The Swiss entry-luxury watchmaker will soon start selling its Frederique Constant Runabout limited edition automatic chronograph watch. Available both in two versions of stainless steel (with rhodium-plated or gold-plated (ref. FC-392RV6B6) elements of the dial) and in a rose gold-plated case, the generously sized wrist watch pays homage to the 1920s: the post-WWI European Golden Age that preceded the Great Depression. You got the pun, right?
The watch is powered by Frederique Constant’s FC-392 chronograph movement, which is based on the famous (and quite expensive compared to its main competitors) ETA Valjoux 7750 25 jewel natural-born automatic chronograph caliber.
Beating at 28,800 alternations per hour, this highly reliable movement features standard power reserve of 42 hours, a non-magnetic Glucydur balance wheel and Incablock anti-shock protection system that greatly increases robustness of the watch.
The movement is hidden inside a 43 mm stainless steel case with a set of massive integrated horns.
Although the lugs leave an impression of being too long for a watch of this size, this is just an illusion: the timekeeper measures approximately 52 millimeters from lug to lug and seems to fit nice just about any wrist of a normal size. Still, would be great to try one on your own wrist first before pulling the trigger: just to be sure that it fits.
Its caseback cover is made of solid steel but nevertheless features FC’s trademark porthole-styled cutout exhibiting a part of the finely decorated movement: the aforementioned balance-wheel.
On the photos below you may notice that the movement seems to be polished an tied together with blued screws.
Unlike most chronographs in the sub-2000 Euro price range that tend to sport flashy hey-look-at-me-style styling, the new Frederique Constant Runabout watch features a classic, unobtrusive design.
Although its three mandatory chronograph counters are nicely blended into the dial, their readings are absolutely legible and thanks to a set of black-painted hands wouldn’t require from you excessive concentration.
A subsidiary seconds hand, which is located at 9 hours, too, sports a black pointer slightly decreasing the timekeeper’s legibility, but that is only a minor annoyance.
Like the “Healey Le Mans” Limited Edition timepiece, this one is also available in a gift box with a miniature copy of a Runabout yacht.
As usual, Frederique Constant offers good value for relatively small money. Yes, I understand that the official price of €1850 is nothing to sniff at, but, still you get a nice (albeit a bit generic, let’s be honest here) dress watch that is powered by one of the best (both in terms of reliability and ability to keep good time) chronograph movements currently available on the market. In my opinion, this is a very solid product.
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph Automatic watch’s specification :
Price range: €1850 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber FC-392, base ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, date
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, or Steel plated in rose gold
Case dimensions: 43.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lugs: 23 mm
Dial: Silver with hand polished Arabic numerals
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Dark Brown calf strap, Rose gold plated buckle. Water-resistant inner lining
Crystal: Sapphire, convex
Back: Solid, engraved, circular cutout over balance wheel