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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was in a Jewelers today and saw a watch that caught my eye. It's a Fred of Paris Chronograph. Believe it's part of the LVMH group but I've never heard of the brand and was wondering if anyone out there had any opinions on their quality? It was on sale from $3900 down to $2200.

 

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Fred of Paris?

Fred?

Where I a bit richer, I'd buy it just for the laugh of being able to show off by saying, "Yeah, it's a Fred of Paris!" As opposed to Fred of Cleveland.

Other sought after brands:

Clem of Hollywood
Festus & Elwood
Bubba, Geneve
 

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Sorry, I couldn't resist.

It is a sharp looking watch, though.

They have a web site at www.fred.com.

It appears they are part of LVMH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fred of Paris?

Fred?

Where I a bit richer, I'd buy it just for the laugh of being able to show off by saying, "Yeah, it's a Fred of Paris!" As opposed to Fred of Cleveland.

Other sought after brands:

Clem of Hollywood
Festus & Elwood
Bubba, Geneve
I've seen it called a few things..."Fred of Paris", "Fred Joellier" and just "Fred"....but I see your humor : )
 

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I think I would stay away. After doing a search all I find are ebay auctions on some smaller online retailers. I can't even find out what sort of movement they use.
 

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I do not own one but I do believe they are of the same group that owns Tag and they are fairly expensive watches
If your going to spend that kind of money at least buy a Tag if your buying something from LVMH.

But I would take that money and buy an Omega. A nice barely used one maybe a new lower end one.

Also I would look at Longines where I bet you would find comparable styling for less with equal quality if not slightly better.

If you buy that thread a try to sell it later you will take a heck of a hit and have a tough time finding a buyer in my view.

If you buy a Longines buy used as you will take a big hit there as well on a new one.

Bottom line is I can think of a lot better things to spend $2200.00. Suggest you look at the watches for sale here on WUS. Lots of great deals to be found here.
 

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Have you looked up the company history and creations before you posted?

Fred of Paris?

Fred?

Where I a bit richer, I'd buy it just for the laugh of being able to show off by saying, "Yeah, it's a Fred of Paris!" As opposed to Fred of Cleveland.

Other sought after brands:

Clem of Hollywood
Festus & Elwood
Bubba, Geneve
 

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This thread is my first encounter with the brand and I can't help it, the name just leads my thoughts to a weird place...

I'm, too sexy for my watch
Too sexy for my watch
Oh I think it's too much

I'm a savant, yeah
You know what I mean
When I wipe my little cloth
On my wristwatch

548641091af57_tom_of_finland.jpg

It's an intruding mental image. Just can't get it out of my head now.
 

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Have you looked up the company history and creations before you posted?
Well I was intrigued enough to look up Mr. Fred and Company and his connection with horology. As far as I read, Fred Samuel started the company in the 30's and their emphasis has been on designing jewelry. In the 90's, they became part of the LVMH group. No mention of watches in their on-site history, so how important could it be?

So really it's a jewelry brand that barely dabbles in watches. They're fashion watches. Presumably, the other companies in the LVMH probably do the manufacturing of "fred" watches. So again, we're at the same conclusion - the 2 grand would be better spent on a company that actually does watches.
 

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I was aware of Fred watches for about 10 years. I know they are more of a jewelry type watches and do not try to compare them to horology
type of watches. They are like some Cartier models who also use ETA movements. The emphasis is more on the case, dial and crystal design.
Having bought hundreds of watches and having been able to open them all in order to examine originality and take pics., I see which ones were well made
and which not so. I just purchased this Fred watch in 18K gold. The case with the movement and crystal weighs over 44 grams. That is a heavy well made case.
The inside is machined. I like the simple geometric design. The watch comes on alligator strap with the deployant. The deployant is gold plated and I think they should have
inluded a solid 18K deployant. I may and up making one in 18K. It is a watch you will see often in your area or on the Net.
fred18K8.JPG
fred18K1.JPG
 

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Well I was intrigued enough to look up Mr. Fred and Company and his connection with horology. As far as I read, Fred Samuel started the company in the 30's and their emphasis has been on designing jewelry. In the 90's, they became part of the LVMH group. No mention of watches in their on-site history, so how important could it be?
I've done a lot of research into FRED myself, over the last 5 years or so, which I've documented in a 2-page thread on my own forum. As previous posters seem to have already covered some of it here, I'll try not to duplicate their efforts. One thing I didn't see in scan reading the previous posts was any mention of what was once FRED's biggest claim to fame.

