This week Vacheron Constantin will present a number of interesting new timepieces, but their focus is on their new collection by the name of FIFTYSIX. Of course, referring to the year 1956 in which they released their iconic reference 6073 watch. A stunning 35mm timepiece with the automatic winding caliber 1019/1 movement, a silver matte dial with applied gold numerals and dauphine shaped hands. A stunning timepiece from a period in which they made beautiful dress watches.
Vacheron Constantin refers to the 1950’s as the golden age for round watches. There’s little to bring up against that. Below, an image of this reference 6073 that was auctioned by Christie’s over five years ago during their Hong Kong watch sale. Besides the stunning rose gold color of the case and the beautiful dial, look at those lugs. Simply amazing. It does indeed make you long for a watch design inspired by this watch from 1956.
Based on that beautiful watch, Vacheron Constantin introduces three models of their new FIFTYSIX collection. Three variations to be precise; a date, day-date and week, and a complete calendar (including moon phase indicator) watch. All three variations will become available in stainless steel and pink gold. No, not bi-color, but each model comes in a stainless steel variant as well as in a pink gold variant.
All versions have a beautiful shaped case with a 40mm diameter. A tad bit bigger than the 35mm of the original, but let’s face it, 35mm is indeed quite small for a contemporary dress watch in 2018.
Just like the original with its caliber 1019/1 movement, the new Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX models have automatic movements as well. A new caliber in fact, for the version with the date as only complication. All models are equipped with a sapphire caseback, that enables the wearer to have a glance at its beautiful movement. The movements are all finished with the famous Côtes de Genève, circular graining and snailing and a newly designed rotor. The 22 carat gold rotor bears the Maltese Cross applique and a frosted-snail finish. The Maltese Cross can also be found back on the case design of course, since the lugs are inspired by the branches of it.
The three-hands version comes with manufacture caliber 1326. Only 4.3mm thick and has a power-reserve of approximately 48 hours. The case of this reference is 9.6mm thick. In the Day-Date version of the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX we find their caliber 2475 SC/2 movement. 5.7mm thick (264 components) and a power-reserve of 40 hours. With these complications, the watch thickens to a still very impressive 11.6mm. Interesting is that in the FIFTYSIX Complete Calendar reference, the movement is ‘just’ 5.4mm in height (with 308 components). The thickness of this model is also 11.6mm.
Another nice aspect of the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX is the dial. No, luckily there’s not any mentioning of ‘FIFTYSIX’ on the dial (that would be weird looking), but the dial has a number of nice details. First, it is a sector-type dial. This gives the face of the watch a lot of flair and is rather playful. The chapter ring, with baton type hour markers and beautiful applied Arabic numerals. The center of the dial has a different tone, and gives great contrast for the hands and chapter ring. There’s a date window on the three-hands version, references 4600E/000R-B441 (gold) and 4600E/000A-B442 (stainless steel). The Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX with Day-Date complication, looks a bit different. There are two sub dials, overlapping the sectors, with a day and date indicator on 3 and 9 o’clock. At 6 o’clock there is a power reserve indicator. This applies to references 4400E/000R-B436 (gold) and 4400E/000A-B437 (stainless steel).
The Complete Calendar version is a bit different, having a sector dial, but some extra apertures for the day, date and moon phases in the center part. This applies for references 4000E/000R-B438 (gold) and 4000E/000A-B439.
As for the pricing, here you go:
FIFTYSIX | Reference 4600E/000A-B442 | 11,900€
FIFTYSIX| Reference 4600E/000R-B441 |19,800€
FIFTYSIX day-date | Reference 4400E/000A-B437 | 17,700€
FIFTYSIX day-date | Reference 4400E/000R-B436 | 33,100€
FIFTYSIX complete calendar | Reference 4000E/000A-B439 | 22,100€
FIFTYSIX complete calendar | Reference 4000E/000R-B438 |36,500€
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more