The Classics Index Automatic is a dress watch by Frederique Constant, at an entry-level price starting at 950 Swiss francs, €850. “Let more people enjoy luxury,” say the brand, and they also make the daring claim that this watch helps turn a man into a true gentleman. The watch is made in two versions, steel, and steel with rose gold plating. The Roman numerals and guilloché on the dial give it a feel of classical distinction. The date window represents a compromise between the ideal dress watch (which wouldn’t have it) and marketing requirements.
Case and dial
The case is in polished stainless steel, 40 mm in diameter, 10.3 mm thick, so it is slim enough to slip under a shirt cuff. The Roman numerals and central guilloché are evocative of the Pierre Arpels watch and the Baume & Mercier Classima. For each version you can choose between a dark brown or a black leather strap. Water resistance is higher than standard at 5 atm (no swimming or showering). The rose gold plating looks very nicely done, and when new, the watch looks like a gold watch – unlike PVD coatings which don’t have the same look of authenticity. Of course, gold plating requires a bit of care to avoid wear and scratching which would reveal the steel underneath. The watch has a solid caseback.
The Classics Index Automatic is powered by the FC-303 calibre, self-winding, with 26 jewels, running at 28,800 vibrations per hour, with a 38-hour power reserve. It is basically a Swiss-made Sellita SW200-1, with the stop-seconds function and quick date-setting.
Prices and references
The Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic in stainless steel is reference FC-303MS5B6, price €850, $950, 950 Swiss francs. Click here to see a selection of the cheapest mechanical watches.
The Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic with rose gold plating is reference FC-303MV5B4, price €1,050, $1,150, 1,150 Swiss francs. The watches are already available on the market (September 2017).More information on the Frederique Constant website.