I never met a watch lover that is not in-loved with Guilloché. Even if it’s not a watch and just a guilloché decorated metal object.
According to Wikipedia: Guilloché (or guilloche) is a decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material via engine turning, which uses a machine of the same name, also called a rose engine lathe. This mechanical technique improved on more time-consuming designs achieved by hand and allowed for greater delicacy, precision, and closeness of line, as well as greater speed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilloch%C3%A9)
The best known for guilloche dials is Breguet, which started in 1786 with this almost crazy repetitive technique to decorate dials. Meanwhile, this decorative element is present in all great brands but also in more affordable names like Orient (Seiko Group). Some use this decoration as the base for enamel, increasing the complexity and the depth of a dial.
Not only the big Watch Groups use this technique, the AHCI masters are using it often. (for example the Voutilainen Chronograph)
One of the brands that use guilloché as a decorative element is Frederique Constant Geneve, a lovely independent company which has, in my opinion, a strong position in the hearts of watch enthusiasts. From their collections, I had a weakness for the Slimline Classics Automatic.
I can say that I am familiarized with the collections from Frederique Constant, but when I saw it in the dealer windows it was instant love. I already knew it from the website, but the third-degree encounter made me madly and deeply in-loved with it. Of course, I couldn’t resist to try it, but I didn’t buy it right away. So the rest of the day I thought about it and talked about it with Diana.
The standard box of a Slimline Classics
The next day, fearful that it might be gone, I met some friends to look at some jewellery and ran breathlessly to it. I couldn’t resist and with an approval look from Diana and 40%-discount from the dealer, I took the new love home. In matters of watches, I am like a Sultan with a Harem: I love and treasure my first love but I just can’t stop falling in love again with another timepiece.
The Slimline Classics is fitted with the automatic movement FC-306, which is based on Selita calibre SW300-1.
Slimline Classics back side with movement window
The Selita SW300-1 caliber is used as a base in very known watches like: Tag Heuer Caliber 11and 12 (both in Monaco watches), Tag Heuer Caliber 18 (Carrera), IWC Caliber 65111 and 35800 (both in Portofino), Bell & Ross Caliber BR-CAL.302 (Officer, Air Skull, Military, Desert), Montblanc Caliber MB 29.15 (Heritage), Baume & Mercier, Meistersinger and others.
View at the Caliber FC-306
FC-306 has a heart beating with 4Hz and Incabloc anti-shock system, 25 jewels and 42 hours of power reserve. The rotor is decorated with fausses côtes (Geneva waves) and makes a great contrast with the rest of the calibre and the case.
There are two reasons why I fell in love with this beauty: the dial and the case. The dial is silver with different types of guilloché decoration, printed classic Roman numerals in the perfect size and black Breguet hands. At the dial’s six o’clock is a discrete date. “Frederique Constant Geneve” logo is printed discreetly between ‘XI’ and ‘I’, and “Swiss Made” at the bottom of the dial around ‘VI’.
The details on the lower side of the dial
The absence of the seconds’ hand makes the dial simpler and easier to read (not that there was an issue with the readability) and the contrast is lovely. The different guilloché motives on the dial accentuate the regions on the dial and passing from one to another is done smoothly and pleasantly. “Precision tooling, with tolerances as low as 1/1000 ofa millimetrer, have been developed for each pattern and dial design” – Frederique Constant Website.
FC-306MC4S36 side view
The 39 mm stainless steel case has a height of 7.7 mm, Sapphire crystal and 2-O-Rings crown, 3 atm water resistance. The crown and case are nicely decorated and increase the overall beauty of the watch.
The watch comes with an alligator strap and the stainless steel buckle features the Frederique Constant Logo.
The watch is very elegant, stands out as something special and is comfortable to wear. Can be considered as a dress watch: only 2 discreet hands, date windows almost invisible (in the good way 🙂 ), warm white dial with sculptural Roman numerals and fine guilloché. What can you want more from such a beautiful watch. In my opinion, this timepiece can be considered a tribute to fine Geneva Watchmaking, as Frederique Constant intended to.
All the information and the official images are from http://frederiqueconstant.com/
Below some other images from the unboxing.