As part of its Watches & Wonders 2020 releases, the FiftySix collection from Vacheron Constantin -inspired by a vintage model from 1956, Ref. 6073 – gets new models with rose gold cases and sepia-toned brown dials. Let's take a closer look.
The new FiftySix-ers — one a three-hander with date, the other a complete calendar — are both housed in 40-mm cases that take cues from the Maltese cross long associated with the Geneva maison. Each of the curved lugs representing one branch of this 15th-century badge of honor. The box-type crystals rise high over the bezel, made of modern, scratch-resistant sapphire rather than the plexiglas and mineral glass used for the historical models.
The sector-type dials, with alternating Arabic numerals and baton hour markers in their chapter rings, are enhanced with two separate, subtle tones to their finishing. The recessed winding crown, which lends the case a more elegant, streamlined profile, is one of the few departures from the 1956 design.
First introduced in 2018, the FiftySix collection is inspired by a model from 1956.
The FiftySix Self-Winding model is powered by the manufacture Caliber 1326, which debuted in the first round of FiftySix models and stores a 48-hour power reserve. A hacking seconds movement, it has an open-worked rotor, made of 22K gold with a frosted and snailed finish, which evokes the shape of the Maltese cross. Visible through a sapphire caseback, its array of other haute horlogerie finishes include côtes de Genève, circular graining and snailing. This movement, it must be noted, does not contain the Hallmark of Geneva certification. The watch is priced at $18,700.
The FiftySix Complete Calendar contains the in-house Caliber 2460 QCL/1, the same movement used in last year’s platinum-cased Traditionnelle Complete Calendar, which boasts a Hallmark of Geneva certification. The dial displays the month and day of the week in two rectangular apertures at 12 o’clock, the date by a central blued pointer hand on a 31-day scale, and the moon-phase in a semicircular window at 6 o’clock. The moon-phase is more complex and accurate than most, requiring adjustment only once every 122 years, as opposed to the typical three-year interval. Gold is used for the Arabic numerals, hour markers, and hands, as well as for the moon disk.
Like the FiftySix Self-Winding model, the Complete Calendar is mounted on a dial-matching brown calfskin leather strap (the 2018 models were on dressier, alligator leather straps with calfksin inner shells) with contrasting beige stitching). The FiftySix Complete Calendar will retail for $33,700.