Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve Manufacture

Classical elegance mixed with a contemporary and practical display.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

The Slimline range is at the core of Frederique Constant, a part of the brand’s portfolio for a long time. It showcases a more classical and refined take on the concept of affordable luxury Frederique Constant is known for. With an elegant flair, contemporary touches, and of course, in-house movements, there’s a lot to discover. With dressy time-only models on one end and more complex watches like the Slimline Perpetual Calendar or groundbreaking Slimline Monolithic on the other, the brand serves up something for everyone. Somewhere in the middle, at least in terms of complexity and display, is the Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve we’re revisiting today.

The Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve was presented a couple of years ago, and we spent some hands-on time with it. The Slimline is part of the Manufacture collection, meaning it uses an in-house developed movement. Frederique Constant relies on the vertical integration of the Citizen Watch Group it belongs to and is thus able to develop and produce manufacture movements at a staggering rate. The Slimline Power Reserve housed the company’s 28th manufacture calibre, and since then, the count is in the 30s.

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Spending time with the FC Slimline Power Reserve is always a pleasant experience. Its size and proportions are very nice. With a modest 40mm diameter, it remains a rather restraint looking watch. The domed sapphire crystal kicks the height up to approximately 10mm, but visually the watch looks slimmer than that thanks to the shape and construction of the case. A small onion-shaped crown is positioned on the right-hand side. Next to a stainless steel model, there’s also a rose gold-plated version available, both fully polished.

The Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve comes with a domed dial in either a silvery-white or navy blue tone. Originally it was also presented with a dark grey dial and matching grey strap, but it is no longer available. And to be honest, the dial is where this watch really shines. Its diameter is fairly large, thanks to the relatively slim bezel. Slender roman numerals are printed in black (silver dial) or white (blue dial) for every hour.

The lower half is “dominated” by a subtle date display, with odd numbers and a slender hand pointing at today’s date. The upper-left section of the dial shows why this watch is called the Slimline Power Reserve. Spanning from 9 to 11 o’clock, with a hand positioned at 10 o’clock, the power reserve display indicates the watch’s 50-hour lifespan. A nice touch is the gradually increasing size of the red dots used for the lower end of the scale, indicating the watch is almost out of energy.

Frederique Constant has opted not to include a central (or subsidiary) seconds hand which benefits the clean look of the watch. The hands have a subtle leaf shape to them and come in black or white, depending on the colour of the dial. Lastly, the brand’s logo is positioned in the upper-right section to balance out the subsidiary displays. The final result is a dial that remains light from a visual perspective yet offers excellent day-to-day practicality. It looks dressy, fit for more formal occasions, but pairs just as well go with more casual attire.

Turning the watch over, you can see the FC-723 in-house automatic movement through the sapphire crystal caseback. The bowl-shaped caseback flows seamlessly downwards from the caseband and carries the watch’s identification. An openworked winding rotor reveals most of the movement inside the FC Slimline Power Reserve. As mentioned, when presenting this watch in 2019, the FC-723 was the brand’s 28th in-house calibre.

It is nicely decorated, to a level you expect from Frederique Constant and at this price range. We see blued screws, Côtes de Genève, perlage, an engraved FC logo next to the movement number, jewel count and “Swiss Made” inscriptions. It runs at a frequency of 28,000vph and provides a more than adequate 50 hours of running time when fully wound.

The Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve is worn on an alligator leather strap in black, dark brown or navy blue (depending on the reference). The navy blue strap comes with contrasting stitching, adding a more casual touch to the overall look. All straps are fitted with a folding clasp corresponding to the case finish (i.e. steel or rose gold-plated). The Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve currently retails for EUR 3,295 in stainless steel or EUR 3,595 in rose gold-plated steel.

All in all, this is a well-made watch with a nice automatic movement, modest dimensions and a great deal of presence without being too in-your-face about it. The indications on the dial are light to the eye and keep the watch looking relatively balanced. The combination of the dressy style with the ease of use on a daily basis works rather well. So, in short, you can’t really go wrong with such a watch.

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