When it comes to nice looking, reasonably-priced dress watches with high-quality mechanical movements, it’s hard to go past Frederique Constant. The brand consistently offers excellent value for money timepieces and has recently updated one of its more timeless models, the Classics Automatic GMT. Read on to find out what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
Introduced in 2015, the Frederique Constant Classics Automatic GMT has been designed with discreet gentleman travellers in mind. This latest iteration offers an even more understated solution for those who find themselves frequently in different time zones and may just be the most elegant version yet.
As with previous versions, the Classics Automatic GMT is presented in a 42mm case in your choice of either stainless steel or rose gold plated steel. The watch is paired with a dark brown or black leather strap for a very traditional look. It sits somewhere between a practical casual watch and a classic dress watch, striking a good balance, although I’m sure some people will prefer a slightly smaller case diameter.
For the silver-colored dial, Frederique Constant has refined things even further, opting for a very traditional design. As with previous models it features large, black printed Roman numerals for the hours, however now we have very classic-looking Breguet-style hands for indicating the time. Previous versions also included Arabic numerals at 5-minute intervals on the outside minute track, however, these have been removed on the new versions in favour of a cleaner look, which I really like.
The other notable change is the introduction of a lovely guilloché decoration in the centre of the dial, which provides just enough contrast to keep things interesting, without being overwhelming or interfering with legibility. A 3 o’clock is a date window, while the second time-zone is displayed on the inner ring of the dial using the standard 24-hour format, with a red-arrow for indicating the hour.
All functions are adjustable through the single crown thanks to the FC-350 automatic GMT movement, which is visible through the sapphire caseback. Oscillating at standard 28,000 vph, the movement features 26 jewel and offers a 38-hour power reserve – this movement isn’t a manufacture calibre but is based on a Sellita ébauche. The three-part, stainless steel case is water resistant to 5atm but I doubt you’ll want to wear this watch swimming.
As with all Frederique Constant timepieces, pricing is very reasonable, with the steel version (ref. FC-350MC5B6) priced at CHF 1,395 and the rose-gold plated version (ref. FC-350MC5B4) priced at CHF 1,695. More details on frederiqueconstant.com.
Technical specifications – Frederique Constant Classics Automatic GMT
- Case: 42mm diameter – stainless steel or rose-gold plated steel – sapphire crystal on both sides – water resistant to 5atm / 50m
- Movement: calibre FC-350, based on a Sellita ebauche – automatic winding – 28,800 vibrations per hour – power reserve 38 hours – 26 jewels – hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT display on the central axis.
- Strap: dark brown or black leather strap with pin buckle
- Reference: Stainless Steel FC-350MC5B6 – Rose-gold plated steel FC-350MC5B4.
- Price: CHF 1,395 (steel) / CHF 1,695 (rose gold plated steel)
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.