Vacheron Constantin commemorates one of its pioneering automatic watches with a swanky new Fiftysix collection
VACHERON CONSTANTIN’S STORIED heritage goes back more than two centuries, but its presence in the world of haute horlogerie would be impossible were it not for constant progression. In the words of CEO Louis Ferla, “If you don’t innovate while the world progresses, you’ll wake up one day and everybody’s ahead of you.”
Indeed, the brand showcases impressive offerings year after year, from the awardwinning Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication of 2017, an ultracomplex watch with a slew of complications, to this year’s breathtaking Métiers d’Art
Les Aérostiers. The latter, which displays intricately hand-engraved and microsculpted gold hot air balloons against a translucent plique à jour enamel background, pays tribute to a late-18th-century attempt at human flight.
A more strategic innovation this year comes in the form of the Fiftysix collection, which references one of Vacheron Constantin’s first automatic watches, the Ref. 6073 of 1956, and includes a new entry-level model. The Fiftysix Self-Winding is powered by the new
1326 automatic calibre with Côtes de Genève finishing, and in entry-level steel offers an affordable gateway to the brand.
The Fiftysix Complete Calendar lies at the other end of the price spectrum, showcasing a triple calendar layout with a classic design. It’s driven by the proprietary 2460QCL/1 calibre, with a moonphase function that’s adjustable every 122 years. The day and month are visible via two apertures, with the date indicated by a ticking blue hand. A moon disc lies at 6 o’clock: a blue night sky illuminated by a gold moon (pink gold for the gold version, or white gold for the steel).
Rounding off the collection is the Fiftysix Day-Date, which uses the new self-winding 2475 SC/2 calibre, an in-house movement equipped with a stop-seconds mechanism. The watch is decorated with two snailed counters at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, indicating the day of the week and date, respectively. Also visible on the opaline sunburst dial is the power-reserve display at 6 o’clock.
Although all models are driven by different calibres, they share the same 22k pink-gold oscillating weight that’s decorated with a Maltese-cross applique. Each is offered in pinkgold or steel variants
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: VACHERON CONSTANTIN MÉTIERS D’ART LES AÉROSTIERS; FIFTYSIX COMPLETE CALENDAR; FIFTYSIX DAY-DATE