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New Release: Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX Collection

Introducing a new collection from Vacheron Constantin
by Robin Lim on January 15, 2018

1956 was a particularly interesting year in Vacheron Constantin’s history. That was the year that the Geneva-based watch manufacturer launched the Reference 6073 – a timepiece that expressed Vacheron Constantin’s creativity and its prowess in designing beautiful watches. 

The new collection – named the FIFTYSIX – aims to bring back that style of watchmaking. What is interesting in that era is that the watches – particularly the Reference 6073 – feature two different characteristics. On one hand, it retains classicism, through the dial. On the other hand, the case design is rather bold and expressive. That is something that make watches from that period rather interesting. The Reference 6073 was also remarkable for the fact that it is one of the first few watches from the Manufacture that was equipped with a self-winding movement. That was definitely an important milestone, considering that many watches from that time are still driven by manual-winding movements.

 

The Highlights of the FIFTYSIX Collection

 

As the nomenclature suggests, the FIFTYSIX collection had picked up several cues from the Reference 6073.

The first, and most notable one, is perhaps the Maltese cross. While the Maltese cross is initially a component that is found in mechanical movement, Vacheron Constantin had decided to adopt that as the brand’s motif. For this particular collection, Vacheron Constantin had decided to integrate the motif into the lugs of the watch. The lugs are inspired by the branches of the Maltese cross. It certainly looks elegant, and yet it adds a nice touch to the design of the timepiece.

Next, we have the distinctive box-type crystal that was previously found on the Reference 6073. This time, Vacheron Constantin had utilised sapphire crystal, instead of the traditional Plexiglas or mineral glass. This allows the component to be more scratch-resistant, and yet it still retains the retro-contemporary look of the timepiece.

 

The Calibre 2475 SC/2 – one of the three movements that were produced for the FIFTYSIX collection.

 

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Another interesting bit about the collection is the movement. As mentioned, the Reference 6073 is one of the first few watches from Vacheron Constantin to feature a self-winding movement. Hence, the Manufacture has decided that the watches in the FIFTYSIX collection will be fitted with all-new automatic movements. These movements will also be decorated with a variety of finishing, including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, and snailing. In addition, the movements will be fitted with a satin-brushed 22 carats openworked rotor, bearing the signature Maltese cross applique and a frosted-snailed finish.

Finally, the other distinctive feature of the timepiece perhaps lies in the dial. The watches in the FIFTYSIX collection will be fitted with a sector-type dial. The chapter ring features both the alternating Arabic numerals and baton-type hour-markers. That area is done in satin-brushed with the sunburst effect, while the center portion is completed in either silver or grey opaline.

 

The FIFTYSIX Collection Line-up

 

The collection is available with three different complications, each with a 40mm case that comes with either a steel or gold option.

 

The FIFTYSIX self-winding, in pink gold.

 

The first is the FIFTYSIX self-winding. This is the base model of the collection, featuring only a date complication. The watch is powered by the Calibre 1326, which boasts a decent power reserve of approximately 48 hours. The watch is fitted with an alligator leather strap, and it will be paired with either a polished half Maltese cross-shaped steel folding clasp or pin gold buckle – depending on the version.

 

The FIFTYSIX day-date, in steel.

 

The next model is the FIFTYSIX day-date, with a power-reserve indicator. The watch is fitted with the Calibre 2475 SC/2. The watch features three different indicators – the date display at the 3 o’cl0ck position, the week display at the 9 o’clock position, and the power reserve meter at the 6 o’clock position. The watch has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours.

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The FIFTYSIX complete calendar, in pink gold.

 

Finally, we have the flagship: the FIFTYSIX complete calendar, with precision moon phase. Powering the watch is Vacheron Constantin’s Calibre 2460 QCL/1, which has a power reserve of around 40 hours. One of the main features of the movement is its highly-precise moon phase indicator, in which it would only require an adjustment once every 122 years. The watch’s dial is graced with two rectangular apertures at 12 o’clock, respectively indicating the month and the day of the week. The date is displayed by a central gold hand, while the moon disc at 6 o’clock features a blue night sky and 18K gold moons.

 

Concluding Thoughts

 

The new FIFTYSIX collection is certainly an interesting addition to the Vacheron Constantin line-up. We particularly like how Vacheron Constantin had attempted to incorporate the various design cues from the 1950s into their watches. This is especially since the design of watches from that era is usually interesting, such as the Reference 6073 that the FIFTYSIX collection was based on.

We reckon the FIFTYSIX collection is perfect for someone who is looking for a dress watch, and yet he or she wants something that is slightly more unusual or interesting. The 40mm size, on paper, sounds rather perfect as well. Watch out for this space though, as will be bringing on our hands-on review for these pieces as soon as we get our hands on them.

 

Technical Specifications

FIFTYSIX self-winding (Reference 4600E/000R-B441)

Calibre: 1326; Manufacture calibre; Mechanical, self-winding; 26.2 mm (11 1⁄4’) diameter, 4.3 mm thick; Approximately 48 hours of power reserve; 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour); 142 components; 25 jewels

Indications: Hours, minutes, central seconds; Date

Case: 18K 5N pink gold or stainless steel; 40 mm diameter, 9.6 mm thick; Transparent sapphire crystal caseback; Water-resistant tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial: Silvered or grey opaline center, sunburst exterior; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold Arabic numerals; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold hour-markers highlighted by a luminescent material

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Strap: Brown or Dark Grey Mississippiensis alligator leather with calf inner shell and tone-on-tone stitching, square scales

Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold buckle or stainless steel folding clasp; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

 

FIFTYSIX day-date (Reference 4400E/000R-B436)

Calibre: 2475 SC/2; Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin; Mechanical, self-winding; 26.2 mm (11 1⁄4’) diameter, 5.7 mm thick; Approximately 40 hours of power reserve; 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour); 264 components; 27 jewels

Indications: Hours, minutes, central seconds; Day of the week and date; Power-reserve indicator

Case: 18K 5N pink gold or stainless steel; 40 mm diameter, 11.6 mm thick; Transparent sapphire crystal caseback; Water-resistant tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)

Dial: Silvered or grey opaline center, sunburst exterior, snailed counters; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold Arabic numerals; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold hour-markers highlighted by a luminescent material

Strap: Brown or Dark Grey Mississippiensis alligator leather with calf inner shell and tone-on-tone stitching, square scales

Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold buckle or stainless steel folding clasp; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

 

FIFTYSIX complete calendar (Reference 4000E/000R-B438)

Calibre: 2460 QCL/1; Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin; Mechanical, self-winding; 29 mm (11 1⁄4’) diameter, 5.4 mm thick; Approximately 40 hours of power reserve; 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour); 308 components; 27 jewels

Indications: Hours, minutes, central seconds; Complete calendar (day of the week, date, month, precision moon phase); Age of the moon

Case: 18K 5N pink gold or stainless steel; 40 mm diameter, 11.6 mm thick; Transparent sapphire crystal caseback; Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)

Dial: Silvered or grey, opaline center, sunburst exterior; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold Arabic numerals; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold hour-markers highlighted by a luminescent material; 18K 5N pink gold or white gold moons

Strap: Brown or Dark Grey Mississippiensis alligator leather with calf inner shell and tone-on-tone stitching, square scales

Buckle: 18K 5N pink gold buckle or stainless steel folding clasp; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

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