Next month, Frederique Constant will present its new Amour Heart Beat line that was designed by the Chinese actress Shu Qi. If the name sounds familiar, it is alright: the young actress is known for her roles in Luc Besson’s blockbuster ‘The Transporter’ and the sequel to the horror movie ‘The Eye.’
As you can see in the pictures, the new collection takes the concept of an “open-heart dial” literally: the cutout in the dial that gives a view at the beating balance of the FC-310 automatic movement is heart-shaped.
More than that, the opening also serves as a part of the “Amour” inscription on the dial and is further decorated with numerous H-colored diamonds that play perfectly together with the heart-shaped guilloche decoration in the center and the mother-of-pearl outer ring.
The small stones are of the same color as the 48 full-cut diamonds that are set on the bezel.
Surprisingly, especially when it comes to the model with a white mother-of-pearl dial, the timekeeper’s face is easy to read in normal lighting, although the lack of lume will probably make it useless in darker places like, say, a movie theater.
The Caliber FC-310 that animates this new timekeeper is the good old ETA 2824-2 blank movement. Known for its reliability and bullet-proof robustness, the mechanism seems to come without any extra modifications save for a branded oscillating weight that looks like it was gold-plated for a stronger visual effect.
To my taste, a watch that makes such a strong accent on its mechanism (when you show the balance wheel via a special cutout in the dial and equip your timepiece with a transparent back, you want everybody to take a look at the movement that powers it) needs something more impressive than a mass-produced caliber that comes in an almost unfinished form.
The usual circular-graining finish on the visible part of the balance bridge just doesn’t seem to work on a timepiece that is offered at a price of some $4500 apiece. After your expectations are set particularly high with all these diamonds on the dial and bezel (as well as Ms. Shu Qi facsimile on the transparent back), seeing nothing but a standard balance bridge is disappointing. Well, I hope they will correct this mistake in the next iteration.
Well, the case looks rather standard here.
With its diameter of just 34 millimeters, it is ideal for an average woman’s wrist and its lugs are short enough for the Amour Heart Beat not to look too wide. It may be a bit too thick for some, but that’s generally the price that you pay for getting yourself a watch powered by a mass-produced self-winding movement.
The crown, despite being short, looks ergonomic and easy to operate thanks to its prominent notches, and the cabochon-style stone that decorates it makes a nice accent.
There is still no info on the price, but it looks that the new Frederique Constant Amour Heart Beat is going to be of great success among those looking for a dressy timekeeper with an automatic mechanism inside.
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Amour Heart Beat specification
Price: $4500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber FC-310 (base ETA 2824-2), Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: Stainless steel or Rose gold plated
Size: 34.00 mm
Dial: Opaline white / Sweet vanilla / Gourmet chocolate
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Leather or Satin