Frederique Constant’s Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is back in smoky grey

Frederique Constant’s Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is back in smoky grey

Buffy Acacia
  • The Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture enters its third iteration in three years.
  • It was designed by Peter Speake, famed for past involvement with Piccadilly watches of Speake-Marin.
  • This version is the most versatile with a steel case and grey dial, and is limited to 135 pieces.

2023 was a pretty wild year for Frederique Constant, repositioning their brand in the minds of watch enthusiasts from budget-friendly traditionalists to versatile, affordable luxury. That’s not to say their more impressive watches didn’t exist before last year, but they flew somewhat under the radar. That’s no longer the case, and to open 2024 they’ve returned for a third run of a 2022 limited edition, the Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture.

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture grey 1

Perpetual calendars have always been an attractive complication for collectors, not just because of their utility but also because of the technical prowess that’s required to build one. In the last few years, however, it seems that there’s been a growing obsession with them among watchmakers. It has become a quest for them to figure out how best to display all of that information without overwhelming the reader or oversimplifying it.

This particular watch wasn’t designed by the usual Frederique Constant team, but by Peter Speake, best known for his work at Renaud & Papi and founding of Speake-Marin. When it first came about in 2022 it was limited to 99 pieces and featured a funky combination of brown and blue accents, and last year saw a 35-piece, black-on-black PVD version, but here we have 135 pieces of a smokeshow in palettes of grey.

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture grey 2

Skeleton dials are usually less legible than standard ones, considering the rich detail of components in grey, gold, and the sheen of the blued screws. The organised chaos of a watch movement is a beautiful thing to behold, but it’s not the most conducive to actually reading the time. The Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is fairly legible for its genre, though, with large rings and bright, skeletonised hands to relay its information.

The weekday ring at 9 and the pointer date ring at 3 are given the highest priority, with a small subdial for the months placed at 12 o’clock. Leap years are subtly integrated, turning the dot representing February to red when we’re due to get that extra day. That alone saves a lot of dial space, as a whole subdial isn’t necessary for a whole three years out of the cycle. Finally, there’s a stripped-back moonphase display at 6 o’clock.

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture grey 3

Wearability and legibility might not seem directly correlated, but balancing them does require finesse in a context such as this. The 42mm diameter offers a lot of breathing room for the dial, accentuated by a relatively thin bezel and case. The lug-to-lug length only extends to 47mm, which is a great effort to maintain comfort on smaller wrists. The 12.05mm height seems like a nice height for its width, eased by the gentle, curved slope of the polished steel. Through the sapphire display caseback, you can see the Frederique Constant manufacture calibre FC-775, with an anthracite-coated bridge and a blued skeletonised rotor for automatic winding. The 4Hz beat rate and 38-hour power reserve is perfect for a daily wearer, or bound to be the star of an office rotation.

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture pricing and availability

The Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture in grey is limited to 135 pieces, and will be available from March 2024 at the Citizen Flagship Store in New York and at some Frederique Constant retailers. Price: US$11,995.

Brand Frederique Constant
Model Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
Reference FC-775PS4S6
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 12.05mm (T) x 47mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Grey skeletonised
Bracelet Grey nylon with leather backing
Movement FC-775, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 38 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, weekday, date, month, leap year, moonphase
Availability Limited to 135 pieces, available from March 2024 at select retailers
Price US$11,995