We’re talking about a brand well-known for its focus on ‘accessible luxury’, with watches that are not only fairly-priced but also mechanically interesting. Frederique Constant, a fully integrated manufacture, has already brought out 29 calibres, all of them developed, produced, assembled and inspected within its workshops. One of the watches that benefits from this expertise is the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, a model introduced 10 years ago. And today, there’s a new limited edition, which is more ‘luxury’ than ‘accessible’ (well, it still is, in a way…)
The Classic Worldtimer Manufacture
The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is, as its name will tell you, a classic in the collection, which was launched 10 years ago and visited in multiple editions – for instance, gold-plated with brown dial, steel and green dial or the recent grey dial model. The world time is a rare complication, but one of the most coveted and practical – at least for frequent travellers. Mostly manufactured by high-end brands, it is hardly ever seen in entry-level catalogues, since it requires quite some technique. But FC manages to have one that fits its usual accessible motto, without compromising on the mechanics.
A world time indicates both the local time and second time zones, but not like a GMT watch that displays only one. Instead, you can read the time in all the major cities around the world, thanks to a combination of a 24-hour disc, city ring and world map. The globe on your wrist. And Frederique Constant’s Classic Worldtimer Manufacture does all of that too. The display is composed of central H-M-S hands for the local time, a central (fixed) world map, a 24-hour disc (with day/night indication) and a finally a city ring on the periphery. It even features a date-by-hand indication that is positioned above the dial, so the 24-hour scale can still rotate.
Despite being in a totally different price range than a Patek Worldtime, the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is equipped with an in-house movement, the calibre FC-718, relying on the same technical base as most FC’s engines. This automatic calibre beats at 4Hz and provides 38 hours of autonomy. It is visible through the caseback and decorated with perlage, circular Geneva stripes and blued screws. On top is a worldtimer complication that, a rare feature, is entirely adjustable by the crown – no recessed button, no pusher, not even to correct the date.
The limited edition
For 2020, the brand introduces an exclusive edition of its Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, limited to 88 pieces. And instead of its usual gold-plated case, this one is made of solid 18k rose gold, fully polished – a first for this model. It retains its proportions, with a 42mm diameter, and the onion-shaped crown. The dial, even though identical in layout, also gets its special treatment with a blue background, a raised world map in grey, gold-plated hands polished by hand and a grey and red 24-hour scale. This limited edition is worn on a blue alligator strap with off-white stitches.
The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture Limited Edition (ref. FC-718NRWM4H9) will be priced at EUR 15,895, a high price for an FC watch but nevertheless still reasonable for such a piece, in solid gold. For more information, please consult frederiqueconstant.com.