Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Frederique Constant Classics Premiere Collection with a La Joux-Perret Movement

Knowing the connection between FC and LJP, this feels like the most natural move...

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

Frederique Constant is well-known for its wide portfolio of manufacture movements, ranging from classic time-only to high-end tourbillons and perpetual calendars. Still, not all watches from FC are powered by these internally developed and assembled calibres. Specifically, most of the brand’s entry-level models rely on Sellita movements. A new collection, which has just been presented, is about to change this, with powerful movement sourced from La Joux-Perret. And knowing the connection between these entities, you’ll see that it does make sense to see the G100 powering the new Frederique Constant Classics Premiere Collection.

While it was founded by Peter and Aletta Stas in 1988, the Swiss watchmaker and its sister brand Alpina are now subsidiaries of the Citizen Watch Company, after being acquired in 2016. And it might also be said that FC and Alpina are not the only Swiss entities owned by the Japanese corporation, which also owns Arnold & Son and La Joux-Perret in La Chaux de Fonds. Thus, it makes complete sense for Frederique Constant to source third-party movements from within the group. And it has materialized, for the first time with time-only calibres, with the new Classics Premiere watches and their G100 automatic movements.

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As explained in this article, the calibre G100 was presented alongside the L100 (automatic chronograph with column wheel, which has been seen in the Highlife Chronograph Automatic) and D100 (evolution of the Peseux 7001) by la Joux-Perret, with the intention to offer alternatives to classic movements from ETA and Sellita. The G100, or calibre FC-301 when encased by Frederique Constant, isn’t an ETA clone, even though its dimensions make it compatible with the casings of the ETA 2824. A solid, pragmatic movement (its development started with Miyota designs), it is produced in Switzerland, offers a comfortable power reserve of 68 hours, and runs at a 4Hz frequency. It is here presented in a so-called soignée version with blued screws and stripes. Not only does it feel strategically natural for FC to use this movement, but it also brings serious upgrades compared to the 38-hour power reserve of a SW200.

The rest of the Classics Premiere is typical of Frederique Constant’s production. Measuring a reasonable 38.50mm diameter, with a very manageable thickness of 10.6mm, these watches are perfectly entering the accessible dress watch category with their polished cases, smooth profiles and, a signature of FC, their onion crown. Available in steel or in rose gold-plated steel, all are equipped with sapphire crystals on both sides and worn on a black leather strap with crocodile pattern, closed by a pin buckle matching the case material.

The dial of the Classics Premiere is, once again, a no-surprise from FC, with traditional elements all around. The centre part features an embossed guilloche-like pattern and is framed by a brushed chapter ring. The latter is home to a railroad minute track and applied Roman numerals, a great match with the Breguet-style hands. Silver and dark grey options are offered, with respectively black or white dial hardware. Elegant, timeless, maybe a bit too old-school for some.

Released as limited editions of 500 pieces per colourway, the watches of the Frederique Constant Classics Premiere Collection are now available from the brand and its retailers. The two steel models retail for EUR 1,695 and the rose gold-plated edition for EUR 1,995.

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4 responses

  1. The white dial one looks pretty cool, but its a shame that they couldn’t get a minute hand long enough to reach the minutes track.

  2. I’m getting so sick and tired of the whole Limited Edition thing. These watches are easily good enough to be part of FC’s permanent collection – an elegant and classic design that they should have enough faith in that it will sell steadily over the longer term.

  3. Great looking watch with an excellent movement. I was expecting it to be priced higher, so this is a nice surprise.

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