Accessible luxury. It’s a phrase we hear pretty often nowadays, with so many young, independent brands making themselves known on an almost monthly basis. All of them though owe a debt to the original accessible luxury watchmaker, Frederique Constant.
As if that weren’t obvious enough already though, now they’ve outdone themselves once again with the new Classic Worldtimer Manufacture. If you didn’t know better – or recognise the cache of the Frederique Constant name – this could well be a watch well into the 6-10K mark.
It has the representation of the globe on the dial that you’ll see on plenty a high-end worldtimer model; it has the representations of all 24 time zones around the edge, complete with day / night shading. The entire dial is in various shades of slate, with the occasional flash of red at 12 o’clock.
Yet while the livery is all great and lovely to look at, the secret to the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, like all Frederique Constant watches, is the in-house movement.
It has the major of advantage of allowing all functions to be set from the crown of the watch. It has three positions; the first is simply to wind the watch, nice and straightforward; the second is to set the date and city, depending on whether you turn it clockwise or counter-clockwise. The final is to set the time.
That functionality allows you to easily set a watch that can be a serious pain whenever you’ve let it wind down or happy to be hopping from timezone to timezone. Combine that with a 42-hour power reserve – and a beating frequency of 28,800 vph – you’re looking at an immensely practical watch.
Of course, the movement’s finished as flawlessly as the front of the watch with plenty of Côtes de Genève across the bridges and thermally blued screws. It’s a great-looking piece, no matter which angle you view it from.
So down to brass tacks. All of this costs EUR 3,495 in a steel case, EUR 3,795 in the extraordinarily handsome rose gold-plated. If that doesn’t prove that Frederique Constant is the original ‘accessible luxury’ watchmaker, nothing will.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture
Ref: FC-718DGWM4H6 (stainless steel), FC-718DGWM4H4 (rose gold-plated steel)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter, stainless steel or rose gold-plated steel
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre FC-718, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date and world timer
Strap: Dark grey alligator with white stitching
Price: €3,495 (steel), €3,795 (gold-plated steel)
More details at frederiqueconstant.com