This announcement is the biggest news from the Plan-les-Ouates-based manufacture since its acquisition by Citizen in May 2016. Husband-and-wife duo Peter and Aletta Stas founded Frederique Constant in 1988, naming the brand after their respective grandparents, and they have done a remarkable job of capitalizing on the opportunity they saw to produce reasonably priced Swiss watches 30 years ago. “Believe it or not, working together as a couple has actually made our relationship better,” said Mr. Stas. In many ways, the company was ahead of its time, having produced 27 in-house calibers, all in the last 14 years.
Just to give a little context to this launch, it took three years of research and development for Frederique Constant to produce its first in-house movement back in 2004, the Heart Beat Caliber (an inverted movement which one can see through a cut out on the dial). Four years later in 2008, it was a manufacture tourbillon, and then in 2016, it was a perpetual calendar. This year, you guessed it, the brand is celebrating its latest milestone by introducing a mighty perpetual calendar tourbillon.
The new movement, the automatic FC-975, features a silicium escapement wheel and anchor (reducing the need for oil, it is also a super light material, antimagnetic, and extremely resistant to temperature change). The new movement offers 38 hours of power reserve while running at 4 Hz. You wont see any black polishing or silky beveling on the movement, but there is some perlage and delicate Côtes de Genève striping. I’d describe the decoration as modest but attentive.
Building off this caliber, there are four case and dial variations: steel with a skeletonized dial, steel with a closed dial, rose gold plated with a closed dial, and solid 18k rose gold with a skeletonized dial. The two steel references are limited to 88 pieces each and are both priced at $19,995. The rose-gold-plated version, while also limited to 88 pieces, is slightly steeper at $22,995, and, finally, the solid 18k rose gold reference is limited to 30 pieces and is priced at $32,995. In all cases, the watch itself is 42mm in diameter and the cases …read more