Frederique Constant - Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar for 19.995 USD to celebrate the 30th Anniversary

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Frederique Constant - Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar for 19.995 USD to celebrate the 30th Anniversary

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 21:08
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No, this is not a typo!

In fact Geneva based manufacturer Frederique Constant, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, has just launched a tourbillon automatic watch with perpetual calendar based on its in-house calibre FC-975MC4H6 for the in the title mentioned price.

For me it is time to say Happy Birthday, to offer you a closer look at the four executions of the new watch and to let you know what I think of the brand and the new watch by an audio file I just taped ... 

 

Frederique Constant SA was founded with a capital of 60.000 Swiss francs. The brand sold a thousand Swiss Made wristwatches produced by external partners in its first year. By the end of the year 2018 around 160.000 wristwatches will be produced and hopefully sold ...

What happened in-between can be called a success story that was accomplished by Aletta und Peter Stas. The two Dutch step by step developed their company to become a global player, selling affordable mechanical wristwatches (= accessible luxury) and developing more and more in-house calibres in the last years.

End of my presentation I will copy & paste the official release of Frederique Constant for its 30th anniversary. I don't see any reason why I should rewrite what is in fact the history of the brand ...

The Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture watch now is the cherry on the cake and fully developed and manufactured in-house. The prices, when you see them first, are pretty aggressive and in fact they are. So far I don't know any other brand that offers a comparable watch for such a price. Do you guys?

That's real accessible luxury!

 

So what do I personally think of the new Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture watch?

And, what is my opinion to the 30th anniversary of the brand?

Please click on the eight minutes Soundcloud audio file underneath ...

 

 

 

Peter Stas stated: "In honor of the brand’s 30 years anniversary, the Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture represents the outcome of all the knowhow the Brand gathered during the development of its in-house manufacture movements resulting in this grand complication."

There will be four executions of the Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture watch available limited to either 88 or 30 pieces.

These are the numbers of components of the in-house developed and manufactured FC-975 Manufacture calibre

Tourbillon Cage 80
Mainplate and Bridges 7     
Gear Train 10
Automatic Wheels 5
Pull-out piece/Setting-lever 14
Jewels 33
Screws 24
Rotor 1
Other 14

Makes a total of 188

 

 

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H6

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H6

Case

Polished stainless steel 3-parts case 
Diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement    

FC-975 Manufacture calibre, automatic tourbillon & perpetual calendar
Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on movement
33 jewels, 38 hours power reserve, 28.800 A/h
Silicium escapement wheel and anchor

Dial

Silvered color dial, Clous de Paris guilloché decoration, with printed roman numeral indexes, hand polished black hands
            
Bracelet

Black alligator strap 

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year

Limited edition 88 pieces

19’495 CHF/ 19’495 EUR/ 19’995 USD

 

 

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H4

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H4

Case

Rose gold plated stainless steel 3-parts case 
Diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement    

FC-975 Manufacture calibre, automatic tourbillon & perpetual calendar
Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on movement
33 jewels, 38 hours power reserve, 28.800 A/h
Silicium escapement wheel and anchor

Dial

Silvered color dial, Clous de Paris guilloché decoration, with printed roman numeral indexes, hand polished black hands
            
Bracelet

Brown alligator strap 

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year

Limited edition 88 pieces

19’995 CHF/ 19’995 EUR/  22’995 USD

 

 

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975S4H6

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975S4H6

Case

Polished stainless steel 3-parts case 
Diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement    

FC-975 Manufacture calibre, automatic tourbillon & perpetual calendar
Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on movement
33 jewels, 38 hours power reserve,
28.800 A/h
Silicium escapement wheel and anchor

Dial

Skeleton silvered color dial, hand polished black hands
            
Bracelet

Black alligator strap 

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year

Limited edition 88 pieces

19’495 CHF/ 19’495 EUR/ 19’995 USD

 

 

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H4

Frederique Constant QP Tourbillon Manufacture Reference FC-975MC4H4

Case

18 carat rose gold polished 3-parts case 
Diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement    

FC-975 Manufacture calibre, automatic tourbillon & perpetual calendar
Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on movement
33 jewels, 38 hours power reserve, 28.800 A/h
Silicium escapement wheel and anchor

Dial

Skeleton silvered color dial, hand polished black hands
            
Bracelet

Brown alligator strap 

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year

Limited edition 30 pieces

29’995 CHF/  29’995 EUR/ 32’995 USD

 

 

This now is a 1:1 reprint of the official published statement to the brands 30th anniversary:

 

... "A success story par excellence: Frederique Constant celebrates its 30th birthday
 

"There is nothing in the world so powerful as an idea whose time has come," was the conviction stated by Victor Marie Hugo in 1885. 

