A Second Look: Frederique Constant’s Manufacture Classics Heart Beat is an Ode to Pure Sophistication
While the watchmaker has expanded its design language of late, there is something eminently appealing about a timepiece that speaks directly to all the flourishes for which Frederique Constant is renowned. And our current obsession is the stunning Manufacture Classics Heart Beat.
A bit of mid-century “spy-worthy” sport watch appeal? Sure, we’ve seen that recently from Frederique Constant. In fact, the brand unexpectedly employed an international DJ sensation to underline some of that newer direction.
However, despite moves to expand its design reach, there is still something to be said for “sticking to your knitting,” if you will, and continuing to evolve and innovate in your most recognizable realms. Luckily for us, the Manufacture Classics Heart Beat from Frederique Constant fits just that particular bill and pivots back to the familiar, with, in fact, a great deal of classical success.
That is why Watchonista is taking a second look at this rose gold beauty.
The Manufacture Classics Heart Beat
Revealed in August 2022, the rose gold Manufacture Classics Heart Beat packs in many of the brand’s signature design cues and the profound craftsmanship for which the brand is known. Yet, despite its solid, non-plated noble metal case, the brand still manages to offer it at a remarkably accessible price point ($17,995), maintaining another foundational principle of the brand.
Of course, while bringing classic complications into a more accessible area for watch lovers is another notable pillar of the brand, in this case, we are talking about a straightforward two-hand timekeeper. However, the addition of the gorgeously wrought balance wheel at 6 o’clock (a signature of all Heat Beat models) does a pretty eye-catching job of making up for any lack of complication.
And this detail brings up another Frederique Constant design pillar: balance.
Presented in a classic and attractive 39mm case, this watch’s balance wheel – visible via the “Heat Beat” window – tucks in nicely into the dial real estate, attracting the eye yet not overwhelming it. The balance is further framed and complemented by the superb white lacquer dial. Along with the polished 18K rose gold case, it delivers a message of sober appropriateness that is more “tasteful fling” than “big bling.”
Meanwhile, large but thin Roman numeral indices ride in a chapter ring between a simple graduated gauge in the center dial (which is expertly bisected by the balance wheel aperture on the lower portion) and an equally straightforward railroad track design along the outer dial. It’s a tried-and-true dial zeitgeist that just plain works because it delivers unmatched legibility and sophistication. And yet, when you really think about it, you don’t see it done all that often.
Shortened lugs, a prominent knurled crown, and a brown alligator strap complete the traditional wrist appeal. And, as our exclusive Watchonista photography ably captured, it looks just great: calm, cool, and stylish without needing to try very hard at all.
Finally, another hallmark of Frederique Constant is an immaculate, high-value movement visible through the caseback, and the Manufacture Classics Heart Beat’s FC-930-3 automatic calibre certainly doesn’t disappoint. More specifically, the FC-930-3 features lovely perlage and Cotes de Geneva decorations to enhance the plate-dominated back since the front focuses more on revealing the other side of the “Heart Beat” balance wheel and showing off the bowed red gold rotor. Plus, the movement delivers a 38-hour power reserve.
Pricing & Availability
Retailing for $17,995, the Manufacture Classics Heart Beat is limited to just 93 editions, all of them “pure Frederique Constant.” Visit the brand’s website for more information.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)