During this unprecedented ‘virtual’ edition of Watches & Wonders, Vacheron Constantin unveils a new sepia-brown dial colour for its Fiftysix automatic and complete calendar references. Underscoring the relaxed vintage mood of the collection, the warm brown dials are housed in 40mm pink gold cases and come with a matching brown calfskin strap with beige stitching. Concerning the movement, case and layout of the dial, nothing has changed.
Two years ago, Vacheron Constantin launched the Fiftysix collection. Inspired by a model from 1956 (Ref. 6073), which was the first automatic, water-resistant watch made by Vacheron, the collection was designed to capture the current mood for vintage watches and attract a younger audience. Positioned as an entry-level model, the Fiftysix was advertised with catchwords like ‘retro-contemporary’, ‘relaxed’ and a collection with ‘cosmopolitan style’. Launched in three models in 2018 – automatic with date, day/date with power reserve indicator and complete calendar with precision moon phase – the Fiftysix collection also has a more recent tourbillon model. Till now, the Fiftysix collection was comprised of 40mm steel and pink gold watches with fairly conservative monochrome, blue and anthracite colour dials. Today marks the introduction of the new sepia-brown dial for the Self-Winding and Complete Calendar references.
Fiftysix Complete Calendar
With day, date and month indications, as well as a precision moon phase requiring no adjustment for 122 years, Vacheron Constantin’s Complete Calendar is the most complete and complex model in the Fiftysix line-up. A triple calendar, there are two windows for the day of the week and month just below 12 and a moon phase aperture at 6 o’clock. The date is displayed by an additional gold arrow-tipped hand and placed on the outer perimeter of the dial, a format that is also known as a pointer date. Like its 1956 ancestor, the dial is protected with a raised box-type crystal, now made from sapphire instead of Plexiglas or mineral glass. One of the collection’s distinguishing features is the sector-type dial with its chapter ring, very in tune with watches from the 1950s. Echoing the pink gold case, the applied Arabic numerals are made from pink gold as are the baton hour markers that are also treated with luminescent material, like the hour and minute hands. The rich brown dial features opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes.
The 18k pink gold case displays the distinctive and highly elegant shape of the Fiftysix family. Designed to capture elements of the brand’s insignia Maltese Cross, the lugs are meant to represent the four arms of the cross and provide an almost tonneau-shaped support for the round bezel and dial. Measuring 40mm with a height of 11.6mm, the case is beautifully finished with polished surfaces.
Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback is Vacheron’s 2460 QCl/1 self-winding calibre with its Hallmark of Geneva certification. The openworked 22k pink gold rotor is designed to represent the emblematic Maltese cross. The final touch, asserting the more casual and vintage mood of this model is the matching brown calfskin leather strap with beige stitching and an 18k pink gold buckle with a half Maltese cross-shaped design.
Quick facts: Fiftysix Complete Calendar Ref. 4000E/000R-B065 – 40mm x 11.6mm – 18k pink gold – box-type sapphire crystal over dial, sapphire crystal caseback – 30m water-resistance – brown dial with applied pink gold numerals and markers – in-house calibre 2460 QCL/1 automatic – 28,800vph – 40h power reserve – Hallmark of Geneva certified – hours, minutes, central seconds, complete calendar, precision moon phase – brown calfskin with beige stitching and 18k rose gold pin buckle – EUR 36,100
Fiftysix Self-Winding Time and Date
Perhaps the only real ‘entry-level’ model in the rarefied universe of Vacheron Constantin watches is this Self-Winding Fiftysix. To give you an idea of what ‘entry-level’ means at Vacheron, the current steel model in the collection has a retail price of around EUR 11,000. Naturally, the pink gold model duplicates this price and now comes with this rich brown colour dial to display the time and date functions.
Like all Fiftysix models, the dial features the hallmark sector layout with an outer minutes/seconds track and an inner black and white railway-style track. The brown dial is decorated with opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes and large applied gold Arabic numerals are interspersed with luminous gold markers representing the odd numbers. The date window at 3 o’clock is discreet and has a brown background to match the dial. In keeping with its function as a daily beater, the hands are also luminescent.
The pink gold case has a 40mm diameter but is thinner than the Complete Calendar with a 9.6mm thickness. What does differ here though is the movement. The FiftySix Self-Winding was clearly intended to be the ‘entry-level’ option for the brand. For this reason, the automatic is equipped with a movement produced by Richemont’s ValFleurier and based on a Cartier ébauche – even though it features specific bridges and a more detailed decoration, including the 22k openworked Maltese cross-shaped oscillating weight.
The watch comes on a matching brown calfskin leather strap with beige stitching and an 18k pink gold buckle with a half Maltese cross.
Quick facts: Fiftysix Self-Winding Ref. 4600E/000R-B576 – 40mm x 9.6mm – 18k pink gold – box-type sapphire crystal over dial, sapphire crystal caseback – 30m water-resistance – brown dial with applied pink gold numerals and markers – automatic calibre 1326 – 28,800vph – 48h power reserve – hours, minutes, central seconds and date – brown calfskin strap with 18k rose gold pin buckle – EUR 20,000
More information at vacheron-constantin.com.