When it comes to buy a serious dress watch, what will be your expectations? Whatever the money you’re ready to spend into this so-desired watch, you’ll probably want it to look classy, to have an interesting movement, to be featured with some complications and to be naturally elegant. Having a manufacture movement would of course be a welcomed extra… Which often means that this watch you’re looking for will cost you A LOT. Frederique Constant might however be a refreshing alternative, especially with their latest offer. Let’s have a look at the Frederique Constant Classic Manufacture Moonphase.
Frederique Constant has been known for creating attractive, classy and elegant watches that are now featuring an element that really talks to us here, at Monochrome-Watches: a in-house movement. In fact, they’ve been producing (since 2004, in their manufacture located near Geneva) more calibres than you could expect. In this Frederique Constant Classic Manufacture Moonphase is in reality encased the 19th in-house movement of the brand, which makes it quite a credible watchmaker, right. But before talking about our favorite subject, let’s look at the watch itself.
The first thing to note is the diameter chose by Frederique Constant for this Classic Manufacture Moonphase. Before this watch, the brand was used to deliver watches with a 42mm case, quite a robust dimension considering the dressier approach – something that was even more problematic on the slim editions. Here, the case has been reduced to a more elegant and easy 40.5mm. The design of this case (and this will also be the case for the dial) is clearly taking inspiration in some of the best watches around (not to name them, some vintage Patek Philippe watches). The case is fully polished with rounded case-bands and tapered, curved lugs. The bezel is rather thin and convex, creating a large aperture for the dial. Finally, the crown is pleasant, with an onion shape. The case is available in stainless steel or in rose gold plated stainless steel.
Even more pleasant is the dial. Again, inspirations from some “grande maisons” are present but the result can’t be rejected: this dial is beautiful to look at. The silver plate is slightly textured with a subtle sunburst finish. The indexes are applied to give some more depth and a more luxurious feeling. Their rectangular and facetted shape, together with the polish finishing, plays a lot with the light, just like the facetted Dauphine hands. The display remains classical but elegant and balanced, with the 3 main indications on the central axis (hours, minutes and seconds) while the date and the moon-phase are displayed in a subsidiary dial at 6 – again a very classical layout that gives echo to some of the most sought-after watches around. This dial clearly is elegant and pleasant.
Together with the movement, the coolest feature of this watch is clearly located on the back. It features something that you usually find in rare vintage watches: an officer caseback. Behind this hinged protection sit another caseback made in sapphire that allows a view on the movement. This calibre FC-715 is, as said previously, designed, developed and assembled in-house by Frederique Constant. This modern self-winding movement beats at 28.800 bhp and boasts 42 hours of power reserve. Its quite large diameter (30.5mm) makes it pleasant to look at, as well as the quality of the finish – circular Geneva stripes on the main bridge, blued screws, circular graining on the lower bridges, bevelled angles and a gilded rotor.
In the end, we clearly are in front of a highly elegant watch that, considering the inspirations in the design and the quality of the finishing, feels qualitative and luxurious. However, the price required remains in the lower range of luxury watches (cheaper, but not too cheap either). At 3.120 Euros in stainless steel and 3.490 Euros in rose gold plated stainless steel, it gives the opportunity to have an interesting in-house movement and a proper inspired look, without breaking your bank account. www.frederique-constant.com.