Believe it, and in-house Manufacture Flyback Chronograph below $4,000. Developed in-house from scratch over a six year period, manufactured components in-house, and finally assembled the caliber in-house, the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is, well, a marvel. Even better is that Frederique Constant offers watches with this in-house flyback chrono caliber FC-760 for a mere $3,672 retail (up to $4,295 for the plated rose gold versions). And the design is beautiful, with a wonderfully sized and balanced dial. This is the “magic” of Frederique Constant.
This new collection introduces two main versions: 1) a more casual look with a silver or dark grey smooth dial, baton markers and lance/alpha style hands, and 2) a more classical look with a silver dial and a refined “Clou de Paris” guilloché decoration, black printed roman numerals and Breguet-style hands. Both these versions are available in 42mm case in stainless steel or in rose gold-plated stainless steel. All variations pictured here or below.
Let’s take a closer look.
Flyback Chronograph Function
This FC-760 complication is reportedly inspired by 1930’s flyback chronographs and a desire to go beyond the basic chronograph. That is, with a flyback chronograph the hands can be stopped, reset to zero, and restarted with one push of a button. The ability to operate a chronograph without resetting it to zero every time is essential for timing an elapsed interval of events during races.
Pressing the push-piece just once starts the timer again from zero. In this case, the push-piece at 4 o’clock and its associated mechanism cause three tasks to be performed very quickly one after the other: first, the clutch is disengaged; secondly, the chronograph is reset to zero by means of the single-piece hammer, whose sloping surfaces turn the two zero reset hearts so that the hands position themselves vertically again; and thirdly, the clutch engages once more as soon as the push-piece is released.
An unmistakable characteristic of high-quality chronographs is a column wheel rotating on bearings to control the three “start, stop and reset” functions. In conventional mechanisms, this component has several columns. In contrast, the caliber FC-760 has no standard-type column wheel, but a star-shaped one, protected by a Frederique Constnt patent. Together with the operating lever, which is controlled by the start/stop push-piece, this component is responsible for the exceptionally smooth operation of the mechanism.
Three counters are placed at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock displaying the 30 minute counter, date by hand, and small seconds respectively.
Very nicely done, Frederique Constant!!!