By Dhananjay Pathak
In the world of watches, the term “in-house” is generally associated with high-end luxury watches, which are exorbitantly priced and are out of reach for the average watch enthusiast out there. Dig a little deeper though and you would come across brands such as Frederique Constant, who produce some finely crafted watches with in-house movements at a relatively affordable price point. Frederique Constant makes some nice and elegant looking watches such as the Frederique Constant Classic Manufacture Moonphase watch which we looked at here, and for this year’s Only Watch auction, the brand has come up with a special version of their Slimline Perpetual Calendar watch. The Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual Calendar for Only Watch 2017 comprises of a rose gold case, a manufacture movement, and a stunning meteorite dial. Yes, you heard me right, a meteorite dial.
So what exactly are meteorite dials and what makes them special? Meteorites dials are created using real samples from meteorites which have fallen to ground on earth from outer space. And what makes a meteorite dial all the more intriguing and visually striking is the unique texture and pattern on the dial which is inherited from the meteorite sample chosen to create these dials. The slate gray dial on the Frederique Constant Manufacture Calendar has been created using a meteorite which was uncovered somewhere in the desert of Namibia and provides a nice contrast to the rose gold plated hands and applied hour markers. The perpetual calendar functionality on this watch has been presented in the form of 3 sub dials at 9, 12 and 3 representing the day, month cum leap year and date respectively. All the information pertaining to these registers has been finely printed in white and can be read using the white colored hands, with the exception of the small red colored hand which is being used to indicate the leap year, and adds a nice pop of color to the dial. Finally, adding a little romanticism to the watch and balancing out the dial is the moon phase indicator at 6. One of the things that I would really like to appreciate Frederique Constant for, is that, though there is lot of information on display here, the dial does not look overcrowded and does not compromise legibility.
The 42mm case on this watch is made out of 18k rose gold and has a thickness of 12.25mm. Though 42mm is a decent size by today’s standards, I would have loved to see this watch in a 40 or may be a 39mm case given the formal nature of this timepiece.
Both the front and back of this watch feature sapphire crystals and the sapphire crystal exhibition case back offers a nice view of the FC-775 Manufacture caliber which has been decorated beautifully using blued screws, Perlage and Circular Cotes de Genève patterns. This movement comprises of 26 jewels and beats at a smooth 28800 bph, offering a power reserve of 38 hours.
The Frederique Constant Manufacture Calendar for Only watch 2017, in my opinion, is a true collector’s item, as not only does it offer some practical functionality in the form of the perpetual calendar complication, but it also does offer some killer looks courtesy of that ethereal meteorite dial. The watch would come equipped with a dark grey alligator strap and would be auctioned at an estimated price somewhere between 17000 – 27000 CHF.