Frédérique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture

2017 GPHG Travel Time Category Finalist

Championing the value proposition with the classic format of the world timer, Frédérique Constant prove that the exclusivity of a manufacture movement does not need to break the bank. Does the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture punch above its weight in the Travel Time category?

In a word, yes. With its only concession to outright luxury being its gold plated steel case, which should not be an influencing factor here, it certainly is a lot of watch for the outlay, and puts it in reach of the everyman globetrotter. Where most of its rivals in the GPHG 2017 Travel Time awards are inclined towards a second time zone, only Frédérique Constant and Louis Vuitton have created pieces with multi-zone referencing, and both are priced to appeal to a wide audience.

With its warm colour way combining rose gold, bronze and brown, it is sophisticated and reserved, and as far as its detailing, finishing and execution are concerned it lacks nothing that a traveller would want on their watch. The central element of the dial features an etched world map with applied luminous dot markers, and separating it from the outer ring which is printed with the cities, the day/night indicator operates on a 24-hour basis. The overlapping pointer date rounds out a full complement of world time primary functions.

The in house self winding Calibre FC-718 is also finished to a very high standard, with perlage and Côtes de Genéve decoration on its plates, blued screws and a gold rotor all exposed through a sapphire caseback. It also possesses a very useful innovation, in that all of its functions can be adjusted via the crown, which extends out to three positions.

Make no mistake, this is a very impressive if inexpensive watch in this category, and I am sure its rival aspirants are seeing it in their sleep at night. Yes, of course the competition is considerable, but there is something about the Frédérique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture which makes me less confident about any one of them. Could they take this award for the common man and if so would it even be a surprise?

The Watch Press prediction

I think it could win, and it would come as no surprise if it did, although Louis Vuitton are certainly also in the mix at the price. Having said that however, at the other end of the scale, I also think the people at Czapek might have reason to be feeling hopeful too. Who would be a juror?


The pertinents

  • CASE: Gold plated steel 
  • BUCKLE: Folding clasp
  • MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 42 h, 28'800 vph
  • FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Global Time
  • SIZE: ø 42 mm
  • THICKNESS: 12.1 mm