Frederique Constant's very first appearance at the 2023 Watches and Wonders exhibition coincides with a significant anniversary for the brand, which turns thirty-five this year. To mark the occasion, the brand is unveiling an all-new version of a piece that embodies its expertise and philosophy: the Classic Tourbillon Manufacture. The tourbillon in question, developed entirely in-house and hand-assembled in its workshops, comes here in its finest watchmaking livery: three hands housed in a 39-millimetre 18K rose gold case, available in a limited edition of just 150 watches.
Founded in 1988, Frederique Constant is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary in 2023. While a large number of festive events will be held over the course of the year, the Manufacture was keen to start by focusing on a piece that epitomizes its journey: its Manufacture tourbillon. First unveiled 15 years ago in 2008, the FC-980 movement immediately became one of the brand's showcase developments, and has been used to power this brand-new Classic Tourbillon Manufacture.
The anniversary also coincides with the brand's very first time at Watches and Wonders, so in a noteworthy symbolic gesture, the Classic Tourbillon Manufacture will be unveiled live from the world's foremost watchmaking exhibition, held in Frederique Constant's home territory: Geneva.
An iconic watch
The Classic collection is an embodiment of the ethos unwaveringly followed by Frederique Constant since it was founded 35 years ago: providing the very best in traditional Swiss mechanical watchmaking, in tribute to the historic legacy of the craft.
The new Classic Tourbillon Manufacture therefore honors the finest traditions of watchmaking art right down to the very last detail. The case is made from 18K rose gold, a precious metal that has always been reserved solely for Manufacture limited editions. This model will be no exception: just 150 watches will be made, each one individually numbered. In similar homage to tradition, the regulating organ reigns in majesty at 6 o'clock; discerning collectors will immediately recognize it as a tourbillon. This magnificent invention, for which the first patent was lodged in 1801, bears witness to sophisticated watchmaking knowhow.
The bewitching tourbillon
Today, the Frederique Constant manufacture boasts a high degree of integration, with no fewer than 30 calibers developed in-house. One of these is its tourbillon, fitted with a silicon escapement wheel and anchor. This design choice allows owners to benefit from a non-magnetic movement unaffected by variations in temperature, thus helping to ensure the watch stays accurate, in keeping with the original vocation of the tourbillon.
A discreet hand passing above the tourbillon cage marks off the seconds. The cage itself is engraved with the individual serial number of the watch, also to be found on the rim of the sapphire caseback. This reveals the inner workings of the FC-980 caliber, to which all the finishings of traditional watchmaking such as beveling, beading, circular graining, straight-grained flanks and mirror polishing have been applied. The movement has a 38-hour power reserve.
On the dial, purity is the watchword: applique hour markers and hand-polished golden hands, gliding over an anthracite grey sun-brushed dial. The Classic Tourbillon Manufacture comes on a dark matte brown leather strap sporting a deployment clasp that proudly bears the Frederique Constant coat-of-arms, especially reserved for Manufacture pieces.
The power of youth and its future prospects
While celebrating the past, Frederique Constant is still a young Manufacture with virtually boundless potential. Therefore in addition to its main collections whose aim is to provide carefully crafted yet affordable watches, the brand has gradually extended its range to include more select timepieces destined for experienced collectors - and the tourbillon is without any doubt one of their most prized complications.