Frederique Constant can be regarded as one of the success stories in modern horology. Founded in 1988 by Dutch couple Peter and Aletta Stas, the brand successfully claimed the domain of "affordable luxury" in the 1990's: good-looking, high-quality watches at an affordable price level. With the launch of their first in-house manufactured movement in 2004 Frederique Constant (and Alpina, the brand that was acquired in 2001) upped their game and grew into a watchmaker that was taken seriously on a high horological level.
In the decade that followed the brand invested heavily in developing complications such as a perpetual calendar, tourbillon and most recently a flyback chronograph. And always remained true to their original mission of making luxury affordable.
In March 2021 Frederique Constant is adding a new and very important chapter to their history with the launch of the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. The 30th in-house manufactured movement has a claim that is no less than a redefinition of the principles of mechanical watch regulation. The marvel is in the monolithic silicon oscillator, visible at 6 o'clock, which replaces 26 components of the conventional regulator, including the hairspring and balance wheel, with only 3 new components that fit within the FC810 in-house caliber as a 0,3mm thick silicon disc. As a result, both reliability and performance are heavily improved. It oscillates at a mindblowing frequency of 40hz, which translates to 288,000 vibrations per hour, ten times as much as a regular mechanical movement.
To spark your imagination a bit more: The seconds hand makes 80 moves per second (!), the fastest moving and smoothest possible motion out there in the market. The 80-hour power reserve also indicates the efficiency that has been created within this new set-up.
Even before we discuss prices of the new Slimline Monolithic Manufacture, it is evident to conclude that the technical tour de force that Frederique Constant made is more than just a regular innovation. Rethinking essential elements of a watch movement and create a whole new philosophy doesn't happen that often, and a breakthrough technology like this will most likely will lay a foundation in other models and probably even other brands.
It is worth mentioning that FC teamed up with Flexous, a dutch horology oriented high-tech company, and together they spent three years in developing the Monolithic.
The Slimline Monolithic Manufacture will be available in three versions. The stainless steel 40mm version is available in white or blue dial and starts at an almost unbelievable 4,495 euros, while the 18k version will cost you 14,995 euros. That is extreme good value, and it is fair to say that Frederique Constant has created a league on its own for watch fans who appreciate horological innovations at an affordable price level, true to the brands DNA. For now the three versions are limited to 810 pieces in steel with blue dial, 810 pieces in steel with white dial and 81 gold pieces. So do not wait too long..