“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Frédérique Constant at Geneva Watch Days

Frédérique Constant kept it classy and elegant at this year’s Geneva Watch Days with sophisticated releases in their Classic collection – the Classics Heart Beat Manufacture in two versions and the Classics Art Déco Carrée. 

In 2004 Frédérique Constant presented its first in-house movement, the FC- 910 Heart Beat Manufacture calibre, a development of which began in 2001. The Heat Beat Manufacture Calibre was the first member of the Frédérique Constant Manufacture Collection, which is destined to hold the most exclusive, in-house calibre equipped pieces of the brand. To summarise the achievements of the first decade, the company created the Heart Beat Manufacture Calibre FC-945 Silicium in 2014. Watchmakers have been using silicium for the escapement to decrease friction while not requiring any lubrication. The material is also lighter and therefore has lower inertia, which increases the efficiency of energy utilisation. 

New Classics Heart Beat Manufacture

In 2022 the company released the new Classics Heart Beat Manufacture with the FC-930-3 calibre beating at a frequency of 28,800 vpH and guaranteeing 38 hours of power reserve. You can see the decorations of the movement, like the Côtes de Genève stripes through the open back of the watch. 

The look of the timepiece is cleaner and more polished – it has new, more subtle indexes, Roman numerals, a lacquered white dial with two ‘railway’ tracks with the hour track being slightly raised. The famous ‘onion’ crown has been kept – it is a great companion of the classic design. 

On the former models the Heart Beat aperture had a special geometry in the shape of a ‘comma’ (a slightly bubble-like one). Now at 6 o’clock a metal framed circle reveals the escapement, also adding to the more refined architecture of the watch. 

The watch has a super wearable size: 39mm in diameter and 10.39mm in height, I’m sure it will be loved by many. 

The novelty comes in limited editions – the first is made of 18K pink gold on a brown alligator strap and is limited to 93 pieces. The second is made of steel on a black alligator strap and is limited to 930 pieces. 

Classics Art Déco Carrée

I’m a big fan of anything Art Deco – a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s. Almost everything in this style, buildings, furniture, sculptures, paintings and watches are serious eye-candy in my opinion. Art Deco is a recurring source of inspiration for industrial design; this genre has been a significant influence on watch design after WWII too. 

Frédérique Constant decided to have an elegant but very discreet and easy-to-wear take on it. Three new steel models have been created, combining natural mother-of-pearl with diamonds. Still a very classic style, guilloché and decorated with a cabochon, the Classics Art Déco Carrée is designed for everyday use. 

The shape is not really a ‘Carrée’ – in order to sit on the wrist very comfortably, the case slightly lengthens its height to reach 28 mm against a width of 20.7 mm. 

The three versions share twelve indexes in Roman numerals, an engine-turned rectangle in the centre of the mother-of-pearl dial and Breguet-style hands. The pieces are driven by a quartz movement, adjustable at three o’clock by a crown inlaid with a blue cabochon which evokes the sparkle of a sapphire. 

One model is a plain polished stainless steel without diamonds and with a smooth five link ‘barleycorn’ steel bracelet. The second has central fastenings punctuated with diamonds and if you prefer more brilliance, on the third version the case and the lugs are set with 82 diamonds (0.41ct).