Decidedly feminine and intriguingly alluring, the new Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture watch (yes, it is a long name) will dazzle you in an instant. The magnificent midnight blue dial depicts a stunning rendition of the moon and stars that captures the eye at a glance. However, this watch is not just a pretty face, as it will also talk to those with love for the nice mechanics.
Before we describe this mysterious beauty and what it was like to wear it, we want to familiarize you with the Frederique Constant brand. If you don’t know already, this is a relatively young brand by watchmaking standards. Frederique Constant was founded just under 30 years ago in 1988 (I was covering the watch industry then and remember the launch well). Husband-and-wife team, Peter Constant Stas and his wife, Aletta Francoise Frederique Stas-Bax, co-founded the brand (which is a mix of both of their names) and positioning it as a top-quality Swiss watch with a true value proposition. For the past three decades, the brand has held true to that ideal, with simple and complicated watches being unveiled at incredible prices.
The inherent craftsmanship in each watch, along with the fact that the movements are made in-house at the brand’s manufacture, attests to the dedication of the team when it comes to creating fine timepieces. This most recent release is a prime example.
Designed by Aletta Stas, the Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture watch is both elegant and technical – with a deft mix of mystery and refinement. The 38.8mm watch is offered in two versions. One is rose-gold-plated steel with a blue dial, and the other is stainless steel with a black dial.
I borrowed the rose-gold-plated steel version with the navy blue dial, Reference FC-701NSD3SD4, which is magnificently decorated with eight diamond markers and shimmering white stars across the entire dial. The hand-polished leaf-shaped hands indicate the hours and the minutes on the dial. At 12 o’clock there is a circular aperture, through which a moonphase indication is seen. The moonphase disk, on a lower level of the multi-layer dial, is crafted with a blue dial and rose-gold-hued stars and moon to match the upper dial.
The three-part case shimmers gracefully thanks to the meticulously set diamond bezel, with 60 brilliant-cut 0.5-carat diamonds surrounding the sparkling dial.
The Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture is powered by the FC-701 automatic movement made in-house and decorated with perlage and Cotes de Genève details. The 26-jewel movement offers a power reserve of 43 hours. A transparent caseback gives a view into the complex calibre. Water resistant to 3ATM, the watch is finished with a black or blue alligator strap. The base movement is the same as used in various masculine watches of the brand, including the Classic Manufacture or the Slimline Moonphase Manufacture.
Wearing the watch was an interesting experience in that it regularly caught eyes and turned heads. Ergonomically, the watch was a dream to wear because the case tapered bigger on the dial side and then smaller in diameter on the wrist side making it very comfortable. The crown, from which all the functions are set, was easy to open and the deployant clasp made putting the watch on and off a breeze.
Perhaps the only downfall to this watch, I must admit, is that it was sometimes difficult to see the hands, which are just a tiny bit too thin. In certain light, against the shimmering background, the hands got a little lost.
I got a lot of compliments, especially in the daytime, on this Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture because of its shimmering design. Additionally, even though it was bedecked with diamonds, it is a really easy piece to wear all day and then to night. Making it even more desirable: the retail price. This starry-night watch sells for EUR 4,295. The rose-gold-plated model sells for just EUR 300 more, at EUR 4,595. More details on frederiqueconstant.com.
This article has been written by Roberta Naas, founder of A Timely Perspective; and author of six books on watches.