Vacheron Constantin this week adds a complication to the FiftySix collection. And in concert with the collection’s retro-inspired design (first seen this past January), the new Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Tourbillon features an updated automatic movement. Instead of a standard rotor, the watch is powered by a 22-karat-gold peripheral oscillating weight that spins around the caliber, allowing a fully open view of the beautifully finished Caliber 2160 ultra-thin automatic tourbillon movement.
As we noted at the time, the peripheral rotor not only exposes a beautifully designed and decorated 188-part movement (endowed with an approximately 80-hour power reserve), it also allows the watchmakers to construct a thinner caliber (less than 6 mm thick). The movement’s leisurely 2.5 Hz frequency (18,000 bph) allows one to enjoy the to-and-fro of the tourbillon, especially without a rotor occasionally blocking the light.
The FiftySix was Vacheron Constantin’s highest profile 2018 debut. Initially a set of three 40mm steel or pink gold dress watches that reinterpret the firm’s own reference 6073, which debuted in 1956, the FiftySix marked the first time Vacheron Constantin offered a classic collection both in gold and in steel.
When devising the FiftySix Tourbillon, Vacheron Constantin remained true to the FiftySix’s vintage forebears. As the collection’s namesake reference 6073 (from 1956) was one of the first automatic models offered by the brand, this tourbillon also needed to be powered automatically.
Of course this new watch also retains several other prominent features of the original 1956 models, notably the four lugs that form one portion of the Maltese cross, and a box-type crystal.
The FiftySix differs from the 1956 original with its Arabic numerals, a recessed crown and a slightly larger case size. And while the debut FiftySix collection featured 40mm watches, this pink gold FiftySix Tourbillon measures 41mm in diameter, likely to accommodate the existing caliber 2160. Of course, the watch is a Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
To celebrate the FiftySix, Vacheron Constantin has partnered with Abbey Road studios in London. This week, the company debuted this tourbillon there with British composer and musical artist Benjamin Clementine, who stars in Vacheron Constantin’s new advertising campaign.
The entire FiftySix collection is set to arrive in retail locations across North America this month. But you’ll have to be patient for the FiftySix Tourbillon, which will arrive in Vacheron Constantin boutiques in April 2019, priced at $113,000.
Specifications: Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Tourbillon
Case: 41mm pink gold. 10.9 mm thick, transparent sapphire crystal caseback, water-resistance tested at 30 meters
Dial: Silvered opaline, 18-karat pink gold numerals and markers. Markers are highlighted by a blue luminescent material
Movement: Caliber 2160, self-winding, 22K gold peripheral rotor, approximately 80 hours of power reserve, 2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour), tourbillon, hours and minutes.
Strap: Brown alligator leather with calf inner shell and tone-on-tone stitching, square scales, 18-karat pink gold folding clasp in polished half Maltese cross-shape