Frederique Constant Treads New Ground With Their 30th Anniversary Present to Themselves
Article By: Logan Hannen
Oct 05, 2018
In the tradition of watchmakers of old, who often celebrated major birthdays with the release of an entirely new model line, such as Rolex celebrating its 40th anniversary with the release of the Datejust, Frederique Constant has launched the QP Tourbillon Manufacture.
Founded in 1988 by a husband and wife duo (who had named the brand after their grandparents) in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland, the brand has made a name for itself by being competitively positioned in the market, focusing on offering value and complication, along with classic designs, at a more approachable price point. Thirty years on, the brand has launched a new piece to celebrate this philosophy with impressive vigor. That piece is the QP Tourbillon Manufacture, an in-house perpetual calendar tourbillon that comes in four total variations at a price point that may, arguably, be the most value the brand has offered to date.
All four variations of the FC Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon
General specs first – the case, regardless of variation, comes in at 42mm in diameter, with a 50 meter water resistance rating (the sole exception being the rose gold, skeletonized dial variant, which for some undisclosed reason features only a 30 meter water resistance). All four feature an alligator leather strap, the steel models featuring black alligator while the gold-plated and solid gold models feature brown alligator. While they appear to be only two case metals, there are in fact two steel models (one with a close dial and one with a semi-skeletonized dial), a rose gold plated model (in the form of the closed dial variant), and a solid, 18k rose gold case model (featuring the semi-skeletonized dial).
Those general specs aside, the other thing they all share in common is the movement. Here we have the in-house caliber FC-975, an automatic movement featuring a perpetual calendar complication and a tourbillon.
This new caliber is comprised of 188 parts, features 33 jewels and a 38 hour power reserve. It also features a silicone escapement wheel and anchor, which help with the overall efficiency of the movement by cutting down the need for oil lubricants. There is also some perlage and Côtes de Genève striping on the movement.
Each variation is priced a bit differently, so here is the official breakdown –
Steel (solid dial) – $19,995 (limited to 80 pieces)
Steel (semi-skeleton dial) – $19,995 (limited to 80 pieces)
Rose Gold Plated (solid dial) – $22,995 (limited to 80 pieces)
18k Rose Gold (semi-skeleton dial) – $32,995 (limited to 30 pieces)
Geeks…I’m freakin’ drooling over here. I’ve always loved Frederique Constant, from design to the value-prop-ness of them all, and have always been somewhat obsessed with their Slimline Perpetual, an ultra-thin perpetual calendar for, I believe, just under $10k. So when I came across this beauty of a timepiece, I knew I’d have to dig into it further. On the surface, let’s just look at it for what it is – an in-house perpetual calendar tourbillon for just under $20k in steel. For reference, the most affordable Swiss chronograph on the market is the Tag Heuer Carrera Heuer-O2T, priced at just under $16k. The most affordable model with the same complications I can find online right now is this Blancpain Le Brassus, on sale pre-owned at Tourneau for $75k. You see the point. With this release, Frederique Constant has once again made it clear that their goal of offering some of the best Swiss bang per buck is front and center and, it seems, not likely to slow down any time soon.
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