Frederique Constant releases a new version of the Classics Worldtimer Offline Full Black Special Edition. We met up with CEO Niels Edderding who showed us the watch. Here is our impressions on the novelty.
We have been quite impressed with the works of Frederique Constant for many years, and have been trying to bring in-depth reviews of their watches for many years. But with limited success, as their presence in the region was rather limited. We only managed to do brief overviews of the Rally collection, the Worldtimer and a new dial for the Hybrid. So we were quite happy that our friends at Watches of Switzerland is now the sole partner for FC to bring in the watches. And look forward to a closer relationship with the brand and having access to the watches.
Our earlier features- the amazing Hybrid was done when we were in Baselworld and visited the FC stand. And the detailed hands-on review of the Slimline Monolithe took a lot of persuasion and persistence to make happen, though we were finally able to make that happen after putting pressure on the local distributors through our senior Citizen (who are the current owners of the brand) contact and via the Frederique Constant HQ contact.
New and Reviewed: Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Offline Full Black Special
The retail price for the new Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Offline Full Black Special Reference FC-718BAWM4TH6 is SGD 6,200 inclusive of GST. Available at Watches of Switzerland, Singapore.
Nickned by Frederique Constant CEO Neils Edderding as “The Globetrotter”, the Classics Worldtimer series is a collection with an in-house manufactured movement, with all functions for the worldtimer adjustable by the crown.
The collection currently has 5 members, with this new Offline Full Black Special bringing the numbers to 6. The other models have a stainless steel case – two in polished steel, and one in gold plated. The polished steel case is available in two dial options. The final variant is offered in a rose gold case. This novelty adds to the collection in a black PVD titanium case, and offered in a fifth dial variant, and available in a limited edition of 300 pieces.
The case, dial and hands
As touched on, this is a new variant of the Worldtimer. Interestingly, the new titanium model is priced at the same retail price for the steel variants – SGD 6,200 from retail stores, and SGD 6,700 online from FC. This is interesting because some other brands are asking for a huge premium for the titanium versions of their steel watches. For example A. Lange & Söhne is looking at EUR 55,000 for their Odysseus in titanium, while the retail price for the original launch steel edition is set at SGD 40,700 (about EUR 28,000). As a side note, the Lange website now lists the entire Odysseus lineup as Price on Application.
The case is crafted in a matte black PVD titanium. We particularly liked the matte finishing, especially for a travel watch, as it is more resistant to finger prints and other grunge that gets on to a travel watch, and also perhaps sometimes more important in these days of high robbery alert in many major cities, makes the watch more discreet.
The dial is quite busy, as with any world timer, as it needs to squeeze in a lot of data into the small space, but the FC Classics Worldtimer Full Black remains quite legible. The cities ring is in black, with the IATA codes for 24 airports around the world. This is different to the other members of the family, where the cities are spelt out in full. The dial also carries an additional 24 hour ring with black and white indicators, the hour & minute hands as wll as the date counter. The central part of the dial carries a world map which embossed over the black dial which is finished in a sunray motif.
The movement FC-718
The movement is Frederique Constant in-house manufacture FC-718. This is a variant of their workhorse FC-700 series and is fully visible from the open case back. The first attraction is the gold plated full size rotor, and the industrially applied Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations.
Movement finishing is de rigeur for a watch pitched with this complication at this price level. It is neither fancy or excessively decorative, but sufficient for engineering needs for the movement to be clean. It does not make any pretence to be a haute horlogerie movement, and the modest pricing is testament to that.
This FC Classics Worldtimer is a beautiful looking watch. The black PVD finish is a nice touch for a world timer – not only is the finish resistant to finger prints, it is also presents itself in a low key, discreet way, great for a traveller. Of course, the world timer feature lends itself well to this usage.
On the wrist, the FC Classics Worldtimer wears somewhat smaller than the 42mm case dameter suggests. We think the lug design may be responsible for this, and indeed it feels very nice when strapped on. As the case is in titanium, the watch feels relatively light when worn, a good plus for traveling.
Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Offline Full Black Special Specifications
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date by hand, worldtimer
Movement FC-718 in-house caliber, automatic with all functions adjustable by the crown
Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations
38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, 28’800 alt/h
Case Stainless steel 3-part case with PVD titanium coating and sandblasting finishing
Diameter of 42 mm
Height of 12,10 mm
Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
Engraved and see-through threaded case back
Water-resistant up to 5 ATM/50m/164ft
Dial Black dial with sunray finishing and embossed world map
Applied silver color indexes filled with white luminous treatment and white graduation
24H disc with day (white) & night (black) indication
Black city disc with 24 airport codes
Hand-polished black hour and minute hands filled with white luminous treatment
Hand-polished black second hand
Black date counter at 6 o’clock with sunray guilloché decoration in the center and hand-polished black hand
Strap Black alligator leather strap
Limited edition Limited to 300 pieces