Available in three different versions, the 2011 Frederique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph (refs. FC-396SB6B6, FC-396S6B6 & FC-396V6B6) collection was officially introduced in March 2011 during the Baselworld 2011 international trade show.
As you can see from the photos, this is a typical Frederique Constant model.
It will be delivered in a medium-sized stainless steel case 43 mm in diameter. Its lugs are rather wide-spaced, so they look long providing the watch with even more energetic and sportier appearance.
The signature arrowhead-shaped hour and minute hands are also here and they are still covered with white Superluminova, as do the 12 hour-markers.
According to the company, the chronograph’s dial will be available in three versions, each limited to 1888 pieces. Frankly, with so many wristwatches to be manufactured (5664 pieces is nothing to sneeze at) the whole run is technically a limited edition family, but you probably shouldn’t expect the chronograph to immediately gain resale value just because the series production number is finite, it will still depreciate like a normal Swiss-made timekeeper from a second-tier brand. Well, maybe in fifty years or so it will be rare enough to get attention from collectors.
There will be two versions with tone-on-tone chronograph totalizers with hands and hour-markers either in rose gold-plated steel (ref. FC-396V6B6) or in polished stainless steel (ref. FC-396S6B6). And there will also be a version with black counters and stainless steel hands (ref. FC-396SB6B6): a combo that looks the most appealing to yours truly.
All three versions of the device will be powered by the new caliber FC-396 automatic movement, which is possibly based on a blank caliber from ETA*.
However, the movement will also be personalized with a branded winding rotor engraved with Peking to Paris logo (the collection celebrates the partnership between Frederique Constant and the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.)
It is not yet clear when the company will start selling the watch and at which price, but I must admit that I would love to get myself the version with the black counters if the price is right**.
Available soon in three different versions, the new Vintage Racing Chronograph (refs. FC-396SB6B6, FC-396S6B6 & FC-396V6B6) will be officially introduced next month at Baselworld 2011 international trade show.
* UPDATE ON MECHANISM: Okay, it’s a good old ETA 7753 chronograph movement: a good and reliable workhorse that, like a proverbial gadget, “just works”.
** UPDATE ON PRICE: Well, the price is actually right. Frederique Constant is planning to sell this watch with MSRP of $3400, so there is a good chance that soon it will be available online at even more appealing $2500 or so. Isn’t that great?
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph (refs. FC-396SB6B6, FC-396S6B6 & FC-396V6B6) specification
Price: $3400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber FC-396 (base ETA 7753), 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight is engraved with Peking to Paris logo
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: 18/23 mm
Case height: 14.80 mm
Hands: Arrowhead-shaped, rose gold-plated or polished stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black or brown crocodile-pattern leather with steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective