The 2012 Frederique Constant Moon Timer (ref. FC-330B6B6) comes equipped with the same automatic movement as their rectangular-shaped Carree Moonphase Date model but is presented in a sportier, medium-sized body that reminds us about pocket watch-based models from the 1930s and perfectly matches its irresistibly vintage-styled dial layout. Curiously, the new timekeeper is more in line with the Heritage (Ref. AL-435B4SH6) model range that was recently updated by their sister brand Alpina.
The timekeeper’s face, as you can see on the pictures (I don’t know why did they use HDR effect on these photos, so don’t ask me,) offers highly legible, high-contrast layout with white hands and Arabic numerals looking especially sharp on the matte black, grainy background of the dial.
If the hour and minute hands were not just a trifle too short, I could even call the design of this dial flawless.
Since the watch is equipped with their well-known Caliber FC-330 automatic movement (it is based on the Sellita SW200 blank caliber,) the date is indicated not in the usual aperture, but using a red-tipped arrow-shaped hand that points at 31 white Arabic numerals printed on the flange. The moon phase indicator is conveniently placed at 6 hours where we usually expect it to be.
Although the movement is compact, the body measures a whole 43 millimeters in diameter. However, the case is slim (or, at least, slim enough for a model powered by a standard self-winding movement) so, overall, the Moon Timer doesn’t look too massive, even on a normal wrist.
Besides the classic black leather strap that is shown on the photos, there will also be a polished stainless steel bracelet as a second option. Still, to me, the leather strap looks like the best choice in this particular case.
The watch was officially presented at the beginning of this month during the Baselworld 2012 show, so there is a good chance that the watch will be available internationally in the next couple of months.
Pricing still remains to be announced, but I don’t think that it will be more expensive than, say, $1800*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: Well, I was wrong. Frederique Constant wants impressive $2300 for this model, which is a bit steep (I am trying to put it mildly here) given the timekeeper’s fairly average mechanism (I mean, there is nothing wrong with it, but it’d better be fine-tuned to top-notch spec to be placed into such an expensive time measuring device) with a rather basic add-on module and the brand’s overall value. Some basic googling shows that some online stores already offer this model at less than half the MSRP however, which is a lot closer to my understanding of fair price.
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Moon Timer (ref. FC-330B6B6) specification
Price: $2300 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber FC-330, based on Sellita SW200, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded rotor with vertical Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moon-phase
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Lug width: 22 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap or stainless steel bracelet