculinity.
To appeal to a new generation without compromising its rich heritage, three models in pink gold and steel variants were developed for the FIFTYSIX collection. Each one features its own distinct appearance and functionality to suit an array of tastes.
Let’s take a run through each one.
FIFTYSIX Self-winding (Ref 4600E/000A-B442)
For those after a clean and classic looking timepiece, the FIFTYSIX Self-winding model with date function is it. The watch comes with the option of a 40 mm-diameter steel or 18 carat 5N pink gold case. A peak inside will reveal a brand new mechanical self-winding movement in the Calibre 1326 which affords hours, minutes and seconds functions alongside the aforementioned date window at the 3 o’clock mark. The movement also affords a very handy 48-hour power reserve and stop-seconds device.
On the dial there’s standout alternating gold Arabic numerals and hour-markers which further enhance the monochrome dial with its double opaline-sunburst effect – that’s grey on the steel version and silver-toned on the pink gold version. There’s also baton-type gold hours and minutes hands which are coated with luminescent material for legibility at dusk.
Inquisitive watch goers can flip the piece around to be greeted with a transparent sapphire crystal that proudly shows off the signature Côtes de Genève design of circular graining and snailing finish.
This model in the FIFTYSIX collection is rated with a 30m water resistance and fitted with an alligator leather strap secured by a polished half Maltese cross-shaped steel folding clasp or pin gold buckle depending on the version.
FIFTYSIX Day-date With Power-reserve Indicator (Ref 4400E/000R-B436)
Stepping up a rung in the collection brings us to the FIFTYSIX Day-date which is complemented with a power reserve indicator. The dial is notably more intricate with more details showcasing the watchmaking prowess of Vacheron Constantin in its most contemporary guise.
A 40mm-diameter case in steel or 18 carat 5N pink gold once again provides the base for a highly versatile movement in the self-winding movement Calibre 2475 SC/2 with 40 hour power reserve.
The watch features hours, minutes and seconds functions alongside a date wheel at the 3 o’clock marker and a day wheel at the 9 o’clock marker. The power reserve bar sits between the 6 and 7 o’clock marker whilst there’s also additional features like a stop seconds device.
The dial design features a monochrome finish with double opaline-sunburst effect, enhanced by the additional contrast of its two snailed day-date counters. Gold Arabic numerals contrasts nicely here with a black alligator leather strap that’s secured by a polished half Maltese cross-shaped steel folding clasp or gold pin buckle, depending on the version.
On the transparent caseback it’s all about the pink gold openworked oscillating weight featuring the Maltese cross emblem that can be viewed in all its glory.
FIFTYSIX Complete Calendar With Precision Moon Phase (Ref 4000E/000R-B438)
Finally we arrive at the FIFTYSIX Complete Calendar model with moonphase indicator. The piece epitomises pure elegance with its monochrome dial with opaline-sunburst effect which is a nod to the inclination of watch connoisseurs and collectors.
The indications of the day of the week, date, month and moon phase are all driven by a self-winding movement in the Calibre 2460 QCL/1 which also comes equipped with a 22 carat openworked oscillating weight adorned with the Maltese cross emblem.
Precision is of the utmost importance here and the Vacheron boffins have ensured that this is evident in the moonphase function which requires adjustment just once every 122 years – other moonphases require once every three years.
Whilst cleaner than the day-date model with power reserve, the Complete Calendar still manages to stand out with two rectangular apertures at the 12 o’clock mark to indicate the month and the day of the week. The date itself is displayed by a central gold hand, while the moon disc at 6 o’clock features a blue night sky and 18K gold moons.
As dictated by the collection, the movement will reside inside a 40 mm-diameter case in steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold featuring a dial with gold Arabic numerals. This watch is similarly paired with a black alligator leather strap with steel folding clasp or pink gold pin buckle depending on the model.