The Maltese cross is an eight-pointed cross, that in the 15th century represented not only the eight lands of its origin, but eight qualities, obligations and aspirations of knights. Namely: truth, faith, repentance, humility, justice, mercy, sincerity and endurance.
This Maltese cross is the also the emblem of one of the oldest watchmakers in the world. Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin marks its 263rd year of high quality watch making this year.
Likened to the shape of a component formerly found in mechanical movements, the Maltese cross profiles a small wheel connected to the barrel of the cover, instrumental in engaging the most constant section of the spring by regulating its degree of winding and unwinding. The result, the enhancement of the watch’s precision.
The Brand’s position to stay true to the legacy and core quality values of the brand, yet progressive to the evolving watch industry is well represented in the novelties unveiled at SIHH: The FIFTYSIX®, Overseas, Traditionelle, and the Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers collections.
The FIFTYSIX® collection:
The FIFTYSIX® collection draws reference from the iconic 6073 Maltese cross inspired model launched in 1956.
The watch design expresses and reinforces the creativity of Vacheron Constantin during the 1950s, where the 6073 model was highly distinctive, distinguished by its shape and notably its lugs, each representing a branch of the Maltese cross emblem of the Manufacture.
“Vacheron Constantin is a brand of connoisseurs, of fine watchmaking. We decided to create a new collection with elements from the past, with new interpretation. This a retro-modern timepiece”.
The FIFTYSIX® charms, with its round 40mm distinctive shaped case of the box-type crystal in scratch-resistant sapphire glass rising well above the bezel.
This watch is by far, my favourite in their new range.
In tribute to the self-winding movement of the 6073 – the 6073 was one of the first watches from the Manufacture to be equipped with a self-winding movement at a time when most of the other models were driven by manual winding mechanisms – all the versions of the FIFTYSIX® collection including those with complications, are powered by a self-winding movement, with a new calibre for the three-hand variation .
A transparent caseback showcases the movement finishing and the new oscillating weight, a polished and satin-brushed 22 carats open worked rotor bearing a Maltese Cross applique and a frosted-snailed finish designed by Vacheron Constantin for this collection. It represents a signature feature of all FIFTYSIX® models.
Another standout feature of the the FIFTYSIX® collection differentiating it from its 1956 predecessor is its recessed crown that is set into the case.
Dial accents, subtle through the surface finishing of the sector type dials, with the chapter ring appliquéd with alternate Arabic numerals and baton-type hour markers, complete the 1950s-2018 retro modern personality of the collection.
The introduction of Vacheron Constantin’s first classic steel model in the FIFTYSIX® collection signals the commitment of the House to “reach out to a younger audience, and to allow them to get to know Vacheron Constantin better”, explained Selmoni.
The Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX® collection is available in steel and gold, with (i) date, (ii) day of the week, date, power-reserve indicator, (iii) complete calendar with precision moon phase.
Additional reporting by the author:
11th September 2018: We are pleased to update this article with the latest emblematic addition to the FIFTYSIX® collection.
Vacheron Constantin launches the FIFTYSIX® Tourbillon, as it announced its partnership with legendary Abbey Road Studios. Aptly, English song-artist Benjamin Clementine, one of the faces of the Maison’s new advertising campaign, marked the occasion with a private concert.
A stunning addition that will hit the high note for many, the FIFTYSIX® Tourbillon (calibre 2160) features an ultra-thin 5.65mm self-winding movement and a 22-carat peripheral rotor, placing this Tourbillon as the first major horological complication in the FIFTYSIX® collection. The calibre 2160 – Vacheron Constantin’s first self-winding tourbillon movement – was presented in the Patrimony Traditionnelle introduced earlier this year. Positioned at 6 o’clock position of its two-tone opaline-sunburst dial is the impeccably finished Tourbillon carriage (shaped like the Maltese cross). The timepiece is framed in a 10.9mm thick, 41mm diameter case in 18K pink gold with a transparent sapphire crystal case back.
This most prestigious creation in the FIFTYSIX®collection to date will be available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques from April 2019.
All images courtesy of Vacheron Constantin