Frederique Constant Takes on the High-End with Their New In-House Perpetual Calendar

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Perpetual calendars are one of the darlings of complicated mechanical watches. Traditionally, they display the time, day of the week, date (day and month), and moonphase, all while keeping track of how many days are in a specific month and accounting for that extra leap day every four years. That means that once you set the watch to the right time and date, it will know that September only has 30 days and every fourth February has 29, staying correct for a very, very long time. To do all that mechanically is a feat of design and engineering, a feat which usually carries a very big price tag.

FREDERIQUE_CONSTANT_MANUFACTURE_PERPETUAL_CALENDAR_1When you’re talking about mechanical perpetual calendar watches, you’re usually talking five figures…to start. Prices can easily reach 20…50…100 thousand dollars for an automatic perpetual calendar from a famous brand. That’s why what Frederique Constant have done here is relatively amazing: an in-house automatic perpetual calendar starting at $8,795.

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Mvt_FC_775-DuoThe Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual Calendar is FC’s entry into the perpetual calendar world, and, true to the company’s philosophy, comes in as a fantastic value in the world of complicated mechanical watches. The new calibre FC-775 movement was designed and manufactured entirely in house at their factory in Plan-les-Ouates Switzerland. It’s the nineteenth in-house movement from the relatively young brand, and arguably their most ambitious to date.

FREDERIQUE_CONSTANT_MANUFACTURE_PERPETUAL_CALENDAR_3

Frederique_Constant_Manufacture_Perpetual_Calendar_2016_FC-775_Technical_DrawingThe FC-775 movement’s 191 parts were designed in software, 3D printed in large scale working models, then CNC manufactured and finally hand assembled, all by the engineers and watchmakers at Frederique Constant. This design and manufacturing process results in a perpetual calendar movement that is robust, reliable, and easily adjusted when it needs work. Once set, the calendar mechanism won’t need to be adjusted until March 1st 2100, then not again for a few centuries. But since, like all mechanical watches, this one will need servicing more frequently than that, the FC-775’s design and manufacturing process makes this one of the more easily assembled and adjusted perpetual calendar movements ever. Your watchmaker will thank you.

Frederique Constant is launching the model with three variations: a steel case with white dial, a rose gold plated steel case with white dial, and a rose gold plated steel case with blue dial. All three varieties are very attractive, and all come fitted with a color corresponding leather strap. The dial is a simple, classic perpetual calendar layout, with the month and leap year indications in the top sub-dial, date sub-dial at 3:00, moonphase at 6:00, and weekday at 9:00. The case too is simple, with a thin, smooth bezel that slopes nicely away from the dial. The case is based on their Slimline design, making the watch very wearable at its 42mm width. The onion crown is proportional to the case and looks appropriate for the style of the watch.

FREDERIQUE_CONSTANT_MANUFACTURE_PERPETUAL_CALENDAR_9While $8,000+ is probably still a lot to pay for a watch for the majority of our readers, we think that this watch presents a door to a previously unavailable corner of the watch world for many people. Frederique Constant continue to produce high quality and high value in-house movements in attractive watches, and the Manufacture Perpetual Calendar fits nicely into that philosophy

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Brandon was raised in a military family, the son of an Army pilot and engineer. An early fascination with all things mechanical developed into a love of watches that remains today. Brandon holds a pair of degrees in experimental psychology and works as a human factors test engineer for Army aviation systems.
brandoncripps
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