September 21, 2016
by Victor Marks
For years, Frederique Constant have been quietly making elegant, understated watches at good values. Here, then, is the new Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture watch, which joins the in-house caliber portfolio near the top of the range. Frederique Constant isn’t holding back in showing how they value in-house-made movements with high-end finishing, and it doesn’t hurt that this one comes in an attractive package.
The FC-705 is a movement developed completely in-house, made in-house, and assembled in-house. The case back is an exhibition type, so that you can see and enjoy the perlage and Côtes de Genève stripes. Unfortunately, we don’t have a case back shot to share right now, but when we get one we will make sure to do that. That being said, this is a solid, elegant watch with an in-house movement that comes in at just under $4,000.
The FC-705 is a 26-jewel movement that runs at 28,800 vph. It displays hours, minutes, the date, and moonphase, and all complications are adjustable by the crown, without the need of a separate pusher. The power reserve is 42 hours, which is about the norm for a 4Hz watch movement. It’s a 6.2mm-thin movement, something it shares with the FC-7 family of movements – except the Worldtimer, which is thicker, and the FC-755 used in the Moonphase Perpetual Calendar watch, Frederique Constant’s only other moonphase complication, is thicker at 7mm as well.
The dial of the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture is an ivory sunray-colored affair, with silver applied indices. The moonphase is ringed with a date counter, and painted in a rich cobalt blue, placed at the six o’clock position. The minute hand reaches to the edge of the dial, making for a lovely thin watch to wear and look at, all housed in a 42mm stainless steel case you won’t have trouble fitting under the cuffs of your shirtsleeves.
As noted, Frederique Constant has made moonphase watches before, as in their Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture (hands-on here). While the perpetual calendar is a big achievement in the hierarchy of what we can call “prestige complications,” another of the challenges the best watchmakers attempt is striving for the ultimate in thinness. While FC has made slimlines, moonphases, and perpetual calendars, it’s the skill required to make the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture, and the resulting classic colors and design that together get our attention. The Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture FC-705BG6S6 is available on a black alligator strap for the price of US$3,695. frederiqueconstant.com