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Why Vacheron Constantin’s new FiftySix line is so important

Paul Altieri

When Vacheron Constantin, one of the world’s oldest manufacturers of luxury Swiss watches, releases a new line, of course, the watch world takes notice. For one, it’s not something they do often. But secondly, and most importantly in this case, their newest line monikered FiftySix, is noteworthy because in looking to the past the brand is cementing their future.

The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Tourbillon
The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Tourbillon

With the aim of appealing to an entire — younger — group of clientele, these watches have been outfitted in the ever-popular vintage feel with a contemporary twist. The brand proclaiming their newest line, “instills a modern momentum capable of opening up the world of fine watchmaking to every enthusiast.” Do note, the lowest priced model still rings up at nearly $12-thousand.

FiftySix is modeled after a particularly popular model, the 6073, which I think you can guess, was released in 1956. During the 1950’s Vacheron Constantin’s watches were oozing with the synergy of classical dials alongside bold, modern cases. Today, their FiftySix collection draws inspiration from not only these designs, but the revolutionary ideas behind them, combining the old and new.

In a more literal sense, you’ll see strong aesthetic ties between the FiftySix line and the ref. 6073, including the Maltese cross, the brand’s symbol, which has been integrated into the dial, lugs and rotor. You’ll also notice the box-style sapphire crystal which is a subtle reference to the Plexiglas or mineral glass crystals used more than half a century ago. Two new, and most notable features, are that these watches are available in rose gold and stainless steel. This is the first time the brand has offered these metals at the same time in the same collection.

The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix was designed to draw in younger audiences, but is still over $12k
The FiftySix was designed to draw in younger audiences, but is still over $12k (photo courtesy of Monochrome Watches)

But, to the greater point, the sentiment behind this new line of watches is why it is so important. Yes, the watches look great and are made with some of the finest materials and horological technology today. But it’s Vacheron Constantin’s outlook towards the future of not just their own brand, but where the industry is headed, is what makes this new line so notable.

Founded in Geneva in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has clearly been able to stand the test of time with unparalleled craftsmanship and brand recognition. This is a new era, though, and watch brands are starting to realize that to survive and thrive, they need to appeal to the new generation of watch enthusiasts and collectors. Vacheron Constantin is doing this and they’re doing it in their own way, and they’re doing it exceptionally. In looking to the future they understand they must still embrace their past, and everything about this collection is a wonderful representation of who they are today and as they look ahead.

Paul Altieri