Watches with white dials and painted black markings have a supremely classic, dress watch appearance, but enamel dials are subject to a slow process of ageing which over time creates that slightly off-white, yellowish appearance that gives them the patina of old age. This is not really a problem, as we’re talking about decades. In this piece by Frederique Constant, the dial is hand-made in porcelain. This is a substance that remains virtually unchanged over time, because the firing process vitrifies the clay body. Porcelain is a notoriously difficult material to work, and in this case the dials are made by Hungarian company Zsolnay, where each dial is carefully shaped and then finished by hand to create the slightly domed shape, before the dials are fired. The watch provides just hours and minutes.
The case is in stainless steel, 40 mm in diameter. The caseband has fluted finish that enhances the classical looks. The long lugs hold the black calfskin leather strap with printed crocodile pattern. Water resistance is 3 bar/30 metres. The watch has a sapphire caseback revealing the automatic movement, the FC-302 with 25 jewels and 42 hours power reserve. It is probably a movement made externally, by a Swiss company such as ETA or Sellita.
Price, reference and availability
The watch, reference FC-302P4S6, is a limited edition of 188 pieces. The number was chosen because 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture, 88 even more so. Peter Stas, CEO of Frederique Constant, lived in Asia for some years before founding the brand and developed a great sensitivity to Asian culture and traditions. The timepiece costs €1,895, a competitive price considering the problems involved in making a porcelain dial. It will be available from May 2016. Further information from http://frederiqueconstant.com/