The Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture is a sign of a brand going upmarketFergus Nash
- The Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture combines elegant style with mechanical wow factor
- It’s highly accessible in design, referencing classic mid-century styles
- The FC-735 is Frederique Constant’s 31st in-house movement, signalling their intent to continue driving their brand upmarket
Sometimes the little things in life are worth celebrating, and for Frederique Constant, it’s the release of their 31st in-house calibre. Slowly but surely, the 35-year old Swiss brand have been working their way up into the upper tiers of luxury watchmaking, moving on from the affordable approach that they began with. This latest release is the Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture, and it’s as elegant as can be in all things except its model name.
At its core, and aside from the prices, the Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture is all about accessibility. No part of the watch is too outlandish to be approachable, but it manages to keep enough intrigue to not be boring. The 40mm case is mirror-polished with a relatively thick bezel and a slight step down to the mid-case, where the lugs come out at a subtle angle in a mid-century design. Ramming home the vintage inspiration is the onion crown, which seals in a water resistance of 50 metres in the stainless steel models, and 30 metres for the precious metal pieces. You’ll notice that there are no bulky or even hidden pushers on the case, streamlining its silhouette at the same time as its ease of operation. The case height of 12.19mm is on the thicker side for a watch of this type, though slender enough to feel sophisticated while giving you that weighty, luxurious impression.
It’s difficult to discuss in a way which aligns with the Classic Power Reserve Big Date’s elegant atmosphere, but the choice of complications perfectly sums up everything that’s cool about mechanical watchmaking. The big date display carries a sense of gravity, while the power reserve gauge is a reminder that you need to wind the watch to keep it working, either via the crown or by wearing it. Moonphase displays always carry a kind of magic, as their slow-moving progress and starry sky depictions instil a sense of awe. The pointed applied hour markers are sharp and classical, matched by the well-proportioned alpha hands.
Four versions of the Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture have been created, with two limited editions and two standard models. The standard models use stainless steel cases and dials of either blue or silver, while the limited edition references are far more exotic. One limited to 350 pieces has a case of 18k rose gold and a grey dial, while the other, limited to just 35 pieces, is made from platinum and navy blue meteorite. All of these are powered by the in-house calibre FC-735, whose rose gold rotor and decoration is visible through the sapphire display caseback. It has a 50-hour power reserve as indicated on the dial, and beats at a smooth 4Hz.
Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture pricing and availability:
The Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture collection will be available from November 2023, with two standard models and two limited editions of 350 and 35 pieces respectively. Price: US$4,995 (stainless steel), US$19,995 (18k rose gold), US$27,995 (platinum)
|Model||Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture|
|Case Dimensions||40mm (D) x 12.9mm (T)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel
18k rose gold
|Water Resistance||5 ATM (steel models)
3 ATM (precious metal models)
|Dial||Silver or blue (steel models)
Grey (18k rose gold)
Navy meteorite (platinum)
|Strap||Blue or brown alligator leather|
|Movement||FC-735, in-house, automatic, crown-operated functions|
|Power Reserve||50 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, big date, moonphase|
|Availability||Regular production (steel)
350 pieces (18k rose gold)
35 pieces (platinum)
|Price||US$4,995 (stainless steel)
US$19,995 (18k rose gold)