Relentless in their pursuit of making classic designs with movements and complications that would typically be reserved for a much higher price bracket, and making it just a bit more attainable, Frédérique Constant have unveiled their take on a thin in-house perpetual calendar movement with the Frédérique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture watch, and the result is sure to please with prices just around 8,000 CHF.
First things first, for a perpetual calendar watch to be priced in the mid four figures and topping out at just around the five-figure mark for a gold, albeit gold-plated, version is quite a feat. Add on top of that the presence of an in-house movement, and you’ve got a combination for success. To put the Frédérique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture watch in context, pieces like the Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar watch asking €10,000 in steel are almost unheard of. Moving on from the value proposition, I’ve got some thoughts on the aesthetics of the piece.
I find myself preferring the looks of the more modern variants of the Frédérique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture. To be sure, the perpetual calendar, especially as executed here with the triple subdial layout plus a moonphase indicator, is very much an old-school look. This means it can get to looking (and feeling) a bit tired. With the smooth dial and stick indices, Frédérique Constant manages to unclutter the look and bring it closer to the modern era. Adding in what I feel to be their signature handset brings the complete package to a ready-for-anything sort of look, while the Breguet hand-equipped watch feels like it is more for the occasions when you have a suit or tux on. That isn’t to say the cleaner look couldn’t fit with a suit, as it most certainly could.
The new movement inside the Frédérique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is known as the FC-775 calibre, produced and assembled by Frédérique Constant. In order to keep the overall watch slim, the movement itself only measures in at 6.7mm thick, while still giving a place for the perpetual calendar complication to call home. Other specs of note for the automatic movement would be the 38-hour power reserve and a running frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vph).
For the ultimate flexibility with the Frédérique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, I should think that the steel case is the route to go, as the rose gold (along with this style of watch, regardless of dial and hands) can feel much more formal. As to the white or blue dial, I suppose, that is up to you. Now, serious horology nerds are going to likely freak out over this watch, and for good cause. As previously mentioned, pricing will be somewhere around 8,000 CHF for the steel version and likely not considerably more for the pink gold-plated version.