Introduced by Seven Distinct Gentlemen, the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX Collection
Seven fashionable international gentlemen met retro style with chic curves packaged inside a stunning case. Meet the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX.
International Gentlemen vs. the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX
These are the invitations that you cannot refuse!
Last November, while walking to our office in New York, I received a very unusual phone call. A familiar, yet sweet voice popped the question: “We are organizing something very special with only a few stylish gentlemen. Are you in?”
My reply? “Oh yeah… you bet I'm in!”
Knowing the pedigree of these fellows how could one decline? Anish, Wei, Fabio, Brian, Yoshida and Kira. A highly volatile / explosive cocktail of tasteful men’ style united in Swinging London to participate in the future launch of the latest and hottest Vacheron Constantin timepiece, the FIFTYSIX.
The daring ladies at Vacheron Constantin assembled quite an intensive program for us and additionally had the dangerous task of chaperoning our group… You know how it is… it’s like mixing dangerous chemicals…
Anyway, after a very early wake up call, we secured the watches to our wrists and began a grand tour of the city. Tower Bridge… KOKO Club… Hyde Park… And finally, back to the Shangri-La hotel to finish the day with some flaming cocktails in an underground bar. Despite the flames and several drinks made by the Duran-Duran look alike barmen, Brian and Yoshida, nobody got injured.
The binding element was present. Different styles, languages and origins, but all with the same watch on the wrist at the same time. “That’s soo cool dude!” as Wei Koh would say.
It’s difficult to have the FIFTYSIX on your wrist for days and not be allowed to post any pictures. But we knew soon, at SIHH, our group would be reunited for the official unveiling.
SIHH 2018: Same players shoot again
Monday at noon. The first day of the fair. Here we go again. The location is obviously different, but the new Vacheron Constantin booth matches with our style and the look of the new collection.
It was only then that we saw the pieces in their latest and final versions. My favorite? The FIFTYSIX Complete Calendar in stainless steel – what a fantastic complication for a young collector wishing to have a Vacheron.
Great spirit and attraction around this collection. Maybe just because of the creativity of Vacheron, or maybe thanks to the ladies that imagined this get together? I prefer to think that it is probably for the very stylish way that a bunch of guys showed the timepieces modeled to their wrists. Obvious no? ;-)
The FIFTYSIX Collection
The FIFTYSIX collection is the latest heritage inspired timepiece to come out of the Vacheron Constantin manufacture. Modeled after the iconic ref. 6073 which first came to market in 1956. Under the supervision of Artistic Director Christian Selmoni, the brand is undergoing a neo-vintage renaissance of sorts. By digging into their archives and bringing to light timepieces that honor the past, but at the same time, present a keen eye to the future of the brand.
I’ll admit, I was taken aback when I first saw the FIFTYSIX collection. Just a few months removed from the launch of the 1942 and 1948 historiques pieces, I wondered if lightning could strike twice? I’m happy to report that it has, as Vacheron Constantin did NOT disappoint. The FIFTYSIX collection is such a natural fit in the collection it almost looks as if the brand has produced this reference for decades.
Where to begin? Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice when you have the watch in your hands or on the wrist is the case. The 40mm case is crafted from steel or pink gold and features a recessed crown that gives it a dressy yet adventurous look. You’ll notice the design cues right away; the case shape is inspired by the very Maltese cross that defines Vacheron Constantin. When looking at the lugs head on, you notice that the four lugs each make up a branch of the Maltese cross. A very nice touch.
Displayed through the sapphire crystal caseback is a brand-new Vacheron Constantin 1326 calibre. This self-winding caliber features a 48-hour power reserve and is kept wound by a newly designed oscillating weight. The polished and satin-brushed 22 karat yellow gold rotor also features a Maltese cross center-set above the brand name.
But that’s not all! There are three versions of the movement, each packing a complicated punch. Configuration options include; three hands with date, Day-Date with power-reserve, and Complete calendar with moon phase.
Like most Vacheron Constantin timepieces, the movement is king. Featuring Côtes de Genève, circular graining, and snailing finishes, there is a never a dull moment.
Dials, Dials, Dials
If the previous Historiques (1942 and 1948) were any indication, Vacheron Constantin is doing some impressive things in their dial manufacture. And now with the FIFTYSIX, we have a Sector-dial! The first sector-dial to come from the brand in quite some time. The dials feature applied Arabic numerals and baton hour-markers. These classically 1950s designs are a perfect homage to the past that embraces a more cosmopolitan approach.
Visually stunning, the well-executed dials have a depth of character that looks and perfectly balanced. The applied numerals feature a sharp san-serif font that makes a crisp character.
The moon phase and date hands are color balanced to match the dial and case color. What I particularly like about the moon phase is that instead of incorporating a star field, the brand has chosen to go with a solid color. Which adds a nice modern touch to an otherwise classic design.
Vacheron Constantin starts 2018 strong with the FIFTYSIX collection. Each model offers a different execution and style. All models are sized at 40mm and offered in stainless steel or pink gold. Each reference will be fitted to a “Mississippiensis” alligator leather strap that matches the case color. These contemporary yet innovative watches look to the past for reference but stand on their own merits for style and watchmaking technicity.
We firmly believe that these watches will target a new generation of buyer and will look great dressed up or down.
The Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX collection starts at 12,000 EUR for stainless steel and tops out at 36,800 EUR for the complete calendar in rose gold.