When Swiss meets Danish – Introducing the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph x About Vintage
Editor’s note: This is a Mind (stats), Body (design features) & Soul (what’s special) review of the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph x About Vintage watch. For our other detailed reviews, please head to our dedicated review section here.
What is it: The new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph in collaboration with Danish watch brand About Vintage
Why: To celebrate Frederique Constant’s 32nd anniversary and as the press release puts it, it’s “exclusivity on a new level”
When released: November 2, 2020
Where: Online release, available via About Vintage’s website, and sold out at the time of writing
Who is it for: For lovers of both of these brands, but also for those who enjoy the idea of owning a relatively affordable — €3999 — limited edition — 32 pieces only — timepiece with an in-house movement
How does it do: Frederique Constant as we all know for the past 32 years has been innovating in the world of entry-level Swiss-made luxury timepieces. For those of you who aren’t aware of About Vintage, it is a young Danish brand founded in 2014 in Copenhagen by childhood friends and watch enthusiasts, Sebastian Skov and Thomas Andersen. They make simple, vintage-inspired timepieces for the everyday gent and woman. Together, Frederique Constant x About Vintage create magic.
It is not their first rodeo though; both the brands have a successful past history of collaborating. Back in 2018 they designed the 1988 Moonphase which became the most exclusive timepiece in About Vintage’s collection. Now given the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph watches sold out really quickly, what else can I say except they obviously hit the mark with the collectors.
Missing: Can’t say I can find anything wrong with this one but that said, in their press release they mention that “both Frederique Constant and About Vintage share the vision of aiming to create luxury timepieces for the everyday person,” and while price point wise and quality wise that’s true, the low 38-hour power reserve and 50m water-resistance can certainly be improved upon if these timepieces need to withstand everyday usage aptly.
The heart used — FC-760 Manufacture caliber — is an automatic winding mechanical flyback chronograph — with date adjustable by the crown — movement beating at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h). The movement comprises of 32 jewels, 233 components and boasts of a 38-hour power reserve. One can admire the perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement through the display case-back.
The movement is encased inside a 42mm diameter steel polished stainless steel 3-parts case that is water resistant up-to 50m (5 ATM).
The watch face shows the traditional functions of hours, minutes and seconds along with date by hand at 6’o clock, a peripheral tachymeter and the chronograph sub-counters.
The green dial with hand-polished rose gold plated hands is visually striking and offers a very distinctive and classy appeal. The contrasting rose gold hands offer for exceptional legibility as well. The azurage sub-dials are the same colour as the dial on the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph as compared to the contrast found in FC’s regular production models such as the ref. FC-760NS4H6 and ref. FC-760CHC4H4.
Personally, even though I am not a big fan of brands displaying too much text on the dials, I like the subtle ‘Limited Edition’ text at 4’o clock.
To complete this timeless and vintage look, the watch comes with the options of choosing three straps, all with deployant clasps stamped with the Frederique Constant logo: 1x Green Croco grain strap, 1x Black Croco Grain strap and 1x Brown Croco Grain strap.
In a nutshell, the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph shines as a complete package.
It’s not an entirely new package here but one that was seen and appreciated earlier this year when the brand released the Flyback Chronograph Manufacture collection that had been entirely developed, manufactured and assembled in-house. They offered it in two variations: rose-gold plated and stainless steel case materials.
We have talked about FC’s release here in more detail, but briefly put, the flyback chronograph movement used by the brand in these new watches replaces the standard column wheel — usually several column wheels are used that act as a system of clutches — with a star-shaped wheel. This results in a thinner movement with fewer parts and operations that ensures that the new watches have a movement that is simpler, smoother and more reliable.
The new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph is essentially the same watch, with a more vintage-inspired look and with some dial mods done by About Vintage.
As for my opinion, I think the mere mention of the idea of owning a vintage-inspired ‘Swiss heart Danish design’ timepiece for the price of €3999 (~7’000 AUD) that includes an in-house chronograph, a flyback complication, decent finishings, the exclusivity of only 32 pieces, and the inclusion of three straps — yes, I always give brands extra points when they make it easy to either switch between straps or provide easy options as I am someone who constantly changes straps on his timepieces — sounds outrageously appealing. All I can say is congrats to all those who managed to get their hands on these handsome timepieces.
To find out more about the new Frederique Constant 1988 Flyback Chronograph and other Frederique Constant watches, head to their website here. To find out more about the Danish watch brand About Vintage, head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © 2020 FREDERIQUE CONSTANT, GENÈVE