AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY RE­DE­FINED

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Meet Fred­erique Con­stant’s Slim­line Man­u­fac­ture Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar, by far the most ac­ces­si­ble ex­am­ple of this high com­pli­ca­tion yet

Ah, the per­pet­ual cal­en­dar. For this high com­pli­ca­tion, the name of the game is con­ve­nience – as­sum­ing that the watch is kept run­ning, its cal­en­dar dis­plays will not re­quire any ad­just­ment un­til 1 March 2100. The devil’s in the de­tails though; like the chronograph, a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar can be ex­e­cuted in vary­ing lev­els of com­plex­ity, from mo­d­ules tacked onto base move­ments to in­te­grated ones that trade greater com­plex­ity for thin­ness. As mod­u­lar per­pet­ual cal­en­dars be­come in­creas­ingly com­mon, much of the bar­ri­ers to en­try of own­ing such a watch have been steadily worn down. With talk of value dom­i­nat­ing Baselworld this year, Fred­erique Con­stant’s Slim­line Man­u­fac­ture Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar was a case of per­fect tim­ing, as the most ag­gres­sively priced per­pet­ual cal­en­dar watch on the mar­ket yet.

Vis­ually, the Slim­line Man­u­fac­ture Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar isn’t a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from the ar­che­typal per­pet­ual cal­en­dar, with a typ­i­cal lay­out of three sub-di­als and a sep­a­rate aper­ture to dis­play the moon phase. How­ever, the per­fect spac­ing be­tween these el­e­ments – nei­ther clus­tered at the dial’s cen­tre nor spread too far out to­wards its edge – hints at a move­ment specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for the watch, rather than an off-the-shelf so­lu­tion. In­deed, the per­pet­ual cal­en­dar mod­ule was de­vel­oped in-house with a keen eye on the case and dial di­men­sions to achieve this bal­ance, while also keep­ing its ease of as­sem­bly in mind, ac­cord­ing to the brand’s de­sign di­rec­tor Pim Koes­lag. Its de­vel­op­ment has taken the brand around three years to fi­nalise but it paid off hand­somely. A typ­i­cal per­pet­ual cal­en­dar move­ment that can take up­wards of 30 hours to put to­gether, but the as­sem­bly of the fi­nal cal­i­bre of the Slim­line Man­u­fac­ture Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar takes just two days. Quicker as­sem­bly nat­u­rally trans­lates to lower costs, which has al­lowed Fred­erique Con­stant to of­fer such a com­pelling value propo­si­tion. With op­tions in both steel and rose gold­plated steel, haute hor­logerie has just got­ten a lit­tle more af­ford­able. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Fred­erique Con­stant Man­u­fac­ture Cal­i­bre FC-775 with per­pet­ual cal­en­dar and moon phase dis­play; 38-hour power re­serve

CASE 42mm in steel or rose gold-plated steel, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m

STRAP Black, brown, or navy al­li­ga­tor with stain­less steel or rose gold-plated steel de­ploy­ant buckle

PRICE $12,800 (steel) $13,500 (rose gold-plated steel)

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