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The FiftySix event in Paris

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The FiftySix collection is key for the future of Vacheron Constantin. Or, to be more precise, Vacheron Constantin has high expectations with this collection. Inspired by a piece which was introduced in... 1956, the collection unveiled during the last SIHH already features a wide range of complications from a three-hand model to a tourbillon. Of course, we can expect the addition of other complications in the future.

Having said that, why this collection is so important? Because it symbolizes the new ambition of the brand to reach a larger customer base. We can feel it with two options taken by Vacheron:

- the three-hand watch is powered by a "Richemont" movement and is offered at a more affordable price, much lower than the usual standards from the brand
- all models (except the tourbillon) are available with a SS case

And on top of that, even if it is a more subjective argument, the aim of the design is to create a classy atmosphere but which is more casual than the Patrimony or Traditionnelle ones. Vacheron describes it as a perfect blend of classicism and contemporaneity. Anyway, whatever the definition we take, the place of this collection within the catalogue remains an issue. The empty space is rather thin considering the presence of the above mentioned collections. The room for maneuver is lot very large but Vacheron is very confident about its successful approach thanks to the aesthetical context of the collection.

Another reason what gives the proof of the prominent role of this collection is the communication strategy.

- First, the SIHH.

- Then the official worldwide launch in London (during the same event took place the confirmation of the partnership with Abbey Road studios and the unveiling of the FiftySix tourbillon) with selected press partners

- And last step: the local events with end customers and some journalists

I had the opportunity to attend the last event which took occured in Paris a few days ago in a prestigious venue: Les Bains Paris which is now more than just a club: it is also a design hotel.

Please browse the pictures below to follow me during this successful event perfectly organised by the Vacheron Constantin France team:


Let me choose my fav FiftySix piece... wait a minute! We are talking about cocktails here!


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The bar of the Club was redesigned to become the FiftySix bar!

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The watches were presented in a separated zone with enough lights to take picture. What a relief because the overall atmosphere of the club was rather dark.

Here comes the FiftySix full (complete) calendar in steel. It is the third watch in a few months to offer such complication. The very classic (some would say old-fashioned) dial lay-out works pretty well with the case.

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The three-hand automatic FiftySix in gold. As you know, the watch is powered by a Richemont movement which is actually a Cartier 1904MC enhanced to meet Vacheron decorative standards. The watch is nice but I would have expected a better care to details like the way the date window is cut:

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And the famous stainless steel version, the most affordable watch of the collection which objective is to get new "local" customers thanks to its sober design and its more affordable price:

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The Day-date is for me the most interesting piece of the collection since it offers the more original dial lay-out. Of course, it is a classic lay-out in the Vacheron context but I like these two subdials and the location of the power reserve display:

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 Another picture of the complete calendar in steel: the detail I appreciate on the steel versions is the dial color with grey/slate zones:

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The day-date in steel:

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The complete calendar in gold:

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So what do you think about the FiftySix collection? It is hot or not?

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After the shooting of the stars of the show, I could start to enjoy the event.

Obviously, a good event always begins with a visit at the bar:

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Several decorative elements remind us the involvement of Vacheron with the music world:

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At 10pm, we were invited to go deeper...

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And we discovered the basement  stage... a concert was about to start!

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The Bains is a famous club in Paris which offers a small pool... I was ready to take the plunge!

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The concert started... no sorry! It is not the singer but Jean-Yves Di Martino, head of Vacheron France, doing his speech. Jean-Yves highlighted the roots of the FiftySix collection and its purpose.

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The concert could start thereafter with a great performance by Sage, a french singer, who is the lead vocalist of the group Revolver. It was a great show and I'm very demanding so you can trust me!

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With the Vacheron France Team, Julie and Theo:

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Sage made us a nice surprise by coming back after his concert with a piano solo performance. Well done!

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Sage with Julie:

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As you could see it, this event, consistent with the latest communication trend of the brand, underlined the importance of the FiftySix collection. I will come back later on one specific piece of the collection to explain with more details the main features of the collection.

The big question is to know if this collection will be successful. Only the end customers have the answer. So let's hope for Vacheron that they will seduced by this classy and elegant style with a touch of casual attitude. The question I have is to wonder if Vacheron should have not used a more daring attitude to create a new collection. After all, the catalogue already offers classic collections. We will see what the next months will tell us about the future of the FiftySix collection and more broadly about the structure of the Vacheron Constantin catalogue.

Thanks to the Vacheron Constantin team for the great event.

Fx

Comments:
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Joepny October 13th, 2018-16:35
Same old, same old Agree with you Fx that VC should have taken a stronger daring approach on the design & execution. The 56 collection comes across as a poor’s man VC. The watches with date windows need to come with a magnifying glass as the font is ridiculously tiny. I’m s... 
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galaxys October 13th, 2018-23:33
I agree, Fortune favours the bold You'd expected to find a in-house movement, not a Cartier. Design is nothing special, once again these designers have just done some copy/past of an old model, an innovative choice. They'd need long term strategy, but when any CEO is focused on quaterly r... 
traineract October 13th, 2018-20:15
Just attended the one in Singapore Some weeks back. Excellent job by the Vacheron team. The whole look and feel is very consistent and similar to the one you just showed. Thanks for sharing, and attaching a picture from the Singapore event. My favourite would be the complete calendar. ... 
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Passionata_george October 14th, 2018-01:42
It s okay ,but i m not on the list I think the date fonts are just too small to the size of the other figures on the dial.
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Miranda October 14th, 2018-03:54
“ is key for the future of Vacheron Constantin.” You said it right first time, but I think it is good enough... what they need is a modern day Aquanaut, affording more people entry : something in the range if £7-10k Time and date only, versatile Just my opinion!
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datograph October 14th, 2018-05:31
Apropos! Does the Aquanaut even have competitors? The only one that comes in mind and I would fairly consider as a competitor is the Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung. The Piaget Polo S could also be one, but not sure about that...
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datograph October 14th, 2018-05:21
This brand probably won‘t survive the next crisis. They are one of my favourite watchmakers but mainly because of their historical models and the Les Cabinotiers Atelier. Their whole current line-up has just three models that I’m attracted to, while their main competitors just as Patek Philippe and A. Lan... 
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jporos October 14th, 2018-11:31
Reminds of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar... I guess the big question is if the finishing of the movement is spectacular, because the dial is so-so. Otherwise, I think the Overseas series is so much more distinctive.
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TonyR October 14th, 2018-14:15
Other than the 56 tourbillon........ Which isn't entry level, this whole line is a flop. I'll be shocked if I'm wrong. (and hopefully I am for VC's sake) Unfortunately I think VC cheapend the brand with this idea.......
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Cpt Scarlet October 14th, 2018-14:41
Great brand but the designers need firing.., is this the best they can do ?
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