The beauty of the moon, shiny yellow gold, sparkling mother of pearl and shimmering diamonds. The stunning watchmakers and engineers at the Swiss brand, Frederique Constant, have brought together all these things into a single new collection that is sure to make any lady’s pulse race. The Frederique Constant Slimline Ladies Moonphase Collection has no less than six brand new styles, each more amazing than the last.
All items in the family are fuelled by the FC-206 quartz caliber five-jewel movement. The 30 mm steel case will attract the eye with its ultra-feminine appearance. The dial is an amazing mother of pearl, buffered by diamond-hard sapphire crystal, and speaking of diamonds, the hour indexes has no less than eight hand applied diamonds (0.02 ct). The soft hands are hand polished to a rich shine, and the moon phase display is located at the 6 o’clock position.
The brilliant workers at Frederique Constant Slimline Ladies Moonphase have also made the watch so that all features (hours, minutes and moonphase) are changeable with a single crown, and in spite of their petite appearance, every piece in the range is water resistant to three atmospheres. Two of the models are shown with yellow gold plated steel cases. The FC-206MPWD1S5 comes with a shiny beige leather strap, while the FC-206MPWD1S5B features a yellow gold plated bracelet with seven rows of slim gold links.
The next four models have highly shined stainless steel cases, and yet again, each item is completely special. The FC-206MPWD1S6 comes with a shiny, dark blue leather strap, while the FC-206MPWD1S6B is shown with a sheeny stainless steel seven-row bracelet.
Finally, the FC-206MPWD1SD6 and FC-206MPWD1SD6B both show something extra cool. As well as the diamond indexes, these two items also have over half-carat of sparkling diamonds (0.56 ct) set in the watch dial’s edges. The first is done with a classic, shiny, black leather strap; the other with the amazing stainless steel bracelet. In 2016, the Swiss watch manufacturer Frederique Constant is doing even more to enrich and consolidate its Slimline range, which has turned, over the years, into a brand icon with the Slimline Auto Heart Beat.
The amazingly elegant, three brand models have pure lines and the beauty of the design, one of the finest models of Frederique Constant. Indeed with their 40mm case, coming inside a polished stainless steel or a lovely rose gold plated, these new timepieces are visibly masculine and will look stylish on any man’s wrist.
A stunning mix between classical timepiece and creativity comes as we see a bit of the jewelled mechanism in the dial at 12’ o’clock. The stunning, classic and amazing design of Frederique Constant watches are nonetheless enhanced by numerous details that are often also innovative. It was Frederique Constant in 1994 that developed the very first Heart Beat watch by showing the mechanical movement and therefore created a trend throughout the Horological industry.
The end product of a practice in style, and with the idea of simplicity, the Slimline Auto Heart Beat shows off a style towards the best. These new timepieces show some codes that improve its unique style and its top simplicity with its thin shiny baton-type hours markers, along with a big pure dial, either dark grey or silver. The new design of the new Slimline Auto Heartbeat shows them as light, both to see and touch.
The 2015 Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture Ladies (ref. FC-703VD3SD4) is one of the finest timekeepers introduced by the brand so far. It is also one of their (still precious few) models that are powered not by a slightly redecorated version of a run-off-the-mill blank movement made either by ETA or Sellita, but by a new caliber that was developed and built by Frederique Constant on their own production facilities. That says something, right?
With this new model, the Swiss brand further develops the idea that first materialized in their 2011 Maxime Manufacture Automatic Lady Chocolate model: a watch that uses its slightly oversized case to make a cleaner, more legible timekeeper that at the same time looks elegant and timeless. It is extremely satisfying to see that in such a short time of fewer than three years the company made huge progress in the design department. Revealed just a week ago during Baselworld 2015 industry event, the new device offers a layout that is not only much more pleasant to look at but is actually a lot readable than the previous model: something that you rarely encounter when it comes to timekeepers designed for women.
With this model, Frederique Constant chooses the same path as, say, Girard Perregaux: they get rid of stamped faux “guilloche” pattern in favor of a plain-looking silver dial that doesn’t divert our attention from the model’s main points of attraction: a moon phase display, which is, as usual, combined with a circular calendar, and eight finely cut diamonds that serve as hour markers (they are accompanied by rose gold-plated, hand-applied stick shaped indices that well match the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands). Featuring classic convex shape, the dial looks like it was sand-blasted by the finest particles acquiring that gorgeous silky-matte texture that is not just pleasant for an eye but also serves as a good background for the hour and minute hands.
The whole impression of a delicate timepiece is enhanced by a thin bezel. Set with 60 diamonds, the bezel is not just a part that holds the sapphire crystal in its place but is also a beautiful frame for the dial. I may sound suspiciously mellow here, but this beautiful device impressed me. Frankly, I didn’t expect such a refined piece of luxury from this relatively young brand.
As for the case, at almost 39 millimeters in diameter, it may look unnaturally large on a lady’s wrist unless you are a taller person. You need to have relatively long hands for the timepiece to look good there. But that’s subjective, alright. Its slim profile makes the device quite wearable: the FC-703VD3SD4 doesn’t feel massive on a hand, although, for reasons that you probably understand, author of this short review didn’t have a chance to prove it in person.
Another thing that may turn a number of customers off is the fact that the case is not crafted from solid gold. According to the Swiss brand, it is made of rose gold-plated stainless steel. Also, the choice of materials makes the timekeeper about ten times cheaper than a similar model made from real gold, it also makes the watch more vulnerable to dings and scratches: something that can be successfully buffed out by a skilled hand will probably ruin the watch with thin gold plating. Luckily, modern gold plating techniques employed by serious brands make the finish a lot more sustainable than those of the past.
Like many other watchmakers that previously used ETA blank calibers in their timepieces, Frederique Constant Slimline Ladies Moonphase invests lots of funds into designing their own movements. This new watch, for example, is powered by their new Caliber FC-703 self-winding mechanism. Said to be specifically developed to power their women’s watches, the mechanism is compact and slim. Also, judging by the pictures disseminated by the brand, it looks like this a natural-born moon phase movement: it doesn’t look like the indicator is attached to the base plate with an add-on module, although it is hard to be sure. As their recent batch of calibers, the mechanism is finely decorated and features their signature open-worked oscillating weight that, too, seems to be gold-plated. If not an extensive use of perlage on the base plate, I would even call it one of the finest mechanisms in this price range.
Although I don’t usually approve watches powered by “manufacture” calibers made by smaller brands (they are sometimes difficult to service and repair if you don’t happen to live in a big city), this one is worth the risk of getting one.