Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

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Don Barzini
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Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by Don Barzini » June 14th 2012, 10:06am

[color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]Well here are my brief thoughts – (1) I wish they had the SS version of this watch in 40mm available because I am leery about gold plating. It looks fine and the video someone posted indicates 15 micron plating. We will see.





(2) It is a surprisingly nice watch for the price - $1150 retail; I paid under $800 on Amazon. Simple and well done. The dial is pretty amazing really. Under a loupe the hour chapter ring has a very fine guilloche which to the naked eye just gives it a slight satin finish. I don’t know why the date window looks a bit messed up in these pics – it is quite perfect to the naked eye and under a loupe.



(3) This is one with a straight 2824-2 ETA, not one of their manufacture movements. Nothing special there unless you get your rocks off over a gold plated rotor. I don’t, but to each his own peccadilloes. At 24 hours it is running balls on +/- zero seconds, so nicely regulated. It winds a wee bit rough, not bad, but the hands move and set without a bit of play, unlike some of my much more expensive pieces.



(4) The strap looks nice but I’m concerned the croco layer is thin and a bit brittle. I do not think this one will stand up to much. I will pop a couple hundred for a Camille Fournet, which will round it out nicely.



(5) I wish they had made the Index model a bit smaller – really like the look of that one, but I don’t want a dress watch at 53mm lug to lug. Mine is 44mm lug to lug. [/font][/color]





[color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]6) Overall, it seems FC has very good QC. Quite a nice niche they found and I really enjoyed listening to their story and philosophy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwJQN4DBeHk&feature=colike



I would not hesitate trying out one of the manufacture models and indeed one may be right around the corner, but definitely SS. Pretty cool little company making crazy affordable watches in classic Swiss watch designs. [/font][/color]


Some crappy pics –

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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by koimaster » June 14th 2012, 10:31am

I agree. I like mine a lot.

http://watchlords.forumotion.net/t15926-my-new-to-me-frederique-constant


I put a longer and more solid croc strap on mine and it made a world of difference.

Nice review.
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by TemerityB » June 14th 2012, 10:50am

Better pics than you claim, and a fun review. Loved the comment about the "gold plated rotor," something I've never really understood, either.
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by Don Barzini » June 18th 2012, 11:54am

Ah, a proper strap makes all the difference. Knew the first time I put the FC OEM Croc-calf strap on, it wouldn’t last. The exterior surface was too brittle and too thin. After a few wearings, it was showing more wear than acceptable –





Look at the puckering-





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But I ordered a Camille Fournet the day I strapped on the OEM strap. CF makes straps for many high end watches – JLC, IWC, Breguet, Patek, etc... They are supple yet durable with a fine rubberized lining and even quick release spring bars on this model.





Arrived today and instantly upgraded the watch and took the comfort to a new level.





A couple comparison strap shots –





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And on the watch –



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I still consider this watch a bargain even after adding about $280 to the discounted price I received. The right strap amps it up a big notch.
Last edited by Anonymous on June 19th 2012, 5:24am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by Mortuus Fakeuus » June 18th 2012, 3:48pm

Absolutely gorgeous, Don B. The new strap is spot-on perfect, no easy feat if you don't have a great eye - which you obviously do. (With me, it's hit-or-miss, AKA 'blind luck.')

You're right about the date window looking a bit odd, but from all appearances, it seems there's an odd 'shadowing' that shows up on the date window frame. It doesn't look effed-up, just odd.

Nice review; thanks for posting it...!
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by 3Flushes » April 20th 2013, 7:22pm

Great looking; It will be interesting to see how the plating holds up. The new strap is awesome- the review an informative read- Think I'll keep an eye out for a nice used one, I'll have to stick with something steel though.
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by Falstaff » August 23rd 2015, 6:35pm

I have that same 40mm Freddie Constant in stainless - really a nicely done watch. Looks as though you have the Sellita movement, as have I - 26 jewels rather than the 25 of the 2824. I was a little disappointed about that.
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Re: Frederique Constant Classic Automatic - Mini-Review

Post by hcharles » August 24th 2015, 10:51am

My Frederique has the FC-303 movement, AKA Sellita with 26 jewels.
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