Every year at the Swiss watch exhibitions, top watch brands wow the world with their newest watches—many of which have been years in the making. While unveiled in the beginning of the year, most of these timepieces don’t make their way to retail stores until fall. This year, Vacheron Constantin created an all-new watch line inspired by the past but firmly positioned for today and tomorrow: Fiftysix.
As the name suggests, the newest collection takes its inspiration from a highly coveted watch that was first unveiled by the brand in 1956. The Reference 6073 had a very distinguished look in its day, with round case and bezel but elongated lugs (case-to-bracelet attachments) that represented the branches of the Maltese cross—Vacheron Constantin’s emblem. The lugs made the case look much bolder than a simple round watch and created a striking contrast to the classicism of the dial. Additionally, that timepiece was one of the first by the brand to be equipped with a self-winding movement and to feature a water-resistant case—novel at the time.
Now, Vacheron Constantin raises that iconic model to new heights. Elegant and chic, the new series has a worldly style that deftly blends vintage and modernity. Many of the elements that made the original a bit of a legend for the brand are updated in the new collection. The lugs on the new watches are elongated, highly stylized and ergonomically curved. Together with the round bezel and squared off edges of the round case on top and bottom, the entire look of the Fiftysix is a study of geometric elegance.
The new collection also features a box-type sapphire crystal that rises above the bezel and allows for better viewing of the dial when the watch is on an angle. It is a good thing, too, because the dials are extraordinary. Referred to as a sector dial, the dials feature a chapter ring with Arabic numerals, baton-like hour markers. Crafted in stainless steel and in 18-karat rose gold, all of the watches in the Fiftysix introduction are powered by self-winding movements.
For the first introduction of the collection, Vacheron Constantin unveils three new 40mm versions—with another haute horology piece being unveiled this fall. The first three pieces, arriving in stores in September, include a simple date model, a day/date model and a superb Complete Calendar with moon phase indication.
The latter is the one that watch connoisseurs around the world are lusting after. The monochrome dial features an opaline sunburst motif that includes an ivory center dial with day and month displayed at 12:00 via apertures. Beneath them at 6:00 is a large moon-phase display. The chapter ring for the hours and minutes display (via white gold or rose gold hours and markers) is surrounded on the outer edge of the dial with the date track. The moonphase is so precise that it requires only one adjustment every 122 years (compared with once every three years on a regular moon phase indication). This boldly beautiful watch retails for $36,800 in 18-karat 5N rose gold.
The Fiftysix Complete calendar watch houses a meticulously finished self-winding movement with an open-worked oscillating weight visible via a transparent sapphire caseback. $36,800.