International Watch Review

Vacheron Constantin and Abbey Road Studios Launch a Rock'n'Roll Watch

While presenting its Fiftysix collection, the watchmaker announced its partnership with the iconic music establishment and presented a modern, creative new marketing campaign.
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Watchmaking and music rarely intersect, as few luxury watch brands have a close relationship with the world of music, so when the two team up, it creates a real surprise. At a lavish private event at London's Abbey Road Studios—one of the oldest and most famous in the world—Vacheron Constantin announced the Fiftysix collection, created in partnership with studios, musicians, and other artists. Additionally, the watchmaker unveiled the Fiftysix Tourbillon, the new line's first high-complication edition.

This major announcement from the oldest Swiss watchmaker still in business aims to highlight Vacheron Constantin's new creative efforts as part of its "One of Not Many" campaign, in which the brand collaborates with exceptionally talented and creative artists. As a popular recording location for many of the world's most famous musicians, such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Kanye West, Abbey Road Studios is a fitting partner.

The iconic watch brand, founded in 1755, and the legendary recording studios, which opened in 1931, have a strong synergy, as both respect the highest standards of excellence, precision, and innovation. Building on these qualities, Abbey Road Studios, and Vacheron Constantin strive to renew themselves, preserve the past, and forge an exciting and fulfilling future.

"Music is a fantastic and unique source of emotion, just like our watches," says Louis Ferla, the brand's CEO. "As Vacheron Constantin and Abbey Road Studios come together, we have discovered that we share the same values of technical excellence, constant innovation, the transmission of know-how, and the willingness to share and disseminate our passion."

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British singer/songwriter Benjamin Clementine, who participated in the "One of Not Many" campaign, recorded and produced "Eternity" at Studio Two of Abbey Road Studios. This new song, co-produced and backed by Vacheron Constantin, is Clementine's interpretation of Oscar Wilde's poem "The True Knowledge" about eternity and time, tied to the new Fiftysix collection.

An Urban Spin on a Vintage Classic

Fitting to its name, the Fiftysix collection's inspiration is a 1956 watch, which Vacheron Constantin has modernized with an urban touch while preserving its vintage spirit. The timepiece that inspired the Fiftysix, reference 6073, was Vacheron Constantin's first self-winding watch in a waterproof box. Today, the new Fiftysix watches all have automatic manufacture movements. The brand unveiled their new collection for the first time at the International Jewelry Show (SIHH) in 2018. The product of several years of research and development, the Fiftysix collection includes a three-hand watch, a three-needle date, and a perpetual calendar. Each of these pieces features a sapphire crystal to enhance the vintage dials. Slightly elongated and curved horns, round casings with slightly dull edges, and round glasses give the watches a geometric appearance.

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Beginning in spring 2019, the collection's first high complication watch will join the selection. The Fiftysix Tourbillon features the ultra-thin 21-gauge 2160 caliber—manufactured in-house and equipped with a 22-carat gold peripheral rotor. The Tourbillon's escapement, visible by a large opening at 6:00 on the dial, takes the shape of the Maltese cross, the emblem of Vacheron Constantin.

Made in 18-carat pink gold, the watch measures 41 millimeters in diameter and only 10.9 millimeters thick, perfectly fitting under a shirt or suit sleeve. In another vintage reference, the opaline dial features an inner and outer minute track using  Arabic numerals and indexes. The watch has a sapphire exhibition background, and it bears the stamp of the Geneva seal, indicative of its craftsmanship and finish. The Fiftysix collection is the highlight of Vacheron Constantin's "One of Not Many" campaign.

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One of the Few

As noted, Clementine, a self-taught and formerly homeless musician, is one of the artists in "One of Not Many." Another is Cory Richards, a 37-year-old adventurer and award-winning photographer. He has climbed Mount Everest without oxygen, explored the world endlessly, and provided visual content for singer/songwriter James Bay. French designer Ora Ito has also joined Vacheron Constantin's list, and more will follow soon.

The concept is to represent these artists in various contexts related to their work. The new campaign, directed by photographer Phil Poynter, aims to represent real people's creativity and talent, an experience parallel to that of Vacheron Constantin, which showcases its own creativity through timepieces. The watchmaker has chosen to work with these artists and public figures to highlight its technical achievements.

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