It’s a rare pleasure in the price range we discuss here at worn&wound to find watches with manufacture, or in-house, movements. It’s even more rare for them to be Swiss made calibers. Well, that’s exactly what we have here with the new Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture. For a starting price of around $3,500 one can obtain a watch that seems to defy the laws of luxury watches and be, while not inexpensive, in the accessible price range.
The Slimline, of which there are several variations, is as clean as dress watches come. Simple and elegant cases with gentle curves and great finishing are topped with sapphire crystals, front and back, reserved domed dials, applied markers and thin leaf hands. As the name suggests, the whole line maintains a low profile, making them comfortable and easy to fit under a shirt, as a dress watch must be. The Moonphase has a 42mm case, making it a touch wide, though on the wrist the watch does not feel too large due to well proportioned lugs and a sloped case design.
The new Moonphase takes the Slimline collection a step further with the clear addition of one of the most coveted of complications. A moonphase, though not necessarily the most practical, adds an air of luxury to any watch. From the aperture itself to the disk featuring a night sky with moon and stars, there is something undeniably sophisticated and a touch mysterious about them. On the Slimline, the moonphase is integrated into the date indicator, which is a subdial at 6, keeping the dial fairly minimal and thus not betraying the identity of the line.
The Slimline Moonphase is powered by the FC-705 Manufacture caliber, which is a 26 jewel automatic with 42-hour power reserve. This beautifully decorated movement features circular Geneva Stripes, blued screws, perlage and a gold-tone rotor, making it a pleasure to examine through the exhibition case back. On top of finishing the movement also has the very unique feature of integrating all functions into a three-position crown. Typically, moonphases are set through the use of pushers along side of the case. This simple integration makes the Frederique Constant innovative, emphasizing the exceptional price point all the more.
The Slimline Moonphase will be available in a few variations including steel and rose gold plated cases with silver or blue dials, as well as solid 18k rose gold options for a higher price point. It’s really something special to find a watch of this execution with an in-house caliber under $5,000, especially one with a moonphase. Frederique Constant is definitely a brand we are excited to discuss here on w&w, and will be featuring more often in the coming years.
by Zach Weiss