March 23, 2017
Frederique-Constant is known for the relative value proposition of their watches, but it’s when they release difficult-to-produce in-house movements at affordable prices that they’re at their best. Like the Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture we saw hands-on here, this is another watch that lives up to that standard. The new Fredrique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is powered by the in-house caliber FC-760, and with all this coming in at around the $4,000 price point, it does look like a compelling package.
Let’s begin by talking a little about the movement. The FC-760 is a column wheel based flyback chronograph movement, and what that means from a functionality standpoint is that whereas on a normal chronograph the user needs multiple clicks to stop, reset, and restart the chronograph, in a Flyback this entire process can be performed through the push of a single button. This helps in measuring successive time intervals without losing any time in between. The FC-760 movement follows a modular approach in its construction and is based on the brand’s in-house caliber FC-710 which has been used in previous watches such as the Frederique Constant Classic Manufacture.
A total of 233 components have been used to create this movement, out of which 96 components comprise the Flyback chronograph module. The movement has been nicely decorated using perlage, blued screws, and circular Côtes de Genève, and it also features a rose gold-plated rotor with the Frederique Constant branding engraved on it. The movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz and offers a power reserve of 38 hours.
The dial of the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is quite classically styled and comes in two different versions with several color options. The first dial version features a subtle sunray pattern with applied hour indices and lume-applied sword hands, along with railroad-style minute markings and a tachymeter scale on the outer periphery of the dial. This dial is available in silver or gray in the steel case and “chocolate” in the gold case.
The second version has a silver dial with some refined Clou de Paris decoration which, along with black printed Roman numerals and Breguet-style hands, provides a nice contrast and enhances legibility. Although both variants of this watch have an identity of their own, given the dressy aesthetic, any of the variants would go well with a formal attire. Dressy chronographs can often come in at high price points, especially with flyback chronographs involved, but this offering from FC brings a lot of value to the table.
The watch comes in a 42mm stainless steel case, which has a three-part case construction and, like the dial, comes in two different finishes – namely, simple steel and rose gold. The gold-plated case is further complemented by applied rose gold indexes and rose gold-plated hands on some versions of the timepiece. The case is flanked by two chronograph pushers at 2 and 4, along with a signed crown at 3 o’clock. The pusher at 2 o’clock is used to initiate or stop the chronograph, and the one at 4 can be used to reset the hands or trigger the flyback function. Water resistance is marked at 50m, which isn’t amazing or anything but decent for watches of this style.
The Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture chronograph is a smart-looking watch and is yet another value offering from the brand. Yes, I do agree that that the overall design of this watch is very familiar and one could buy a similar looking watch at a relatively lower price point. Of course, this means you would have to stick to the more common movement options available, and I think almost certainly miss out on an in-house flyback chronograph. The Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture comes on a brown leather strap for the gold plated version and a black leather strap for the steel version. The watch will retail at a price of $3,995 for the steel and $4,295 for the rose gold plated versions. frederiqueconstant.com