Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix Collection, which debuted at SIHH 2018, clearly targeted a younger demographic, with its time-only variant coming in at under $12,000 and its day-date model priced at $17,900 a relative steal. The Fiftysix collection, which sits alongside others that compete with models from the likes of Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, was a welcome addition to the brand’s catalog, and it’s seen several aesthetic tweaks in the form of new dial colors over the past few years.
The Overseas, on the other hand, is Vacheron’s ode to the travel watch, and includes everything from time-only models to perpetual calendars and tourbillons. Two new models are joining the lineup this year, including a perpetual calendar in pink gold with a blue dial, and an ultra-thin, ultra-cool skeletonized version of the same complication.
The Fiftysix Self-Winding
The last iteration we saw of this watch featured a blue dial and steel case, so it’s fitting that we’re now returning a pink gold version, this time with “sepia-tone” brown dial and matching brown calfskin leather strap. The simplest of the Fiftysix collection, the Self-Winding is clearly designed to draw younger collectors into the brand, and into fine watchmaking.
Key Specs: $18,700; 40mm pink gold case; time and date
The Fiftysix Complete Calendar
Far and away our favorite of the Fiftysix collection, the Complete Calendar now also comes in a pink gold case with brown dial and calfskin leather strap. Of course in this instance you’re paying a significant premium for a a ton of functionality: time, date, week, month, and a moonphase accurate for 122 years. (If you live longer than that you’re SOL, and will have to adjust the watch manually.)
Key Specs: $33,700; 40mm pink gold case; complete calendar functionality
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
The stunningly thin (8.1mm) Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin was already available in an all-pink gold case with matching bracelet, but it’s the addition of a blue-dial variant that somehow makes this incredibly sophisticated watch all the more wearable. It’s also delivered with interchangeable alligator leather and blue rubber straps.
Key Specs: $88,500; 41.5mm pink gold case; perpetual calendar functionality
Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
If you’re gonna go for a quantieme perpetuel, you may as well go all out. This new version of the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin features a gorgeous, openworked movement with all-pink gold case and bracelet, allowing you to appreciate the mechanical intricacy of its complicated movement.
Key Specs: $115,000; 41.5mm pink gold case with openworked movement; perpetual calendar functionality
The Fiftysix collection is an interesting amalgam of vintage inspiration and horological modernity — it speaks to a younger audience in design, price and marketing, but doesn’t abandon Vacheron’s heritage or the greater thirst for the golden age of mid-20th-century watchmaking.
Fiftysix was largely complete at launch in 2018, consisting of an automatic time-and-date model, a day-date, and a complete calendar, and we’re sure Vacheron will continue to iterate upon it with new dials and case materials for many years to come. The same can largely be said of the Overseas, though as this line isn’t geared toward newcomers, there’s more room to experiment, as seen in the new openworked QP.
The Fiftysix collection was a step toward further securing Vacheron’s place amongst the horological “holy trinity” — if they can get younger collectors in the door, they’ll remain at the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking for the foreseeable future. It takes years of R&D to develop an entire new collection, so we’re not surprised to see small dial variations and iterations trickle out in the years since its launch.
Now that the Fiftysix is an entrenched part of the maison’s lineup, there’s a much larger breadth of models at different price points available, which is a good thing for the budding collector. The Overseas remains a repository for some of the brand’s most interesting watches, and we imagine it will continue to function as such.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.