When it comes to the watch you wear, there are moves and there are moves. If you have the wherewithal then, heck yes, go for the all-singing, all dancing, beautiful complication that will sit on your wrist like a badge of honour. But what about the merits of the low key flex? The watch aficionado’s watch, waving not shouting. Vacheron Constantin’s Shade of Blue Fiftysix models, yeah, we’re looking at you.
Now let’s be clear, when the oldest luxury watchmaker in the world does pretty much anything at all, its impact on the industry is felt, but the Fiftysix launch at SIHH 18 was a game changer. Here was a collection of beautiful watches that was kind of affordable, too – at least when talking about the business end of the luxury watchmaking industry. Despite nudging into five figures, this still felt like an open invitation to the family.
Then, earlier this year at SIHH 19, came another flex. Two models eschewing the grey sunburst dial of the originals in favour of something petrol blue. Still calling on the retro styling of its inspiration – the reference 6073 (currently running at around $9000 on the vintage market) – it’s an elegantly simple take on a watch that was forged in the spirit of the 1950s, a time when the Maison was bursting with creative energy.
One model offers the beautiful simplicity of a self-winding, wear-with-anything stainless steel case and visible movement through a transparent sapphire caseback. Another, for those looking to really make a statement, comes with a moon phase option, taking things out of orbit with a 22k rose gold case and 122 years of solid timekeeping (when, yeah, it’ll still look great).
But what we’re really trying to say is this: Whichever side you come down on matters little – both are beautiful. This is about the spirit of the decision. They aren’t hero watches, they’re anti-hero watches… and that’s always way cooler.