Frederique Constant is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, signifying a long-standing presence in the industry. Additionally, the year 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of its in-house Tourbillon manufacture movement, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to innovation and technical excellence. With the watchmaker now launching the new Classic Tourbillon Meteorite Manufacture, we enter a somewhat different dimension. Strictly limited to only 35 pieces worldwide, this watch does represent the pinnacle of fine watchmaking and manufactory craftsmanship.
Tourbillon movements are highly respected in the watchmaking world for their intricate design and precision. Having an in-house Tourbillon movement for 15 years indicates a high level of expertise. Such milestones not only highlight the brand's history and accomplishments, but also showcase their ability to adapt and thrive in the competitive world of luxury watchmaking. It's a testament to their passion for creating exceptional timepieces and their ability to consistently push the boundaries of what is possible in the art of watchmaking.
The 39 mm Frederique Constant Classic Tourbillon Meteorite Manufacture platinum watch gets a meteorite (sourced from Gibeon, Namibia) dial that immediately captures attention; platinum can also be found on the lugs and the crown at 3 o’clock. Opting for a highly monochromatic look, with grey colour dominating almost the entire piece, accentuates all hand decorations on each watch. The meteorite’s natural grey tones are enhanced by a coat of ruthenium, protecting it from further oxidation as well. No two dials are alike, making each of the 35 watches absolutely unique. The dial features thin, elongated markers and lance-shaped hands as well as a large tourbillon opening at 6 o’clock.
Unveiled in 2008, the Manufacture FC-980 tourbillon movement – developed in-house, and fitted with a silicon escapement wheel and anchor – boasts a 38-hour power reserve. The movement and parts of the oscillating weight also sport a ruthenium coating. The engraving of the individual watch number can be found not only on the tourbillon cage but also on the caseback of each watch. The oscillating weight is made of brass with a tungsten section around the rim. This material has been selected for its density, which is greater than that of 18-carat gold; it provides greater inertia when in motion, thus enabling the barrel spring to be wound more quickly.
Entirely decorated by hand, the main bridge features a texture reproducing the aspect of a meteorite – it is hand-chamfered, hammered, and finished with charbonnage on the frame. The architecture of the piece provides collectors with a breathtaking view of the escapement wheel, linked to the anchor pallet, the balance wheel, rocking back and forth, and the concentric beat of the hairspring. A hand located above the tourbillon cage indicates the passing seconds. The watch is finished on a black leather strap.