Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch’s Accuracy, Costs €99

Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch’s Accuracy, Costs €99

Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch's Accuracy, Costs €99 Luxury Items

Learning more about the intricacies of a mechanical wrist watch's accuracy – and especially that of one's own timepiece – is an evergreen topic of discussion among us watch nerds. With the just announced Frederique Constant Analytics device, a small, easy to use, and relatively affordable watch accuracy measuring device, the promise is that checking your watch's accuracy has gotten a whole lot easier and more convenient.

Devices that can determine a mechanical watch movement's accuracy have pretty much always been expensive and rather complicated, hence falling out of the reach of most watch enthusiasts (see our recent review of the Lepsi Watch Analyzer, for instance). Your best option thus far was to either try and match your watch's time display to a reliable external reference time and keep track of how it faired over the course of a few days, or, for a more immediate and complex result – that would measure performance in different positions of the watch – you'd have to bring the watch to a better equipped watch repair store.

Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch's Accuracy, Costs €99 Luxury Items

The Frederique Constant Analytics device actually works on pretty much the same principle as those much more expensive devices that watch makers use – such as the so-called Witschi machines – in that it is equipped with a microphone that records the tick-tock sound of a movement and analyses that audio to determine the rate and accuracy of the movement inside. This, mind you, also means that if your watch is fitted with a fancier, more unusual escapement, such as Omega's Co-Axial escapement, chances are that the device will not be able to analyze its accuracy since unusual escapement layouts make different sounds that confuse the analytical software.

That said, the Frederique Constant Analytics device, a little clamp that you attach to your watch, should work well on most traditional mechanical wrist- and pocket watches. Frederique Constant promises the Analytics device to be accurate to at least +/- 0.2 seconds per day, which actually is quite good. The way it works is that you place your watch in between the padded material-covered claws of the clamp, which you then connect to your iOS device (iPhone or iPad), or Android phone that is running Frederique Constant's SwissConnect Analytics App.

Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch's Accuracy, Costs €99 Luxury Items

"Within seconds" – says the brand – the app measures the accuracy of the watch and an oscilloscope shows the audio waveform in real time. The result is plotted in a chart, which can be saved for later reference. Speaking of long-term thinking, the Frederique Constant Analytics can actually record and save a longer measurement like, say, 12 hours, to analyze the long-time performance of your watch. This could be interesting to see how the performance changes over time as the mainspring unwinds and loses torque or, for the ultimate watch nerd-fest, check the same thing in a watch equipped with a remontoire constant force mechanism. We are planning on getting our hands on one of these devices soon to see how well it works; and if it does, then put some watches to the test.

The Frederique Constant Analytics, as we noted, shall support a wide range of frequencies, covering almost all mechanical watches available on the market and, in case the user doesn’t know the watch’s frequency, the frequency auto detect function of the app will help with that as well.

Frederique Constant Analytics Device Monitors Your Watch's Accuracy, Costs €99 Luxury Items

It should be obvious, but we'll say it anyway: the Frederique Constant Analytics will not empower you with watchmaking skills, so opening your watch and fiddling with the movement for that extra bit of performance your analysis revealed is strongly advised against. What it should let you do, though, is get to know your watch – or collection of watches – a whole lot better, let you experiment a bit with how it performs over longer periods of time and in different positions (given you can adjust the clamp and the watch accordingly), and perhaps also get a warning in fair time that your beloved watch really does need that service after all these years.

Price for the Frederique Constant Analytics will be €99 and it should be available at select retailers and is also available for purchase via the Frederique Constant website, here: frederiqueconstant.com

  • A_watches

    i know what I want for xmas!

  • ??????

    FC might become popular now 🙂

  • SuperStrapper

    Lots of these things popping up lately. Odd, really.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    i’m assuming the microphone clip would work with other available apps?

  • Marius

    What a coincidence! I own this very same device! Nevertheless, I use it when I air out my dirty underwear, on my balcony.

    • commentator bob

      Make your underwear great again.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    It looks like fun and would be interesting too.
    But like a lot of people around here. Its hard enough setting the date anew everyday on a different watch. Hackings great, but if I’m within half a minute or so, I’m winning. Don’t get me wrong, I love my collection of shiny things. But if I was bothered about accuracy I’d wear a Casio digital.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Take a hundred dollar note, blow your nose with it and chuck it in the bin.

    • IG

      Or wipe your arse with it.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I was trying to be polite, but yes, that option is also available.

  • Oh! A $5 contact microphone for guitars …

  • Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have one of these. But 100 quid (around $123 USD these days) seems like a lot when you can get a dedicated Timegrapher 1000 for under $150 – and its microphone stand holds your watch in 6 positions, etc. The longer duration timing and data storage of this FC app based solution is appealing though. Thanks for bringing this to our attention David.

  • I have a slightly cheaper method that I use to test my watches’ accuracy. In the morning, I set the watch to the time on my iPhone. If, in the evening, the two times are not in sync, it means my watch is not accurate. A quick calculation on my fingers tells me just how inaccurate it is.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Easy peasy.

    • Bert Kanne

      I use the atomic clock on the Watchville site. It’s more than accurate.

      • IG

        What is “more than accurate”?

        • Lincolnshire Poacher

          Its special double triple extra-accurate. Obviously 🙂

        • Bert Kanne

          The atomic clock is perfect accuracy. Great for setting and checking watches and costs nothing to use.

  • jimf42

    unfortunately my Nexus 6P is not supported.

