Whereas many brands of traditional mechanical watchmaking try to adopt new smart technology approaches, the renowned Maison Vacheron Constantin holds on to classical values. At SIHH 2018 Geneva’s oldest watch Manufacture (established 1755) introduces three new timepieces called FIFTYSIX and inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s important and iconic watch from 1956.
The Vacheron Constantin 6073 – An icon of the 1950s
Just like this watch with Reference 6073 stood for a contemporary masculine timepiece for every occasion, todays collection FIFTYSIX has been designed to reflect these same attributes. One important feature of the watch is the Maltese Cross, which is the brand’s logo that Vacheron Constantin patented in 1880.
FiftySix self winThe Maltese Cross (here visible on the crown) was patented by Vacheron Constantin in 1880ding 4600E/000R-B441
Why the Manufacture choose this symbol is not verified – however some say it was inspired by the shape of a component formerly found in mechanical movements which enhanced the precision of the watch, others say it emerged from the Maltese Cross in form of an award received for special achievements. The Maltese Cross logo is still visible on the dials today and within the FIFTYSIX collection the lugs each represent a branch of the Maltese Cross.
The Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX Day Date
Another notable impact of the Reference 6073 from 1956 is, that it was the first watch of Vacheron Constantin equipped with a self-winding (automatic) movement. The Calibre 1019/1 was distinguished by its precision and reliability at a time, when most other models were driven by manual-winding mechanisms.
The FIFTYSIX® self winding movement (left)
The movement with day / date (middle)
The movement with complete calendar and precision moon phase (right)
Hence all the versions of the FIFTYSIX collection, including those with complications, are equipped with a self-winding movement. However they have now received a little update. The polished and satin-brushed 22 carats openwork rotor, bearing a Maltese Cross applique and a frosted-snailed finish represents a signature feature of all FIFTYSIX models. A transparent caseback permits an open view on all the nicely arranged parts and Côtes de Genève finishing. Côtes de Genève is also referred to in English as Geneva stripes or even Geneva waves and the best known of all the decorations adorning watch movements.
All watches from the new FIFTYSIX® collection have a self winding movement
The 1950s were the times for golden and round watches. Now, for the first time ever, Vacheron Constantin offers a classic collection with both, gold and steel case. To give the steel versions a little upgrade, the hands and appliques are made in white gold.
The highlight from the new FIFTYSIX® collection – a complete calendar with precision moonphase
The FIFTYSIX collection presented at the SIHH 2018 consists of three models available in different steel or gold versions. The FIFTYSIX self-winding with steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (calibre 1326). The FIFTYSIX day-date with power reserve indicator in steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (calibre 2475 SC/2). And the FIFTYSIX complete calendar with precision moon phase in steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (calibre 2460 QCL/1) is the collections highlight.
The FIFTYSIX self-winding with steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (left)
The FIFTYSIX day-date with power reserve indicator in steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (middle)
The FIFTYSIX complete calendar with precision moonphase in steel or 18 carats 5N pink gold case (right)
Its extreme precision means that the moonphase function needs adjustment only once every 122 year. A masterpiece of construction compared to standard moon phases that need adjustment every three years. All watches come with an alligator leather and calf inner shell strap.