FRED are probably best remembered in popular culture for having supplied the ‘only on loan’ $250K ruby and diamond, white gold necklace, which was specially created for and worn by Julia Roberts in the 1990 ‘Pretty Woman’ movie's night at the opera scenes.


Although FRED isn’t actually mentioned during these sequences, 5 minutes from the end of the film, when Richard Gere is checking out of the Beverly Wilshire hotel, as he hands the box containing the necklace over the Reception desk, he says to the manager:

One last thing. If you could possibly... return this to Fred's for me, please.
 

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Re: Fred of Paris Watch: Opinions on Brand? More Back History.

So really it's a jewelry brand that barely dabbles in watches. They're fashion watches. Presumably, the other companies in the LVMH probably do the manufacturing of "fred" watches.
Possibly, but in the past it appears they have collaborated with other mainstream watch manufacturers. :think:

During my research into FRED, I found an online presentation (77 pages) given by Henri Samuel in 2011.

http://www.csti.paris-sorbonne.fr/LGB/paris-sorbonne/lea/contributions/h-samuel/h-samuel.pdf

Here's a few of the slides I saved at the time:







That 'joint venture' began in 1988 - I believe not directly with Seiko Japan (who obviously sanctioned it), but with their French subsidiary, C.G.H. - Compagnie Générale Horlogère - a conglomerate formed of Seiko France, Yema, Jaz, etc..
 

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Re: Fred of Paris Watch: Opinions on Brand? Any brand that uses a 7A38 is OK in my book !

So why should I be interested in FRED, you might be wondering.

Those of you who recognise me (my avatar and username are a bit of a giveaway), will know that I collect Seiko 7A38 chronographs.
But not just Seiko - also any other brand which uses the same 15J quartz day / date chronograph movement, including (but not only):
Yema, Kamatz, Jaz, Orient, Puma, Racer, Cartier Ferrari Formula (Cal. 531), etc. That's the main ones. The list is seemingly endless.

Evidently during that collaboration with Seiko, FRED also produced an upmarket 7A38 based chronograph.

I first found evidence of it back in June 2014, when I saw this listing for a FRED dial on eBay France.




Being a sucker for anything 7A38 related I bought it, needless to say. The seller subsequently listed 2 more, soon after which I also bought.

It was obviously a 7A38 dial. There isn't anything else quite like that tri-compax layout, with the day / date windows in the 1/10 sub-dial.



One of the first things I did was to drop a Seiko 7A38 movement spacer over the dial feet. Needless to say it was a perfect fit.



I went on to build that first FRED dial into a Franken 7A38, based on a Seiko 7A38-7020 two-tone. Sacrilege I know. :-d



Check out the day / date ! b-)

PS - As part of the challenge I'd set myself, I elected to use the (brass) FRED Tachymeter ring. In hindsight, it would probably have been a better idea to use a white (plastic) Seiko one. Even using a crystal with a gold border, in a failed attempt to cover them, the 6 cut-outs around the periphery of the FRED Tachymeter ring are still visible. :-|
 

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Re: Fred of Paris Watch: Opinions on Brand? The search began ....

I then spent about 3 months, literally scouring the internet, searching for any photo of that elusive FRED Force 10 chronograph using that 7A38 dial. I looked everywhere. Eventually I found one after searching through the online archive of a French men's fashion magazine (L'officiel Hommes issue Nº 75 of 1989, page 41):



Having eventually found an image of it, I wrote in the thread on my forum somewhat dismissively: Pretty or tasteful, it ain't !

During my earlier Google searches I'd found a very old online article about FRED, which amazingly still exists:

http://www.exero.com/mastergate/secured/fashion/fred.htm

Towards the end of the article, I read this paragraph, which intrigued me:

Understudies in 1988 to the Force 10 troupe were the first pair of sunglasses and the prototype of the first chronograph. A dramatic introduction, they were worn by the famous rally world champion, Ari Vatanen, during the difficult Paris-Dakar race. With the force of ten, the road to stardom was also another road victory for both driver and eyewear.
Ari Vatanen was an ambassador for FRED at the time, hence the prominent collar patch on his race overalls. (Photo © Getty Images).



So I emailed Ari. He replied almost immediately, saying that he still had the watch (his wife Rita wears it) and that it used the same dial.
I guess he was busy (out of the country), but it took him 3 months and a few chasers, before he sent me these 3 photos of his watch:





Note that Ari's watch uses the 10-strand nautical stainless wire rope bracelet, rather than the leather strap. Though going by its case-back serial number, it isn't a 'prototype', as stated in that article, but a normal regular production version.
 
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