First Review: Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Collection, Launched With Gwyneth Paltrow


Hands on with one of the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Collection, launched last night in London with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Hands on with one of the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Collection, launched last night in London with Gwyneth Paltrow. (photo: R. Naas)

 Last night in London, Frederique Constant introduced its all-new Ladies Automatic Collection with its global charity ambassador, actress Gwyneth Paltrow. There are several models in the new series, and for each watch sold, Frederique Constant is donating $50 to Paltrow’s charity of choice: DonorsChoose.org (which supports education and sports for underprivileged children). Frederique Constant has been working with Paltrow and donating to charities for two years now. The ultra-feminine Ladies Automatic collection is new to the market, but for the past couple of weeks, we have been wearing one, so that we can review it hands-on.

Before we really delve into the blue-strapped beauty I have been wearing, let’s get some of the details out in the open. The models in the new Ladies Automatic collection are crafted of either stainless steel or rose-gold-plated stainless steel, and measuring 36mm in diameter. Additionally, there are two dial options: a full dial, or the brand’s more emblematic Double Heart Beat dial. The double-heart version retails for $100 more than the solid-dial version, and allows the wearer a glimpse of the movement within via two overlapping heart openings at 12:00.

For each Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch sold, the brand is donating $50 to Gwyneth Paltrow's charity of choice: DonorsChoose.org

For each Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch sold, the brand is donating $50 to Gwyneth Paltrow’s charity of choice: DonorsChoose.org

The brand’s in-house Caliber FC-310 Heart Beat automatic movement with 25 jewels and 38 hours of power reserve powers the Double Heart Beat watch. The FC-303 Automatic movement with 26 jewels and 38 hours of power reserve powers the full-dial models. Additionally, each features a convex sapphire crystal and a transparent sapphire caseback for viewing of the movement and its exceptional rose-gold plated rotor.  While the dial options are either full dial or Heart Beat dial, the motif on the sunray dial is the same for all options, and each watch sports either six or eight (depending on the model) diamond markers. Dial colors range from a sublime pale gray/silver to a rich midnight blue or deep burgundy. All of the watches in the collection are water resistant to 5 ATM.

The Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch has a two-part ergonomically designed case.

The Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch has a two-part ergonomically designed case. (Photo: R. Naas)

Hands On With the Frederique Constant Ladies’ Automatic

I am going to get this out of the way right up front. I was given a choice to review the full-dial model or the Double Heart Beat dial. Because I am not a fan of heart motifs, even though I love viewing a portion of the movement, I opted to wear the full-dial model.   The version I was given to review boasts a pale gray/silver dial motif and is fitted with a pale blue alligator strap and Frederique Constant logo deployment clasp (Ref. FC-310LGDH3B6). When it arrived, two important design aspects jumped out at me: the thinness of the nicely curved, ergonomic two-part case and the dial motif. The case is sleek with curved lugs and comfortable construction. While Frederique Constant refers to the dial as a sunray decoration, it actually has a very sophisticated, barely visible  pattern on it that I found quite charming.

My overall first impression of the watch was “classic” but somehow chic and a bit on the modern side. The bezel-set diamonds are a nice addition to the dial, because they catch the light and draw just the right amount of sparkle. The applied Roman numerals at 12:00, 6:00 and 9:00 are color-coordinated in rose gold plate or steel with the case, as are the long, slim hands – making for a really nice, balanced look. One of the nice things about the full-dial watch is that it is powered by the FC-303 movement and equipped with a useful date indication at 3:00. I love the fact that the date indicator is actually large enough to read without being obtrusive. As to the size of the watch, I think the 36mm is great for a small, thin wrist. Even though I typically prefer a larger watch, this one made its own classically elegant and feminine statement on my wrist.

The full-dial Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch is powered by the FC-303 automatic movement.

The full-dial Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch is powered by the FC-303 automatic movement. (Photo: R. Naas)

Inside the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Watch

Being a long-time lover of mechanical watches, I am impressed with the finishings of this FC-303 Automatic movement. In typical Frederique Constant style, it offers a great value/craftsmanship proposition. The movement – visible via a sapphire crystal case back- depicts the two-color metal gears and wheels, and features a meticulously finished rose-gold-plated rotor. The movement components are also finished with a spiral (colimacon) decoration.

In all, I think the new collection offers great value for top-quality craftsmanship. While the watch I wore retails for $1,595, the entire collection ranges from that price on up to $1,995 for the rose-gold-plated Double Heart Beat version.

The stainless steel and rose goldplated versions of the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch -- unveiled with Gwyneth Paltrow in London last night.

The stainless steel and rose gold-plated versions of the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watch — unveiled with Gwyneth Paltrow in London last night.

A word about Frederique Constant and Gwyneth Paltrow

I have had the good fortune of meeting and interviewing Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who is a charity brand ambassador for Frederique Constant. I love the fact that she has gotten behind a host of charities to support those less fortunate than most, and that she has teamed with Frederique Constant as the brand’s Global Charity Brand Ambassador to make an impact in the world. Frederique Constant has been donating $50 from each watch sold in its Ladies collections since 2004. The new Lady Automatic watches unveiled last night are the highlight of the brand’s newest Charity Advertising Campaign featuring Paltrow and focused on donating to DOnorsChoose.org. Frederique Constant has also launched a micro-site for the new collection.

Please scroll down to see other versions of the new Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic watches unveiled with Gwyneth Paltrow last night.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watch is powered by the FC-310 caliber.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watch is powered by the FC-310 caliber.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watch in stainless steel.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watch in stainless steel.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watches in burgundy and blue.

Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watches in burgundy and blue.


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