The Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture is a high-end flex from an accessible brand

The Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture is a high-end flex from an accessible brand

Fergus Nash
  • The Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture celebrates the brand’s 35th birthday.
  • The calibre FC-980 returns as the brand’s flagship in-house movement.
  • It’s a limited edition of 150 pieces.

Frederique Constant is often referred to as an affordable luxury brand, which I believe does them somewhat of a disservice. While they do have a large range of watches on an affordable end of the scale, we shouldn’t erase the focus that they’ve been putting on high-end pieces for quite some time. Their first in-house tourbillon movement was produced all the way back in 2008, and that is what powers this new Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture in 2023.

Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture brown leather strap

The Classics collection is what its name suggests, honouring the traditional side of Swiss watchmaking while reining in a new generation of buyers. Frederique Constant are a relatively young brand at only 35 years old, but they have come a long way in a highly competitive industry. The simple name of Tourbillon Manufacture sums up the approach that Frederique Constant took with this watch, simply crafting a watch which summarises the peak of their journey so far. The established base is a 39mm, 18k rose gold case, with a gently sloping bezel and a polished finish that makes the whole thing look like liquid. The lugs extend neatly without detracting too much attention from the main feature, which could have been done too easily.

Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture dial seconds subdial

The dial is about as simple as they come, making for a perfect dress watch with luxury flair. The brushed anthracite grey dial transitions between black and silver depending on the light, before being warmed through by the applied rose gold hour markers and alpha hands. Of course, it is hard to get past the great gaping tourbillon cage at the base of the dial, removing the bottom three hour markers entirely and reaching all the way up to the capped centre pinion, a feature that is considered special even on haute horology pieces. Making things even more special amongst the vibrant blued screws of the tourbillon cage, you can see an engraved and gold-filled serial number of your particular watch out of the 150 pieces in this limited edition.

Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture gold case

The calibre FC-980 has been around since 2008 as previously mentioned, however it still looks as gorgeous as ever. Through the sapphire display caseback, you can peer in and see the chamfering, mirror polishing, flanks drawing and circular graining that’s just as enticing to stare at as the front of the watch. The silicon escape wheel and anchor also ensures anti-magnetic properties for the tourbillon cage, further reducing environmental impacts to the calibre’s timekeeping. The power reserve is only 38 hours, but that shouldn’t be an issue with automatic winding thanks to the simplicity of setting a time-only watch. The beat rate is 4Hz, giving a smooth and hypnotic sweep to the seconds hand atop the tourbillon.

The Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture pricing and availability:

The Frederique Constant Classics Tourbillon Manufacture is a limited edition of 150 pieces individually numbered. Price: US$24,595

Brand Frederique Constant
Model Classics Tourbillon Manufacture
Case Dimensions 39mm x 10.99mm x 44mm
Case Material 18k rose gold
Water Resistance 30m
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Anthracite
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Brown leather
Movement FC-980
Power Reserve 38 hours
Availability Limited to 150 pieces
Price US$27,995