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In focus: About Vintage

About Vintage 1998 Moonphase

No-one can deny the watchmaking chops of Frédérique Constant. The relatively young (by watchmaking standards) Swiss brands is one of the most renowned value propositions in Geneva, with its own dedicated manufacture keeping a huge amount of what it does in-house. It’s an impressive outfit and their watches no less so. They are, however, a bit… classical.

There’s a place for classicism of course; we’re huge fans of some of the most old-school of maisons. But sometimes, you need a breath of fresh air.  Fortunately, Frédérique Constant has come to a compromise in its collaboration with young  Danish watch brand About Vintage.

Founded in 2014 and designed in Copenhagen for the most part, About Vintage is pure Danish design at its best. Think minimalism to the point of sparsity, yet combining elegance and retro cool in equal measure. It’s a difficult balance to achieve but About Vintage makes it look easy.

About Vintage 1998 Moonphase Watch

So, on the one hand you have Swiss horological expertise; on the other you have Danish cool. The result? The 1998 Moonphase Limited Edition. This is a big step up for About Vintage. Previously its watches have been in the easily accessible price range of £200-£1,000. Nowadays that’s a pretty heaving fought-out space to be in, with a ton of new watch brands trying to take their piece of that particular pie. About Vintage has been more successful than most, but the new €3,349 is a big step up.

The big question then is, what do you get for the extra amount? Well, rather than the usual movements in About Vintage watches – think Miyota – you have an in-house Frédérique Constant number, specifically the phenomenal FC-702. It’s an impressive piece of work, far out-performing almost anything else in the price range.

Around that you have a typically-elegant About Vintage case and dial. It’s not elegant in the same way as most Frédérique Constants, with lots of gold, silvered dials and a more classical approach.  No, this is modern elegance at its finest.

About Vintage 1998 Moonphase

The midnight-blue dial is stunning, particularly with the contrast of the golden moon phase at 3 o’clock, a relatively unusual position for the indicator. That is balanced out at 9 o’clock with a date subdial, keeping the whole layout eye-pleasingly symmetrical.

The case is solid and simple in hardwearing 316L steel. Its only real downside is the 30m water resistance, but then it would be unfair if the 1988 Moonphase had everything going its way. Like all About Vintage pieces, it’s also fitted with a quick-change strap system that’s reliable and easy to use if not too sophisticated.

This is more than just a collaboration for About Vintage; it’s a showcase of what they can do with just a little serious horological expertise behind them. Is it going to be anything more than a one-off? Well, we hope not, but as with all these things, only time will tell.

If you want to see the watch for yourself you’ll have to head to the About Vintage flagship store in Copenhagen. Just be quick; it won’t be around for long.

Otherwise, you can order online at eu.aboutvintage.com

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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