Vacheron Constantin Adds to FiftySix Collection With Two New Rose Gold References Watch Releases

It seems almost heresy that a member of watchmaking’s “holy trinity” ever dared to cater to a younger audience with a more approachable heritage-inspired design powered by a heavily embellished ebauche movement, but that’s what we were presented with in 2018 when Vacheron Constantin unveiled the FiftySix collection. Now in its third season, the FiftySix seems to have silenced its critics and settled into its own, confidently dressing up classic complications in a variety of youthful colors and precious metal combinations — all of which still nicely complement its excellent case architecture and minimalist dial. Last year, we got blue dials in stainless steel cases, and this year for Watches and Wonders 2020, we’ve got a twist on the original rose gold-cased options with a pair of new coffee-colored dials in the Date and Complete Calendar variants, yielding an interesting sepia-toned aesthetic.

Vacheron Constantin Adds to FiftySix Collection With Two New Rose Gold References Watch Releases

Specifications

Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: FiftySix Self-Winding Date (ref. 4600E/000R-B576)
Dimensions: 40mm-wide, 9.6mm-thick
Water Resistance: 3atm (30 meters)
Case Material: 18k rose gold
Crystal/Lens: sapphire
Movement: Vacheron Constantin cal. 1326 (automatic)
Frequency: 4Hz
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Strap/Bracelet: brown calfskin leather
Price & Availability: $18,700 USD


It’s almost as though fellow group members Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin have been talking to each other, as this particular line extension of the FiftySix feels eerily similar to JLC’s Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar refresh also unveiled this weekend. But whereas the JLC movements are produced in-house by Jaeger LeCoultre, the movements in both these new Vacheron references aren’t technically the fully in-house-produced calibres that we’re used to seeing from the venerable “holy trinity” manufacturer. Both the Date and the Calendar calibres have, instead, been produced by the Richemont group’s ValFleurier manufactory as ebauches, then deployed throughout the group. It’s worth noting, though, that Vacheron Constantin does perform extensive finishing in-house on the movements — particularly with the gold rotor, which gets some beautiful beveling and hand-engraving.

Vacheron Constantin Adds to FiftySix Collection With Two New Rose Gold References Watch Releases

Specifications

Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: FiftySix Complete Calendar (ref. 4000E/000R-B065)
Dimensions: 40mm-wide, 11.6mm thick
Water Resistance: 3atm (30 meters)
Case Material: 18k rose gold
Crystal/Lens: sapphire
Movement: Vacheron Constantin cal. 2460 QCL/1 (automatic, day, date, month, moonphase)
Frequency: 4Hz
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Strap/Bracelet: brown calfskin leather
Price & Availability: $33,700 USD

I have always personally really liked the FiftySix collection from Vacheron Constantin. Maybe not as much as the Quai de L’Ile offerings, which use true Geneva Seal-certified movements produced and finished entirely in-house by Vacheron, but for some watch fans, the movement isn’t everything. So if you’re heeding the advice of armchair experts who recommend one never buy a watch only for the movement, the FiftySix is a platform designed to stir emotions in a purely aesthetic sense, as a master class in case design and mid-century modern minimalism. The prices of each of the sepia-toned new FiftySix watches command only a slight premium over their silver-dialed cousins rendered in the same precious metal. Once again, the FiftySix Self-Winding Date starts at $18,700 USD, and the Complete Calendar jumps to $33,700 USD — a savings of around $15,000 should one opt to jump to a comparable gold-cased Quai de L’Ile offering. Learn more about the FiftySix collection at vacheron-constantin.com.




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