With the launch of FiftySix two years ago, Vacheron Constantin added a new round case shape with multiple levels to its lineup. The FiftySix design evoked a classic 1950s timepiece from the Vacheron archives while keeping things fresh and directed at younger clients. With the new sepia-toned version of the FiftySix Self-Winding that we see today, Vacheron appears to be doubling down on what I think was one of the main purposes of the new collection when it was announced. It provides a compelling everyday option that is a bit less sporty and grounded in the ’70s than the Overseas and somewhat less buttoned-up, dressy and, well, traditional, than the Traditionnelle or the Patrimony. 

The case shape of the FiftySix is also a bit more complex than it appears at first glance, if you follow the steps down from the bezel to the distinctive lugs. This characteristic was inspired by the ref. 6073 of 1956, but it’s hardly a facsimile. The FiftySix is very much its own watch, and at 40mm it’s sized for modern tastes.