Next month the Swiss watchmaker will present its new Frederique Constant Amour Heart Beat line of automatic ladies watches that were designed by the Chinese actress Shu Qi, who is known for her roles in Luc Besson’s blockbuster The Transporter and in the sequel to the horror movie The Eye.
As you can see on the pictures, the new collection takes the concept of an “open-heart watch” literally: the cutout in the dial that gives 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 “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 of the watch.
Surprisingly, especially when it comes to the model with 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 clearly 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 perlage 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 very disappointing. Well, I hope they will correct this mistake in the next iteration of the watch.
Well, the case looks rather standard here.
With its diameter of just 34 millimeters it seems to be ideal for an average woman’s wrist and its lugs are short enough for the watch 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 rather short, looks quite ergonomic and easy to operate thanks to its prominent notches and the cabochon-style stone that decorates it makes a really 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 ladies watch with an automatic inside.
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Amour Heart Beat automatic ladies watch specification
Price: $4500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber FC-310 (base ETA 2824-2), Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case material: Stainless steel or Rose gold plated
Bezel material: Stainless steel or Rose gold plated
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 34.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Opaline white / Sweet vanilla / Gourmet chocolate
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Leather or Satin
Case back: Transparent