Day To Night With Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix Collection

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Day To Night With Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix Collection

Words by Mr Chris Elvidge | Styling by Miss Sophie Hardcastle

11 November 2022

In the pantheon of Swiss watchmakers, there are few, perhaps none, that can hold a candle to Vacheron Constantin when it comes to that most Helvetian of qualities: stability. To parrot an oft-repeated statistic, it is the oldest continually operating Swiss watchmaker in the world. What that means is that while there are one or two that predate it, they have spent much of their history lying dormant. Vacheron Constantin, by contrast, hasn’t skipped a beat since 1755. Constantin by name, constant by nature.

As a heritage brand, it’s also known for its resistance to trends, holding firm in the fickle winds of fashion. You’re unlikely to hear Vacheron Constantin’s name mentioned in a debate on this season’s must-have dial colour or case material, and you suspect that that's just the way the brand likes it.

The same goes for its many fans. Back in 2021, we published a short film with Mr Brunello Cucinelli, another proponent of slow, considered design, on his appreciation for the Vacheron Constantin brand. “I like the elegance of Vacheron Constantin,” he told us. “I like the attention to detail […] And, above all, I like the fact they never compromise.”

Restraint is the word at Vacheron Constantin. If you’re in the market for a graduation watch, a wedding watch or a watch that won't ruffle too many feathers in the boardroom, this should be your go-to brand. But behind those trademark classical looks lies a forward-thinking watchmaker that is rather more versatile than it may seem, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Fiftysix collection.

A less formal proposition than the Patrimony, the Fiftysix is a mid-century inspired collection, taking its design cues from Vacheron Constantin’s first water-resistant self-winding watch, the reference 6073, which debuted in 1956. Since launching in 2017 with automatic, day-date and complete calendar references, the lineup has expanded to include new case metals, dial colours and complications (even a tourbillon).

We’re passionate about watches here at MR PORTER, but it’s not just what’s inside the case that makes us tick. It’s how a watch looks, how it feels on the wrist, and crucially how it works with the rest of your outfit. So, as we approach party season, we decided to put a few watches from the Fiftysix collection to the test, placing them at the centre of a variety of looks designed to take you from day to night in style.

The pink gold case and brown alligator-leather strap place this day-date reference at the more formal end of the Fiftysix collection, but the subdials and power indicator on the dial suggest something a little sportier. A versatile daily wearer, we’ve paired it here with a dusty pink cashmere sweater from Loro Piana and a dark-brown suede jacket from Officine Générale.

This three-hand automatic with discreet date window is the simplest and most understated reference in the Fiftysix collection, making it a great everyday choice in any colour. This sepia-brown version on a tonal calf-leather strap is an ideal partner for other earthy neutrals. It’s worn here with a cream-coloured rollneck cashmere sweater from New York minimalist luxury brand The Row.

In a deeper, more nocturnal shade of blue than you’ll find on the dial of Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas, this Fiftysix complete calendar – which keeps track of the day, date, month and phase of the Moon – comes into its own as day turns to night. It plays a starring role here, standing out against the neutral tones of a camel-hair blazer and cashmere sweater from Swedish tailor Saman Amel.

The classical choice of metal (18-karat pink gold) and strap material (dark-brown alligator leather) make this a dressier version of the Fiftysix complete calendar, but the finer details – such as luminous hands and baton markers – keep it from feeling too buttoned-up. Less an ultra-formal tuxedo watch, it’s better suited to relaxed tailoring. We’ve paired it here with a Prince of Wales check blazer from TOM FORD and a rollneck sweater from Dunhill.

Shop the collection