Frederique Constant is one of those under-the-radar brands that does a lot of things right, including make their own movements for a small but growing percentage of their collection. You see, FC makes around 120,000 watches per year, approximately 8 percent of which hold their own, manufacture movement. That may not sound like that much, but that means Frederique Constant is producing around 9,600 watches each year with an in-house movement inside (or, for pure comparison of scale, about twice as many as A. Lange & Sohne makes per annum).
Just this past weekend in Las Vegas, we got the chance to see a watch that while officially introduced in the BaselWorld season, didn't get too much attention - and that is a shame because it is really worth a look (why it's here on HODINKEE today). The brand new Frederique Constant Classics Manufacture, as seen above in our hand and below on our wrist, is a 42mm beauty that houses a new variation of the existing Maxime movement, cal. FC-710 that features an added center seconds hand. But, not only is the watch really good looking, so is the movement. Did we mention it's their own movement? We did? Well, breathe that in for a minute. Now guess the price.
The FC-710 caliber features traditional Cotes de Geneve and Collimacon pattern finishing, and is plated in rhodium. The solid gold rotor provides nice contrast through the super wide open sapphire crystal caseback. The case on the Classics Manufacture is rather nice, and the dial traditional and formal without being too staid. In fact, the watch actually reminds us a little bit of Laurent Ferrier's Galet Classic on the wrist (no lie), though the movements are finished a little differently.
Still, this new FC is making a really compelling case for those looking for a classical watch in a modern but modest size, with a true in-house movement and don't want to spend $10,000+. So about the price? The Frederique Constant Classics Manufacture in steel will sell for $2250, and the same watch coated in rose gold will be $2550.
Original article: Hands-On With The Excellent Frederique Constant Classics Manufacture (Live Photos, Specs, & Official Pricing) - Watches Worth Knowing About - HODINKEE