When Frederique Constant released the Classic Moonphase a few months ago, it seemed to turn a lot of heads. Staying true to the brand’s philosophy of creating accessible luxury timepieces, the watch boasted a new in-house caliber (more of a variation, to be picky) and a decidedly Patek-y look for a relatively low price point. Coming in just below $4k, the watch offered a lot of value for an in-house movement, and an aesthetic that often costs an arm and a leg to obtain. It also showed off an eye-catching flip-open case back, which gave it some unexpected panache.
The last time we reviewed an FC it was the spiritual cousin of this watch, the Slimline Moonphase, which used a similar movement, and achieved high points for style and finish. While the watch was a winner, one of the complaints a lot of people had about it was the 42mm diameter. While I found it still wore very well, the notion of a 42mm dress/formal watch with a very large dial is understandably a bit concerning. The Classic Moonphase comes in at a more palatable 40.5mm, but wears even smaller due to various design details. As such, it might just be the option for those turned off by the former’s size. Apart from that, the design itself offers a very attractive option in the under $5k market, so let’s take a closer look.