Almost exactly a hundred years later, Peter C. Stas and Aletta Stas-Bax developed an initial idea, whose time would come in 1988. While on a skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps, they noticed a wristwatch in a shop window that they couldn't forget. Their intellectual discussion about this model rapidly grew into a full-blown passion for timepieces worn on the wrist. It reached the point where the couple had no choice but to sacrifice their promising careers in multinational companies on the altar of their own watch business. Rome was not built in a day, and similarly, their journey to chronometrical entrepreneurship was not completed overnight. In the mid-nineteen eighties, the couple went to Hong Kong in the course of their work. As watches were naturally having a moment over there too, Peter Stas set up a small company selling high-quality design software, in parallel with his day-to-day occupation. The ambitious owner also used this company to design his first wristwatches. Because he considered what was produced in China as anything but attractive, he pored over books and relevant catalogs. From this grew the first succession of prototypes, produced from different components on the kitchen table at home. Aletta Stas exhibited some of these at the watch fair in Hong Kong. Initially they fell flat. But shortly before the end of the fair, a Japanese wholesaler placed an order for 350 watches. These sold with amazing speed. Orders for a further 1,100 watches gave the necessary encouragement for a small prototype collection of just six models altogether. The elegant cases contained electronic quartz movements alone. Because quality then played a vital role, assembly was carried out in Switzerland, using Swiss Made parts. These babies also thrived splendidly. But logic demanded that they should also have a suitable name. In this situation, Frederique Schreiner, Aletta's great-grandmother, and Constant Stas, Peter's great-grandfather, entered the scene. The first names of these two ancestors were combined to make Frederique Constant. 

In 1992, Frederique Constant SA, founded with a capital of 60,000 Swiss francs, had over a thousand Swiss Made wristwatches produced by external partners. Brisk sales gave the motivation for greater deeds. At this point, a meeting with a man named Miguel Garcia proved to be a real stroke of luck. This former sales manager, now owner of the “Ebauche” specialists Sellita, expressed an interest in the suggestion of opening up the front of the Eta 2836 automatic movement, relatively high in build. In this way, the tick of a mechanical watch, which Robert Levine had described as "the heart-beat of human culture", was made vividly visible. The highly successful "Heart Beat" collection was launched in 1994. Because the young entrepreneurs had not thought of legal protection, their creation was swiftly copied by numerous imitators. A second resource in the form of private label production, subsequently abandoned, made it possible at the time to produce larger quantities and thus reduce costs. A first business plan for a Geneva head office submitted in 1996 was accompanied by an application for a Swiss work permit. The authorities granted it on condition that he employed at least twelve persons within five years. The move to Switzerland took place the same year. The workshop, understandably still a small one, was located in a picturesque area of Geneva, Carouge. This step and the continuous growth that followed it were financed entirely from internal resources. This guiding principle remained unaltered throughout the subsequent years. Outside capital in the house of Frederique Constant was always kept within very narrow limits, which was highly beneficial to entrepreneurial freedom in the very much larger premises in the Geneva neighborhood of Chêne-Bourg, purchased in 2000. In 2001, a clear vision and the urge to set something personal beside the bought-in watch movements gave the starting signal for the development of the first in-house Manufacture caliber. This ambitious project was successfully achieved with the cooperation of specialists from two watchmaking schools, one in Geneva and the other in Holland. It was in 2004 that the ambitious family firm astonished the watchmaking world with its FC-910-1. The hand-wound movement featured a prominent aperture in the dial at 6 o'clock in which the strikingly large balance wheel was reminiscent of a tourbillon. The 2005 moon-phase version FC-915 was followed in 2006 by an exclusive automatic model called the FC 930. 

In 2007, Frederique Constant became a talking point, not only through the first "Passion Award" in honor of outstanding entrepreneurial performance, but also through its partnerships with Croatian singer Nina Badric, Chinese actress Shu Qi and the legendary English sports-car brand Austin Healey. 

The year 2010 saw, among other events, Passion Awards in New York, a "Par Cœur Gala" with American actress Eva Longoria and sponsorship of the spell-binding Oldtimer Rally from Beijing to Paris. In the same year, limited editions highlighted the partnership with Cohiba, as did the 2013 collaboration with the Riva Historical Society and Spanish model Inés Sastre. To mark the 25th anniversary of the company's foundation, Aletta and Peter Stas also published a superb, large volume book entitled "Live Your Passion". In abundant detail, it relates the thrilling success story of Frederique Constant and also of its two affiliated watch brands, Alpina and Atelier de Monaco. 

