It’s fitting that Frederique Constant’s 35th anniversary falls in the same year as the brand’s first appearance at the 2023 Watches and Wonders exhibition.
In honor of the event, the brand is releasing a brand new iteration of a product that is emblematic of its ethos and expertise, the Classics Tourbillon Manufacture. The tourbillon in question was designed in-house and is hand-assembled in its workshops; it features three hands and is presented here in its finest watchmaking livery: a 39 mm 18K rose gold case.
Frederique Constant, which was established in 1988, will turn 35 in the year 2023. There will be many celebrations throughout the year, but to kick things off, the Manufacture wanted to highlight the piece that best represents the brand: the Manufacture tourbillon. The FC-980 movement, which has been used to power this new Classics Tourbillon Manufacture, was first introduced 15 years ago in 2008 and quickly became one of the brand’s showcase developments.
Frederique Constant’s unveiling of the Classics Tourbillon Manufacture at Watches and Wonders in Geneva, where the brand was founded, on the occasion of its anniversary serves as a fittingly symbolic act.
An Iconic Watch
Frederique Constant’s core value, which it has upheld since its founding 35 years ago, is encapsulated in its Classics collection, which features only the finest examples of traditional Swiss mechanical watchmaking.
Therefore, the new Classics Tourbillon Manufacture respects the highest standards of the watchmaking industry. The case is crafted from 18-karat rose gold, a premium material that has until now been used exclusively for limited-run Manufacture releases. Just 150 of this model will ever exist, and they will all be uniquely numbered. Classics Manufacture watches, which were previously only available in a 42mm diameter, now come in a more wearable and modern 39mm case with smooth, rounded edges.
Similarly traditional is the placement of the regulating organ, which sits majestically at 6 o’clock; knowledgeable watch enthusiasts will recognise it as a tourbillon. The patent application for this masterpiece was filed in 1801, attesting to the high level of expertise required to create such a device.
The Spell of the Tourbillon
With over 30 in-house calibres, the Frederique Constant factory can now claim a high level of integration. One of these is its tourbillon, fitted with a silicon escapement wheel and anchor. This non-magnetic movement unaffected by temperature changes helps watch owners keep their timepiece accurate, as was the original purpose of the tourbillon.
The seconds are marked by a silent hand that travels above the tourbillon cage. Each watch has a unique serial number that is engraved on the cage and repeated along the edge of the sapphire caseback. Traditional watchmaking techniques like beveling, beading, circular graining, straight-grained flanks, and mirror polishing are on full display here as they were applied to the FC-980 calibre. The power reserve of the mechanism is 38 hours.
Frederique Constant has rethought its classic look for 2023
The Classics Tourbillon Manufacture has been updated and modernised. Since 2008, watches have featured a tourbillon aperture in the shape of a comma, which allows it to fit neatly into the dial in a way that is both dynamic and unusual. The comma has been swapped out for a circle in this printing. Applique hour markers and hand polishing give the dial a pristine appearance. Reworked gold hands (narrower and longer) move gracefully over a sun-brushed anthracite grey face. Diamond-cut bevels have been added to the hour markers and hands for maximum radiance.
A dark matte brown leather strap with a deployment clasp featuring the Frederique Constant coat of arms is included with the Classics Tourbillon Manufacture.
Frederique Constant is 35 years old, which means it is still a young Manufacture with virtually unlimited potential. As such, the brand has gradually expanded its range to include more select timepieces destined for experienced collectors, in addition to its main collections, the aim of which is to provide carefully crafted yet affordable watches.
One of their most coveted complications is the tourbillon. Looking ahead, Frederique Constant aspires to continue providing high-quality timepieces with refined aesthetics and consistently improved finishes.