In haute horlogerie, the name Vacheron Constantin is one that draws significant reverence. With an uninterrupted watchmaking history of 263 years, the maison holds a special place in the hearts of watch lovers and avid collectors alike. Marking a new chapter in the luxury Swiss watchmaker’s long-standing history, Vacheron Constantin unveiled its latest collection in 2018. Contemporary yet historically inspired, Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix collection takes us back to the golden 50s—an era when music, culture and the arts flourished.
The Inspiration: Return of a Golden Era
How does an enduringly reputed brand keep up with the times without forgoing heritage? For Vacheron Constantin, it was through rediscovering its past. The Fiftysix collection draws inspiration from an iconic Vacheron Constantin watch model that dates back to 1956—the reference 6073.
The 50s were a big era for round timepieces, in particular those by Vacheron Constantin. Timepieces released by the house during that period reflect a contrast between classic dials and a bold case design.
Originally created as a minimalist wrist watch for society’s elites, the reference 6073 stands out in particular as one of the first watches from the house to have self-winding movement, along with water-resistant construction. In short, the maison has had a flair for combining tradition with innovation since the early days. Rediscovered in the Fiftysix, the result is a cutting-edge approach to watch design never before seen from the house.
A Closer Look: How Was the Reference 6073 Reinterpreted in Fiftysix?
The reference 6073 presented in 1956, and the FiftySix range unveiled in 2018 may be different watches from different times, but there is no question that they are of the same kin. So which characteristics of the classic timepiece have been transgressed to its contemporary heir?
Most notable are the lugs that frame the watchface, representing branches of the Maltese cross that today is recognised as an emblem of the house—and subsequently a symbol of horological supremacy. The distinctive shape of the box-type crystal that rises above the bezel has also remained. While historically made from Plexiglas or mineral glass, in the new range it is made of sapphire—far more scratch-resistant, yet still able to maintain the retro-contemporary look that defines the Fiftysix collection.
Of course, all models in the Fiftysix collection—including those with complications—operate with a self-winding movement. Wearers can admire the movement finishing through a transparent caseback, along with the new oscillating weight designed specifically for this collection. An openworked rotor—22 carats, polished and satin-brushed—bears a Maltese Cross applique and an exquisite frosted-snail finish, serving as a signature element of all models in the new range. The chapter ring with alternating Arabic numerals and baton-like hour markers reflect the original inspiration, while a subtly two-toned surface adds an extra touch of elegance.
The New: What To Look Forward To?
The FiftySix collection is not a visual reflection of its 1950s inspiration, but rather a reinterpretation of its own roots. The result of this blast to the past is the brand’s discovery of its future—a distinct style that is both cosmopolitan and cutting-edge, while staying true to the brand’s original ideals.
For the first time ever, the Maison is offering a classic collection in both gold and steel, treating the latter material with the same high standards as the precious first. The collection encompasses three models, each with its own variations including Self-winding, Day-Date and Complete Calendar—including a complete moon phase.
The model’s case houses a new mechanical self-winding movement, the Calibre 1326, which features a power reserve that lasts 48 hours. Models are fitted with alligator leather straps secured by either a pin gold buckle or a half Maltese cross-shaped steel folding clasp.
The Fiftysix collection marks an interesting move for Vacheron Constantin. In over two centuries of history, rarely does the Maison introduce new watch lines, and never does it introduce one in both gold and stainless steel. A beautiful timepiece with a significant symbolic value, there is much for watch enthusiasts to get excited about.
The new Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix collection can now be discovered at Pendulum Watch boutique in Siam Paragon. Scroll through the gallery to see more images. For more information, visit vacheron-constantin.com.