And most recently, in 2016 the firm succeeded in signing up American actress Gwyneth Paltrow as its official Charity international ambassadress. 

There have been several outstanding watchmaking achievements: In a limited edition of 188 pieces, the "Heart Beat Tourbillon“, developed and produced entirely in-house, made its debut in 2008. Its special features consisted of a "smart screw" system to ensure the perfect balance of the cage, a silicon escape wheel and, an absolute matter of course in the eyes of Pim Koeslag, the chief engineer, a stop device, not specifically mentioned, for setting the time to the precise second. In 2008, twenty years on from his modest beginnings in faraway Hong Kong, Peter Stas was able to announce an output of 90,000 watches within one year. Furthermore, and not least, the increased value creation from the in-house Manufacture had doubled sales within a period of only a few years. Of course, as the economics graduate with a strong taste for innovation was the first to admit, the watches with in-house movements only occupied a niche market in comparison with total production. The philosophy of delighting an international circle of customers with accessible luxury was founded primarily on elegant timepieces with bought-in electronic or lovingly refined mechanical movements. 

In the Manufacture, inaugurated in 2006 and once again financed as far as possible by internal resources and with the head office being extended at that time due to non-stop growth, over 80 per cent of the components needed for the House's own movements were produced. In 2018, the year of the company's 30th anniversary, the product range already comprised 27 calibers, grouped in two families. All those beginning with the figure 9 display the escapement in full view from the front. In contrast, the "Maxime", Manufacture caliber FC-7xx, launched in 2009 and equipped exclusively with automatic winding, does not reveal its heartbeat. The basic caliber FC-710 with central seconds, and proven reliability, is 30 mm in diameter and 6.2 mm thick. Its rotor winds the mainspring in both directions. When fully wound, the power reserve can keep the balance wheel oscillating at a frequency of 4 Hz for 42 hours. The watchmakers need 137 components for each one of these movements. 
After the tourbillon, Frederique Constant waited until 2016 before introducing a further horological complication. The 78-component calendar mechanism of the exclusive FC-775 automatic caliber, provided the watch is wound regularly, will remain accurate until the year 2100, when it will require a small manual correction. The price of this mechanical masterpiece is sensational. Combined with a tourbillon, this led, in 2018, to an outstanding wristwatch launched exactly on the firm's birthday with the new FC-975 automatic caliber, which fully merits the designation "Grande Complication". 88 of these timepieces are available in three different versions, in pure stainless steel or with pink gold coating. Once again, the price-performance ratio is extraordinary by any standard. 
Combined with a tourbillon, this led, in 2018, to an outstanding wristwatch launched exactly on the firm's birthday with the new FC-975 automatic caliber, which fully merits the designation "Grande Complication". 88 of these timepieces are available in three different versions, in pure stainless steel or with pink gold coating. As a stunning highlight, Frederique Constant also offers just 30 exclusive edition timepieces featuring a solid pink gold case. In each of these cases, the price-performance ratio is extraordinary by any standard. 
To Aletta and Peter Stas who, in the absence of a family successor, sold their company to the Japanese Citizen Group in 2016, "accessible luxury" is more than just a slogan. This theme is ever-present in the company's history, relatively brief but extremely intense, as it is in the Chronograph, impressively equipped with the Manufacture automatic caliber FC-760, which was launched in 2017. In three decades, Frederique Constant has succeeded in democratizing time measurement with the aid of refined wristwatches of invariably outstanding elegance. 

In the end, the firm has also broken new ground in the much-disputed and controversial field of the smart wristwatch. Presented in several generations at once in 2015, the "Horological Smartwatch", with analogue time and function display, also achieved a world premiere in 2018. "Hybrid manufacture", as its name implies, unites the best of two apparently incompatible worlds, thus signposting a path to get back to the future. While the Manufacture automatic FC-710 provides the display of precious time, an electronic module mounted on the front is responsible for the panoply of smart functions. And incidentally, it monitors the ticking mechanism and brings its accuracy to be displayed on the screen of a smartphone. This wristwatch of Federal provenance, which can be linked to Android and iOS telephones, testifies to the uninterrupted creativity the firm devotes to the service of a demanding clientele. 
No wonder Frederique Constant continues to pursue its growth course unswervingly. 
By the end of the anniversary year of 2018, around 160,000 wristwatches will be produced. 

This is what a true success story looks like." ...

 

 

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