Vacheron Constantin’s straightforward watches have heretofore been offered largely in precious metals, and comparatively expensive; a two-hand Patrimony in 18k white gold is currently priced at $18,900. This year Vacheron is offering an entirely different assortment: the FiftySix assortment. The most straightforward FiftySix models are simply the FiftySix Winding watches, which are being offered in pink gold or steel, and priced at $19,400 for the former and $11,700 for the latter.
Why This Watch Matters
According to Vacheron, this is the first run through in history that the company has offered a “exemplary assortment” (for example a non-sports model) in both a precious metal and steel. While the FiftySix assortment isn’t nearly pretty much as formal as the Patrimony watchs (for instance) and keeping in mind that you could likewise argue that the Quai de L’Ile watches are “exemplary” the facts demonstrate that the new FiftySix watches have a more exemplary plan (just as being smaller than the Quai de L’Ile watches, which are comparatively very large, at 41mm x 50.26mm). The vibe is very 1950s, with a sector dial and alternating Arabic numerals and rod hour-markers, box crystal, and a crown recessed into its case; truth be told the FiftySix is very similar to a vintage Vacheron plan from the mid-1950s – the reference 6073 – which was the inspiration for the modern plan. There’s another movement inside too: the Vacheron caliber 1326, which is a 26.2mm x 4.3mm caliber with a pink gold rotor (the rotor is gold in both the steel and pink gold models). (Correction: Vacheron has clarified that this isn’t a Jaeger-LeCoultre movement; it’s produced by the Richemont Group’s Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier and completed, amassed, and regulated by Vacheron Constantin.)
In both pink gold and steel, this is an attractive new expansion to Vacheron’s assortments of simpler watches and fundamentally grows its plan vocabulary. While they’re inspired by a vintage model, the overall feel remains pretty contemporary and at 40mm x 9.6mm they’re a great size for an everyday wear watch, and another movement from Vacheron Constantin is consistently welcome too (the original reference 6073 was powered by the Vacheron caliber 1019, which was manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre however utilized exclusively by Vacheron, according to Hampel’s Automatic Wristwatches).
I presume that underlying reactions will be fairly blended, contingent upon how strongly you recognize straightforward watchmaking at Vacheron Constantin with the rather more austere than not, round watches that (the Quai de L’Ile assortment aside) have largely characterized non-sports basic watches from Vacheron.
The Vacheron caliber 1326.
Personally I discover these very refreshing; Vacheron’s post-World War II case plans incorporated some very interesting and original work (counting the well known “Cioccolatone” case , which was the reason for the modern Toledo) and the steel model represents a very attractive approach to get into Vacheron Constantin at a price that makes it a very interesting new alternative in under-$15,000 fine watches. Vacheron is, I’m sure, aware that such a watch certainly fills a major hole in its current assortments but at the same time it’s pleasant that it doesn’t feel or appear as though an entry-level watch per se.
Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: FiftySix Self-Winding
Reference Number: 4600E/000R-B441 (pink gold) and 4600E/000A-B442 (steel)
Case Material: Stainless steel or 5N pink gold
Dial Color: Silvered opaline center with sunburst outer track
Indexes: Applied lists alternating with applied Arabic numerals (in pink gold or steel)
Lume: Indexes only
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Brown alligator (pink gold model) or dark gray (steel model).
Caliber: Vacheron manufacture caliber 1326
Functions: Hours, minutes, center seconds, date
Diameter: 26.2mm (11 1/4 lignes)
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Pricing & Availability
Price: $11,700 (steel), $19,400 (pink gold)
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