Frederique Constant Wows With Its Classic Tourbillon Meteorite Manufacture In Platinum
Hand-finished and employing the most refined materials, this limited edition provides an elevated experience at a most reasonable price.
Since its inception, Frederique Constant has continued to amaze enthusiasts with its savoir-faire. Not only in the execution of its timepieces, but also in knowing what buyers want.
Today, Frederique Constant is launching into a whole new level of luxury space with the Classic Tourbillon Meteorite Manufacture platinum limited edition. This is a first for FC, as each timepiece is finished by hand by two watchmakers, Romain Valette and Roland Pel.
Watchonista got the opportunity to examine this interstellar timepiece in person. It’s a stunner.
This tourbillon is not Frederique Constant’s first dalliance with a meteorite dial. In 2019 the Maison supported Only Watch with a one-off version of the Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture in 18K rose gold with blue-tint meteorite skeleton dial.
With the Classic Tourbillon Meteorite, Frederique Constant has not only switched up textures and tones – its Gibeon meteorite dial boasts a steely gray sheen – buts also the process.
Valette and Pel were entrusted to hand-decorate all the components of the movement – even on surfaces that aren’t visible – something the brand says has never been achieved before on one of its watches. And their dedication and skill help to elevate the manufacture into the realm of true haute horlogerie.
“In 2019 we launched the Highlife Collection,” says Frederique Constant CEO Neils Eggerding. “The Highlife Collection really repositioned the brand.” But for the young and talented Valette and Pel, there was still plenty of opportunity to push the tourbillon further.
“When Romain and Roland came to me and explained what they wanted to do I was amazed.” Says Eggerding. To add hand decoration to the manufacture movement shows how important watchmaking skills are to the brand, but also how much Frederique Constant values the input of its team.
“Romain came up with the idea of the monochrome case to show off the handfinishing,” says Pel. “It’s an art.” Adds Valette, “With Roland, it’s really a passion. It’s not work.”
For all the technical proficiency required to produce a tourbillon watch, its appeal is primarily visual. Because the Frederique Constant Classic Tourbillon is not cluttered with unnecessary components, the wearer gets a clearer view of the tourbillon through an aperture at 6 o’clock.
As part of its 35th anniversary, Frederique Constant unveiled an all-new version of its three-hand Classic Tourbillon Manufacture at Watches and Wonders 2023. The upgraded FC-980 caliber is now fitted with a silicon escape wheel and anchor, and was developed entirely in-house. It is housed in an elegant 39mm case.
Everything about that watch is an exercise in balance and composition. From the gleaming applique hour markers and hand-polished golden hands to traditional finishing such as beveling, beading, circular graining, straight-grained flanks and mirror polishing make it look and feel exceptionally elegant.
The attention to detail in the design is meant to honor the mechanism. “The art of watchmaking is our passion, innovation is our mission, and the tourbillon is one of the most beautiful interpretations,” says Valette.
Now, Frederique Constant continues to showcase this signature timepiece with new materials for it – namely a platinum case and a meteorite dial.
The execution is sublime: The warm gray of the platinum provides the perfect frame for the inclusions of the meteorite. The metal also allows the viewer to see the subtle curves of the Classic Tourbillon Manufacture’s silhouette in a new light.
Due to the rarity of the stone, each dial is unique. These elements are captivating, but the real focus remains on the hypnotic action of the tourbillon.
Set on a supple leather strap, it’s also a delight to wear! So many tourbillons end up as safe queens, but there’s a permanence to this platinum case construction that is comforting and comfortable. When you have a watch that you could stare at all day, you need to be able to keep it on hand!
The Classic Tourbillon Meteorite Manufacture in platinum is limited to 35 pieces and is priced at CHF 42,995 excluding taxes. For more information visit the Frederique Constant website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)