A Swiss-made tourbillon wristwatch with an automatic movement is rare enough — but finding one that costs less than $40,000 is virtually impossible. We say “virtually,” because Frédérique Constant, a brand long known for its impressive cost-benefit ratio, has added such a watch to its repertoire with the introduction of the Slimline Tourbillon Manufacture, a limited edition of 188 pieces.
The new men’s watch, which follows the launch of Frédérique Constant’s Ladies’ Slimline Collection, boasts an exclusive in-house movement that features an escapement wheel and lever made of silicon (the company prefers to use the French term, silicium) and beats at a rapid frequency of 28,800 vph. The silicon components, according to the company, add greater durability and timekeeping accuracy to the movement and reduce the need for servicing it. The movement also holds a 48-hour power reserve. (Click photos for larger images.)
Like those of the Slimline Ladies’ models, this watch’s case is notable for its clean lines and understated, 1950s-inspired look. It is also, as one would expect from the watch’s name, incredibly slender, measuring less than one centimeter thick. The curved, sliver dial features hand-applied, rose-gold-plated indices. The upper half of the dial has a day-night indicator and the lower half displays the rotating tourbillon cage at the 6 o’clock position. The tourbillon serves as the seconds counter, making one complete rotation every 60 seconds.
The Slimline Tourbillon Manufacture is offered in both a polished all-stainless-steel case and also in stainless steel with an 18k rose-gold bezel. Both models have sapphire exhibition casebacks, through which the owner can glimpse the movement, and in particular, its rose-gold-plated rotor. Both come with alligator leather straps with folding buckles. Each of the 188 watches is individually numbered and presented in a wooden gift box. Prices are $33,995 for the all stainless steel model and $36,995 for the version with a gold bezel.
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