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Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020

The new Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020 immediately caught the attention of Steve Ashby. Offered in two variants, each with contrasting subdials, Steve immediately fell under the spell of the steel version, endowed with a navy dial and silver subdials. These new models join the firm’s existing Flyback Chronograph line.

Image – credit Eric Rossier 

Frederique Constant was established in 1988. Over the years its capabilities have grown exponentially and the production facilities on the outskirts of Geneva have expanded in order to meet demand. The brand has become known for its range of competitive watches. Indeed, each model offers timeless styling, reliable manufacture movements and incredible value for money.

Recently, the Swiss marque has built upon the historic success of the current Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture by enlarging the collection with the addition of two further models. One of these new models is presented in a 42mm steel case with a blue dial and contrasting silver subdials. As soon as I saw this particular version, I knew I wanted to purchase it, despite not even trying it on for size. Furthermore, the moment I read the press release I contacted my editor, asking if I could have first ‘dibs’ on writing the review. Seldom does any watch engender such unbridled lust.

The Dial

Sporting a navy blue dial, the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020 upholds the same dial layout as its predecessors. Three large subdials are incorporated into an expansive dial area. A 30-minute chronograph register is positioned at 3 o’clock, a pointer date display is located at 6 o’clock and a small second display resides at 9 o’clock.

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020

For the first time, however, Frederique Constant has chosen to depict the three subdials in a contrasting hue. The resultant appearance is simply stunning. With previous versions, the entire dial, including the subdials, has always been presented in a single colour, but the introduction of silver registers and matching chapter ring give the Flyback Chronograph a very different appearance. Often collectors refer to this type of horological vista as a ‘panda dial’. However, irrespective of the terminology employed, the resultant mien exudes a sporty and yet decidedly beautiful appearance.

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020

Lancine hour and minute hands articulate the prevailing time clearly and elegantly. A liberal application of Super-LumiNova further heightens legibility, especially in dim light. Each hour is denoted with a faceted baton index, efficiently imparting meaning without cluttering the clean dialscape. Everything appears elegant, refined and notably understated.

A tachymeter scale encircles the dial and proves an ideal means of calculating the speed of a moving object over a known distance.

The Case

My preferred Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020 is housed in a stainless steel case which successfully combines polished and brushed surfaces. This blend of finishes accentuates the sleek and angular look of the case.

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020

Rectangular chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock sit either side of the crown which features a prominent grip, aiding manipulation.

Image – credit Eric Rossier 

The watch is supplied on a dark blue alligator leather strap with white stitching and a deployant, complementing the dial wonderfully. The piece is also available with a rose gold plated case paired with a chocolate-coloured dial, again with silver-toned counters. Both colour options are inherently desirable, but personally, I do have a slight preference for the blue option.

The Movement

At the heart of the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020 is the brand’s own movement, the FC-760 Manufacture Calibre, an automatic movement which offers the user a Flyback chronograph function. This innovative movement, developed by the Maison over a six-year period, is very impressive.

Image – credit Eric Rossier 

The Flyback calibre shuns the conventional column wheel, instead favouring a star-shaped wheel, allowing for a much slimmer movement overall with fewer components, heightening reliability. According to the brand, this ‘ingenious, patented construction’ is the reason for the model’s supremely keen price of £3,295.

For those unfamiliar with the Flyback complication, it works in line with the chronograph function of the movement. Pressing the lower pusher stops, resets and restarts the chronograph almost immediately, allowing the user to time successive events with ease. While a regular chronograph would require 3 individual actions to carry out this task (stop, reset and start), the Flyback manages it with a user-friendly single push.

The movement features 32 jewels and has a power reserve of 38 hours. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz). Despite the accessible pricing, Frederique Constant hasn’t overlooked finishing either. The movement is embellished with perlage and Côtes de Genève decoration.

Closing Remarks

It’s not often I experience ‘love at first sight’ when it comes to watches, but the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture managed to grab my attention at our first meeting.

Image – credit Eric Rossier 

The new Panda colour variant breathes new life into the existing Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture collection. In my opinion, the latest models will prove more appealing to younger audiences, without disenfranchising older buyers.

Image – credit Eric Rossier 

The 42mm case is a delight to wear and, thanks to the narrow movement within, proves comparatively slim. It is this latter trait which allows the watch to comfortably reside on the wrist.

All in all, there is no question that this watch will remain firmly in my sights until the day it finds its way into my collection.

Further reading

https://frederiqueconstant.com

Technical specifications

  • Model: Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture 2020
  • Reference: FC-760NS4H6
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystals to front and caseback.
  • Functions: hours; minutes; small seconds; date; flyback chronograph
  • Movement: FC-760 Manufacture automatic calibre, perlage & circular Côtes de Genève finishing; 32 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h
  • Strap: Blue Alligator leather with stainless steel folding clasp
  • Price: £3,295 including VAT (RRP as at 25.2.2020) 

Press loan

The press sample was kindly provided by https://www.jurawatches.co.uk

 

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