  • Pingback: a nifty rate checker?()

  • commentator bob

    Why not have this. There may be more cost effective alternatives, but $99 is not much compared to most automatic watches. Citizen is doing well offering this through its FC subsidiary.

  • Anna Nuehm

    Only rate, no beat error or amplitude?

  • Cuppa Joe

    “This is a RIP OFF!!!” says the group of people who spend $4k on a watch winder.

    • IG

      I am a watch winder, I have only hand-wound watches. I hate automatic watches and proud of it.™

  • The Victorious Boogur T. Wang

    Interesting offering. Very good pricing.
    I look forward to User Reviews of this device.
    Thanks Mr. Bredan.

  • JunkHoarder

    Interesting how I just built one of these things, for around $20, max. $30. Though I plugged mine into the line-in socket (blue) of a PC and with the power of open source software I can examine rate, beat, calculate lift angle, observe the sounds of the beats and even listen to the movement with headphones.

    • Elijs Dima

      Is there any recipe or instruction-set for reproducing this? Homebrew solutions are cool, but most folks rarely have the time (even if they have the skill) to spend on such projects.

      • JunkHoarder

        There are a few guides on line, but generally what you need is a piezo mic similar to the one in the article, a basic preamp to amplify the signal on its way to the PC’s line-in plug, and one of the few available timing software for PC. I bought a small prebuilt preamp from an online electronics store, the rest you basically need to solder on, like the audio cord and the power source.

    • JC

      Which open source software are you using?

  • Ulysses31

    A nice gadget that will appeal to those looking for something easy to use and unintimidating. However, you might as well go the whole hog and get a proper timing machine like Mark says. You’d appreciate the greater functionality as your knowledge develops.

  • Elijs Dima

    That product seems to use the “SwissConnect” app, which (I guess) is also the control interface for swiss smartwatch platform. Maybe with this product they hope to get more users onboard their smartwatch ecosystem…

    The Android compatibility list is very strange. A couple of galaxy devices, one LG phone, and two others (forgot which). No indication on whether the app is actually locked to phone models, or whether it works with all phones of certain android versions, or whether the hadrware piece has further limitations that make it not work with so many other android devices.. Frustrating. I would have bought this earlier today on a whim, if I could actually verify that it will work with my phone.

  • cg

    Cool gadget! No longer will I build proc amps or even install plug and play ic boards. All my soldering tools are for moto/auto not delicate board work anymore. Everything electronic has evolved into all-in-one non repairable packages. Far more convenient to just buy the package and use it. The price is right and the hardware is purpose designed and built. The big downfall for FC is their purchase portal sucks for mobile (Android) can’t seem to make the purchase!

  • Chefcook RLX

    Bases on this report I bought the device and I have to warn everybody: What a massive disappointment!
    I received it this morning and already tried it with a whole bunch of watches: AP Royal Oak, AP Royal Oak Diver, Omega Speedmaster, Jaeger LeCoultre Tribute to DeepSea, Cartier Santos MM, Panerai Luminor Marina, Seiko Marinemaster, Seiko Presage Chronograph …
    Guess what: The device is not able to find a signal for most of them. None of the Seikos could be timed, none of the APs, not the JLC. I tried to record a signal for all of them several times. With the Santos the app found a signal in its fifth try. The only watch the app was able to detect a signal in its first try was the Panerai, which clearly is by far the loudest watch with its handwind pocket watch movement.
    Even though the app shows a signal that at least in the app’s visualization looks clear and clean the app loses the signal often and spontaneously. If it works, the measurements are inconsistent. Just restarting the measurement without any change to the setup will result in a massively different result. I’ve timed my Panerai with +15, +23, -11, -3 and -8 within five minutes without moving, touching or winding the watch.
    On my Witschi the Panerai runs with a deviation of +4s / day, no matter how often I try.
    The microphone, the app or both obviously are of insufficient quality for anything more than an indication whether your watch runs at all.

    • Chefcook RLX

      BTW: “Speaking of long-term thinking, the Frederique Constant Analytics can actually record and save a longer measurement like, say, 12 hours, to analyze the long-time performance of your watch.” (quoted from this report).

      This is WRONG. The app limits the duration of the measurement to three minutes, even though the FC claims differently.

    • Ghaith Darwish

      So I just received my devices and it shows no signal detected for all my 5 watches( Rolex, 2 Zenith, omega, Victorianox) at fist but I were able to connect all of them when I placed the watched and the device on stable table top.

    • Phupisit Smittinet

      The auto can be use for 3 minute. (Turn off auto select 3 min and turn it back on).
      Mine work with omega speed master moonphase, ETERNA Kontiki, Patek 4680R, iwc compass, Orient 60th anniversary, Corum gold, but it doesn’t work for thick watch IWC perpetual calendar Kurt klaus.

    • Timestandsstill

      Unfortunately, so far, I’ve had similar results (mostly lack there of) and experience with mine as well.

  • dhaines

    This product did not work. It told me my Steinhart was 0.7 seconds fast a day in reality it is 9.0 seconds fast! It could not detect my speedy…It also did not detect my Rolex GMT master II until i tried it 3 times!!. It could not auto detect any frequency right and said my rolex was running at 3.5 hertz instead of 4. When i manually put in 28.8 it detected my watch was running .09 seconds slow a day..It is actually running about 1.5 seconds fast a day. Different positions it couldn’t even read. it was a terrible horrible horrible product.