Watch Winner Review: Frederique Constant Peking To Paris Chronograph

Watch Winner Review: Frederique Constant Peking To Paris Chronograph

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Thanks to David B. who was the winner of a Frederique Constant watch back in the December 2012 holiday giveaway. For his winning watch he chose a Peking To Paris Chronograph. After living with it for a little while he had the following watch review report to make for his fellow readers:

Next month, on May 28th, the fifth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge event will take place. This year, 96 vintage cars will attempt to travel 7610 miles across China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Switzerland, finally finishing in Paris. The first Peking to Paris occurred in 1907 and has taken place only sporadically since then. This edition is anticipated to take 33 days covering rugged, rural roads of Asia and Europe.

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In the most recent events, Frederique Constant watches has been the official timekeeper, and in the spirit of the event has released a series of watches called the Vintage Rally.

As one of the very excited and happy winners of the December 2012 aBlogtoWatch giveaway, I chose one of these vintage-styled watches from Frederique Constant’s deep collection of watches. My choice was made thinking that I would like something that looked vintage, had an air of sporty elegance, yet was updated for modern tastes. I also wanted something I could wear on formal occasions. With these thoughts in mind I chose the Peking to Paris model FC-396V6B6 chronometer. What I really like about this design are the rose-gold dauphine hands and the hour markers which have a coppery color that wonderfully matches the mahogany brown band. Rose-gold can sometimes look too pink or salmon colored for my taste, but this color variation hits the mark for me. On the dial there aren’t a lot of colors like you would see in a sporty watch, just rich browns with black numbers and tick marks along with easy readability due to the white background.
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The case size is 43mm, which on my 6 ½ inch wrist, looks big without looking silly. The case is buttery soft due to the hand polishing and doesn’t get snagged under shirt cuffs. It uses an ETA Valjoux 7750 movement that beats at a rapid 28,800 vibrations/hr. The movement has been around since the mid-1970s and has a solid track record, although I understand its supply is being reduced by ETA. Frederique Constant has modified the movement by substituting an in-house made rotor that further incorporates the spirit of the the Peking To Paris event. The copper rotor is etched and painted with the event logo, and is limited to 1888 pieces (1988 was the year Frederique Constant was founded).

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I also enjoy the solid feel of the chronograph pushers and the quick return of the second hand to 12 o’clock when reset. All-in-all it’s a beautiful watch that I’ll proudly wear for years to come. Thanks so much to Frederique Constant, Ariel Adams and his staff at aBlogToWatch.

  • Ronkat

    Congratulations, the watch looks great and fantastic review and pictures. Looks like you will be enjoying it for a long time!

  • DougCarnahan

    Great review, I had no idea what the peking to paris was before reading, thanks

  • DG Cayse

    Beautiful time piece and very good review. Wear it in good health. Congratulations!

  • qudths

    Excellent write up!  Watch looks amazing.

  • droo

    Excellent choice, it is a beauty,  Wear it with pride and joy !

  • Kar Wai Law

    What’s with the Porsche?

  • CG

    nice choice! A Citroen steering wheel would be appropriate too!

  • hobycook

    I love what Frederique Constant has been doing, stylistically, over the past few years.  Very handsome pieces at affordable prices.  However, great prices notwithstanding, I am so sick and tired of nice looking watches with ETA 7750’s and 2892’s.  Last year while taking a good hard look at my collection of 25 or so watches, I realized that 50% of them were ETA-based and determined that enough is enough.  I have been selling off all ETA-based watches but those with modifications significant enough to make them valuable as long-term keepers.

  • Ulysses31

    That rotor is a playful and unexpected dash of colour in an otherwise understated and stylish watch.  Nice piece, though I think I prefer the panda version.