Friday, October 12, 2012

Wrapping up the Frederique Constant Index Moonphase

It has, in fact, been more than 15 days - this is sort of an unfortunate trend with my reviews lately!  But fortunate for me as I get a few extra days of enjoyment before returning these wonderful treasures.

I think for me the best part about this watch is the face or dial.  It is really "reader-friendly".  Large numbers (not Roman numerals) and a LEGIBLY LARGE outer date ring.  For rapidly approaching middle-aged eyes like myself this is a real joy.  I can actually read the date without lifting up my glasses and squinting!  The hands and the numbers are wonderfully luminous.  You can actually see them in the dark, which unlike a lot of other options out there.  The folks at Frederique Constant actually designed and constructed this watch with the idea that someone out there might actually want to wear it every day!

And that attention to the end user is evident in the strap and deployment buckle that Frederique Constant has paired with this watch. How many watches do you see out there with the same generic, poorly conceived deployment buckle? You know the one - big, bulbous, and about as comfortable as a three-hour dinner party with all of your ex girlfriends/boyfriends! Who wants to go through that? Well clearly not the folks at Frederique Constant. This is a deployment buckle that is incredibly easy to operate, that seems purposely designed and built for THIS watch, and looks fantastic.

The case itself and the fit and finish are also something to really recommend about this - and frankly EVERY Frederique Constant watch I have seen this past year. While I am by no means the worlds expert on the watch industry, I certainly worked in it long enough to know the routine that a lot of companies follow - Get as close as you can to the basic design, and then order whatever existing parts are out there that will fit. Cases are often less than well-finished, the crown and straps seem to be after thoughts - almost as if the watch itself was shipped to various different facilities during different periods of its assembly. There is almost a dissonant feeling to the finished product. Once again - not so with the Index Moonphase. Everything is seemingly PURPOSE DESIGNED and BUILT for this specific watch. Now I realize that the Index Moonphase is part of the Index collection, but yet and still this does not look like, wear like or feel like a mass produced product.

So last, but not least, let's talk about the movement, and the time keeping. The movement is not one of Frederique Constant's manufacture models. Rather it is a Selita movement with a moonphase complication module added. Now back in the late 90s when Wendy and I were still living in Finland, I became somewhat unseemly obsessed with the moonphase/day/date touneau case watch that Oris was offering at the time. It was a beautiful, very well thought out watch. But it was also FUSSY! Smaller dial, small apertures for day and month, and "pusher" pieces that had to be utilized with a tool to make adjustments to the month, moonphase, etc.
The beauty in this watch is the simplicity and functionality. The moonphase and date are adjusted with main crown in the same position as a standard day date quick - set function. The timing has been wonderfully accurate. The final average was + 6/+7 seconds per day.

I think for me this watch is a wonderful example of what Frederique Constant refers to as "Affordable Luxury".  After all, does a watch have to cost a "jillion" dollars to be "nice"?  Of course not!  This is a reasonably priced watch with a lot of wonderful design elements with a fantastic fit and finish. 

So really, just about the highest feedback I can give for a watch. 

Design, construction, look and feel - all at a price that real people can afford. 

Well done Frederique Constant!

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