Proclaiming to be the “world’s first 3.0 watch,” Frederique Constant’s Hybrid Manufacture was launched to great fanfare on 22 February, in New York. The Hybrid Manufacture combines a mechanical calibre with smartwatch functionality in a 42mm case that is the epitome of a traditional, conservative mechanical watch. Urwerk’s EMC Time Hunter is the forerunner in this field, offering the same analytics about the movement’s performance, but the new Frederique Constant also offers more functionality like we have seen in their previous Horlogical Smart watches.
What does it do?
Entirely developed in-house, the mechanical part of the FC-750 calibre is dedicated to hours, minutes, central seconds and a date function. The electronic part of calibre FC-750, powered by a rechargeable battery, offers the wearer activity tracking, sleep monitoring, a world timer and a diagnostic tool to check the vital statistics of your wristwatch. One of the main challenges encountered by F. Constant’s watchmakers was the removal of negative magnetic effects between the mechanical and electronic parts leading to the development of a patented anti-magnetic shield case. Fitted with a sapphire crystal case back, the movement on display is the mechanical one with its openworked gold-coloured rotor.
All the smartwatch functions run on a dedicated iPhone app and Bluetooth connectivity is established via the pusher located on the left side of the case. The smartwatch function is displayed in the counter on the dial at 12 o’clock, a similar solution applied to F. Constant’s first Horological Smartwatch of 2015.
If you can monitor your heart rate, why not monitor the health of your watch is the reasoning behind Frederique Constant’s Calibre Analytics tool. Designed to measure rate, amplitude and beat error, the application undertakes a daily check-up and reports back to HQ with its findings. What is not clear, however, from the press release is whether the app can correct the anomalies automatically or not?
A traditional face
It would be hard to imagine a watch design more steeped in tradition than the Hybrid Manufacture. Whether this is an advantage for a watch that boasts smartwatch functions or a bit too old-school for tech geeks remains to be seen, but the look is most definitely classic. All four models are housed in 42mm stainless steel cases (with one variation in rose gold plated steel). The round polished cases feature a knurled crown – reminiscent of a vintage-style onion crown – and the dial of the three regular production models is decorated with guilloché, Breguet-style hands and classic Roman numerals. The fourth model, with a slightly sportier spirit, is a limited edition of 888 pieces and comes with luminous hands and applied indices.
The mechanical component of the FC-750 motor beats at 28,800vph and offers a respectable power reserve of 42 hours. The battery supervising the smart functions in the FC-750 movement has a life of approximately seven days and is recharged via the crown. The watch comes with a dedicated – and extremely large -Rotator Charger Box that includes a removable charger for the electronic functionality and a rotating box to charge the mainspring in the mechanical calibre. Naturally, you don’t have to lug the box around with you since the charger can be removed for travelling and connected by a USB cable.
Available online, prices for the stainless steel Hybrid Manufacture start at EUR 3,250 and reach EUR 3,550 for the rose gold plated model. More info at Frederiqueconstant.com.