When it comes to luxury watches, people tend to stick with the usual suspects like Rolex and Omega. However, if you are such a collector, you are missing out on some of the best high-quality luxury watches out there. This is exactly why I have decided to write this Frederique Constant Worldtimer review.
Personally, I really like the Frederique Constant brand because they are quite great at offering high-quality timepieces with in-house movements at fairly reasonable prices. Many luxury brands still demand absurd prices for their watches while using classic ETA movements.
For me, the brand name alone just won’t cut it.
Frederique Constant is a brand close to my heart since they have brought unique watches to the table for reasonable. Is this the case with the Frederique Constant Worldtimer?
Let’s take a closer look!
Frederique Constant Worldtimer Review: At a Glance
As you can see, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer is a true worldtimer, it’s not just a GMT watch with cities ring. Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let us first take a look at the key specs and features of the watch:
|Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture|
|FC-718 Automatic movement. 26 jewels, 28’800 alt/h with Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Worldtimer|
|Water-resistance:||Water-resistant to 5 ATM|
|Navy, world map, applied white luminous indexes.|
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, reference FC-718NWM4H6.
As I held the watch in my hands, my eyes are immediately drawn to the world timer dial. I am too fond of dials that are way too busy but it seems Frederique Constant knows how to pull it off well. If you like your information with an in your face approach, this watch might just be for you.
With that said, Frederique Constant did a great job with this stunning dial. It certainly sports a very unique look and it’s how you pull off a dressier traveler’s watch. Despite the sheer complexity of the dial, I can see traditional watchmaking design elements such as the elegant alpha hands and the beautiful sunburst finish.
But surely, this watch would be difficult to use, right? Despite its busy profile, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer features one of the easiest world time complication I’ve used.
The predominant navy blue works rather well with the multi-layered approach of the design. While it does feed you information that you probably don’t need each and every time, pulling out the info that you need becomes a non-issue once you get used to the watch.
Also, I’ve been getting compliments and “where did you buy that” questions while wearing the watch.
The Worldtimer Dial
The Worldtimer dial is easily the star of this timepiece.
The dial’s centerpiece is the gray anthracite world map with illuminated applied hour markers. The innermost ring is the bi-color 24-hour ring, the white refers to the traditional day hours and blue for the traditional dark hours.
The outermost ring is the city-ring which can be operated via the crown. The different cities correspond to each major time zones. The city ring is aligned with the 24-hour ring and is used to display the corresponding time.
Now, this may seem to be confusing but the watch is actually quite simple to use. Basically, you simply have to set the city that represents your home timezone to the 12 o’clock position. This is done by rotating the crown counterclockwise at the first stop. Once the ring is set to your home time in the city ring, you can then look at any other time zone to know the time. The rest of the work is left to the movement.
It’s a really elegant solution without complicating things so much.
As for the actual design of the dial, it is fairly stylish with an upmarket look. While there’s a lot going on in the dial, it’s wonderfully legible including the names of the cities.
If there’s one thing I’m not sure of is the large date sub-dial at 6 o’clock. On one hand, I appreciate that they made the date dial large enough for legibility but it annoyingly obscures five of the twenty time zones and a considerable part of the world map. A simple date window or even an “oversized” date window is a much better solution.
Regardless of the date dial, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer’s dial is a resounding success.
Construction and Wearability
The Worldtimer is 42 mm in diameter and 12.1 mm in thickness. The three-piece case is made with polished stainless steel and the case back is sapphire. The 42 mm might seem a bit too large for many people but it’s actually the perfect size for this watch.
The complexity of the dial alone warrants a larger diameter, any less would negatively impact the Worldtimer’s legibility. Even with the larger diameter, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer doesn’t feel like a 42 mm watch. This can be attributed to the designer’s decision to include a domed case. As a result, the watch looks and feels smaller than it is.
Comfort is also a non-issue which is a way of saying that it wears comfortably. It never felt too heavy and sits nicely on the wrist. The curve of the lugs is rather smooth unlike in other watches that are sharp. I don’t know about you but I don’t like the feel of lugs poking against my skin.
The Worldtimer comes with a navy alligator strap with off-white stitching. Along with the polished case, the inclusion of the alligator strap adds up to a rather sharp-looking timepiece. Imagine yourself wearing a dressier travel watch as you jaunt from one country to the next.
The watch oozes traditional elegance but with a contemporary twist as well.
The other brown dial version (ref: FC-718WM4H6B) comes with a light brown leather strap with white stitches.
You can’t have a Frederique Constant Worldtimer review without talking about its in-house movement. The entire Worldtimer collection is powered by the in-house FC-718 caliber movement. Other watchmakers could have thrown in a standard GMT movement and called it a day.
However, that’s not the case with Frederique Constant’s world time watch.
The FC-718 Manufacture automatic caliber features 26 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. World times generally need at least one additional pusher for advancing things but not so much here. With the FC-718 movement, everything is done via the crown and that’s a design decision that I can get behind.
Frederique Constant not only made an in-house movement but they also made it in a way that everything can be adjusted via the crown – no additional pushers or buttons here. This makes the watch a breeze to operate despite looking complicated on the surface.
The movement is a thing of beauty as well and thanks to the transparent crystal case back, viewing the movement is made possible. The movement is designed to be clean and simple from the ground up. Timekeeping works great and I have yet to encounter any issues.
For this price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a timepiece with a stunning in-house movement.
Watch folks are a tough crowd and they will turn up their noses just with the price alone. This is quite a shame since many collectors would probably shy away from Frederique Constant Worldtimer just because of the accessible price.
True enough, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer is offered at a rather unexpected price. With a high-quality, polished design and an in-house movement, many of you are probably asking: “what’s the catch?”
Honestly, there is none!
What we have here is a full-featured World Time watch that delivers in quality and features. There are also some smart design decisions here that make the watch a cinch to use. Even if you are not familiar with using world time models, the Worldtimer is a good model to get you started.
Seriously, one of the most attractive aspects of the watch is its price point. This package offers great value for the dollar.
Should You Get the Frederique Constant Worldtimer?
This Frederique Constant Worldtimer review won’t be complete without our final verdict.
So should you bother looking in the direction of the Frederique Constant Worldtimer? Absolutely!
If you are looking for this style of world timer, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer offers a value, unlike anything you’ve seen before. While the complex dial makes it seem like a tough piece to use, operating the watch is actually very intuitive. Everything is done via the crown so you don’t have to fiddle around with pushers or buttons for setting the watch.
The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is highly recommended for buyers who are looking to get into the realm of world time watches. It’s also a great option for jet setters who prefer a classier and dressier watch than the sportier GMTs on the market. Overall, it’s a unique timepiece that offers excellent versatility.
On the other hand, this watch is not for you if you like your dials plain and simple. There’s really a lot going on with the watch and there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. The date dial obscuring many of the dial elements can also be a deal-breaker for many collectors.
The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer looks great, inside and out. Plus, it’s versatile and very easy to use with a low entry barrier in terms of price.