Monochrome Watches
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Frederique Constant Revisits its Classic Date Manufacture

Smaller but more powerful, the three new Classic Date Manufacture models tone down the classicism with a refreshed dial.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 2 min read |

Accessible luxury has always been a byword at Frederique Constant, and the brand’s aptly named Classic collection is home to a variety of classic complications in classically styled cases. One of the cornerstones in the collection, displaying a date function in a subsidiary dial, has been refreshed for 2024 with a more compact case size, new dial colours and other design tweaks that make it, well, less classical. Powered by a new-generation in-house movement, the new Classic Date Manufacture benefits from an extended power reserve and a 5-year warranty.

While the round case is immediately recognisable as a Classic family member, with its wide bezel, distinctive onion-shaped crown and straight lugs, it is clear that Frederique Constant has been listening to market demands for smaller-sized watches. The heyday of oversized watches seems to have peaked, and many brands are downsizing diameters.

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Instead of the former 42mm diameter of the Classic Manufacture, the new stainless steel case of the Classic Date Manufacture measures 40mm and has a thick girth of 12.4 mm. The 50m water-resistant case is polished throughout to enhance this model’s elegant dress watch spirit. It follows the evolution of the collection we’ve seen recently with the Classic Power Reserve Big Date.

Another novelty is the absence of classical Roman numerals found in earlier editions. Today, the dial features elegant, tapering, and applied dagger-shaped hour markers, matching the shape of the Alpha-style hour and minute hands. The facets of the markers and hands are diamond-cut and polished by hand, and the markers at 5 and 7 o’clock are truncated to accommodate the circular date disc at 6 o’clock, indicated by a silver-coloured hand. The broader tip of the hour markers rests on a ‘chemin de fer’ or railway-style minutes track. Available in salmon, silver or black, the dial has a lovely sunray finish that diffuses the light evenly and softly.

The Classic Date Manufacture has also benefitted from a mechanical upgrade and is powered by the new FC-706 Manufacture movement. The old 38-hour calibres powering the earlier references (FC-710) are now replaced with the latest automatic movement and its increased autonomy of 72 hours (3 days). The bridges, which have been redesigned to accommodate the larger barrel, are decorated with circular graining and fan-shaped Côtes de Genève.

All three iterations are paired with elegant alligator straps with tone-on-tone stitching and a folding buckle. The Classic Date Manufacture retails for CHF 3,295.

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