Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture – new Ivory dial
A Slimline Tonic
The Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture is now available with a brand new ivory dial, adorned with sunray decoration and applied silver coloured indexes.
I am currently on a diet. I accept the arguments that weight loss is beneficial to my health but the sacrifice, at times, feels too great. The very word ‘diet’ means forgoing sugar, fat, carbohydrates and any ingredients which proffer flavour. Consuming a so-called ‘slimline’ meal leaves me feeling deprived.
Now, Frederique Constant rewrites the definition of ‘slimline’ with a slender watch, imbued with many attributes and an abundance of taste. The Slimline Moonphase Manufacture has been a popular member of the Frederique Constant collection for some time, offered with a choice of silver, blue, and chocolate coloured dials. In 2016, the brand released a new ivory-coloured dial with sunray decoration and applied silver coloured indexes. This latest variant looks very different from the other dial options available and led me to enjoy a period of hands-on association.
The new ivory dial option has a rich, creamy hue, evincing an aged appearance. Indeed, it looks reminiscent of a vintage timepiece. The dial is adorned with a very subtle, barely perceptible, sunray motif.
The silver coloured leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are supremely slim, traversing a sea of ivory. The hands are teamed with elongated, applied indexes, quietly, but clearly, imparting the time. Nothing is loud or garish, everything assumes a quiet, unassuming persona.
Frederique Constant is unduly modest about the height of the case of this watch, failing to specify its thickness anywhere on its website or in any press literature. Needless to say, as the name implies, the watch is slim, cosseting the wrist and readily residing, unobtrusively, beneath the cuff of a shirt.
Measuring 42mm in diameter, the case should prove popular with a large cross section of potential wearers. All surfaces are presented in highly polished stainless steel. The lugs are short, encouraging the strap to envelope the wrist and grant a comfortable fit.
The bezel is very slim, bestowing a large expanse of dial surface on which to express time and, in so doing, augmenting legibility.
Gracing the rear of the case is an exhibition case-back, affording sight of the self-winding movement within.
The crown is onion-shaped but does not impinge on the wrist or irritate the arm. The knurling of the crown is both aesthetically appealing and confers ease of adjustment. The case-band arcs magnificently, heightening the sense of luxury.
As the ‘Manufacture’ name implies, Frederique Constant has developed, manufactured and assembled this movement in-house. This is surprising when one considers the very modest asking price of CHF 3,390.
The FC-705 Manufacture caliber is self-winding. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 26 jewels. The power reserve is capable of delivering 42 hours of autonomy.
In my opinion, this movement’s greatest attributes relate to its finishing. The large central bridge is adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, the mainplate is decorated with perlage and blued screws abound.
The oscillating mass is a golden colour and partly open-worked. An aspect that I especially like is the circular aperture in the central bridge, affording wonderful views of the balance wheel oscillating to and fro.
There is a hint of nostalgia with this dial. Its aged appearance imitates the appearance of a vintage timepiece and it looks magnificent as a result. Moreover, while some watch collectors adore patination with vintage watches, I favour the showroom fresh appearance of this classically styled modern-day watch.
Despite measuring only 42mm in diameter, the surface area of the dial is huge. The leaf-shaped hands, the slender silver-toned batons and the hue of the dial all collaborate superbly to grant a handsome aesthetic and simple to read dial.
The sides of the case taper inwards as they approach the caseback, mitigating the diameter of the case to the rear. This factor, together with the modest case dimensions and short lugs, delivers a highly comfortable and wearable timepiece.
The movement is very attractive, especially impressive considering its modest asking price.
This is a watch packed with attributes. Indeed, I think I have finally found a ‘slimline’ product which doesn’t leave me feeling shortchanged.
- Model: Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture – new Ivory dial
- Reference: FC-705BG4S6
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; date; moon-phase indication
- Movement: FC-705 Manufacture Caliber, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
- Strap: Black alligator leather strap presented on a deployant
- Price: £3,040.00 (RRP as at 2.3.2017)