Frederique Constant Reinvents the Classic and Alpina Introduces a New Startimer Pilot Chronograph

There’s beauty in simplicity. It’s a concept often forgotten by watchmakers trying to come up with new complications and wild dial designs. But it’s not forgotten by Frederique Constant in their latest refresher of the Classic Manufacture line.

But first, a bit on the brand. Frederique Constant was founded in 1988 by Peter Stas and Aletta Bax. In 2004, Frederique Constant introduced their first in-house caliber, and in 2008 they expanded their manufacture with the FC-700 base caliber.

The new and improved Classic Manufacture in silver.

For their latest expansion of the Classic Manufacture line, Frederique Constant has stripped away many of the Classic’s distinct elements and simplified the design into a beautiful example of watchmaking. The dials—one in black and another in silver—offer a vintage, art-déco look that does away with the guilloché dial pattern and thick Roman indexes of their predecessors. Instead, the dials are polished and the Roman indexes have been slimmed, resulting in a cleaner look. Furthermore, replacing the ornate Breguet hands is a set of simplified leaf hands—a great match to the dial. Overall, the new look is streamlined and sharp. Really sharp. Like, “cut yourself if you touch them” sharp.

Note the pointer date at six.

The two timepieces are housed in a 42mm diameter steel case. Inside, there’s the in-house automatic FC-710 caliber movement, featuring 26 jewels, a 42-hour power reserve, and running at 28,800 bph. A see-through case back exposes the movement, which is finely decorated with perlage and Côtes de Genève.

It’s a simple, understated watch that retains the beauty of the original timepiece while making perfectly balanced improvements. The new collection is priced at $2,495.

For more, visit Frederique Constant.


Alpina has a long connection to aviation. From about 1900 to 1950, Alpina was a producer and official supplier of watches to air forces across Europe. To honor that storied tradition, Alpina has expanded its Startimer Pilot collection with a new Pilot Automatic Chronograph in three dial colors.

This new series is a welcome addition to the Startimer Pilot family, which was first launched in 2011. The watch features a 44mm stainless steel case to house the AL-725 (Valjoux 7750 base) automatic chronograph movement. Furthermore, the case is equipped with an AR-coated sapphire crystal, a large screw-down crown, and a screw-in case back. The watch is water-resistant up to 10 ATM.

alpina-startimer-pilotchronograph-automatic-greendialThe dial features a dramatic, yet familiar aesthetic that has become a hallmark for the line. The hour markers are vibrant and bold, and they’re paired well with the softer pilot handset. Most exciting, however, is the vertical sub-register layout without a running seconds register at nine. At 12, you’ll find Alpina’s signature red triangle.

As mentioned above, the Startimer Pilot Automatic Chronograph will be available in three different colored dials to honor three unique fields of aviation. A black dial for the air force, a petrol blue dial for naval aviation and military green for bush flying. Of the three, the green immediately stands apart from the crowd.

All three new dial colors: black, petrol blue, and bush green.

The new Startimer Pilot Automatic Chronograph is competitively priced at $1,995. For more, visit Alpina.

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Christian discovered his love for watches around the same time he discovered he could make a living as a writer. An award-winning journalist, Christian has covered everything from presidential campaigns to princess tea parties. Now, he's combining his passion for vintage watches with his passion for writing. Christian lives and works out of central Pennsylvania.