Frederique Constant collaborates with Peter Speake

The Geneva-based brands emblematic Manufacture collection, renowned for its refined design, has been enhanced by a timepiece created in collaboration with English watchmaker Peter Speake. This unique creation issued in a 135-piece limited edition features a perpetual calendar complication adopting an original approach.

The Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture designed by Peter Speake features an airy, contemporary look. Solid surfaces have been cut away to reveal the innermost workings of the movement. All of the displays have been skeletonised, as have the hands (to which a luminous coating has been applied), revealing the mechanical ballet of the FC-775 calibre in all its glory; the seconds hand has been done away with altogether to preserve the assertively functional ethos.

The timepiece adopts the same minimalist approach when it comes to colours: just two have been used, white and matt anthracite grey – a combination offering perfect contrast – plus a dash of red at the end of three of the five hands to add a final touch of clarity to the related reading. A restrained, contemporary approach chosen by Peter Speake, an independent watchmaker known for his discreet, personal designs.

The movement, meanwhile, bears all the hallmarks of the Frederique Constant Manufacture. Each component boasts its own straight-grained finish; the gears of the perpetual calendar feature a circular satin finish and blued screws in the best traditions of fine Geneva watchmaking. The transparent caseback reveals the openwork oscillating weight characteristic of the Maison’s Manufacture movements, endowed with an up to 38-hour power reserve. In a rare move for Frederique Constant, the rotor has also been coloured blue, echoing the blued screws. The words “Limited Edition 135 pieces” are engraved on each timepiece; each comes on a grey nylon strap with matching overstitching.

The design of a perpetual calendar dial is critical given how many indications need to be displayed. It must be both readable and functional, and Frederique Constant’s Manufacture Perpetual Calendar achieves just that. The day and date – the two most important items of information required on a daily basis – are displayed along the horizontal axis of the dial in that order, so as to be read off in a simple and intuitive manner, from left to right. Additional information is displayed along the vertical axis: the month at 12 o’clock and the moonphase at 6 o’clock.

That only leaves an event that affects the wearer just once in every four years on 29 February: the presence of a leap year. Since this detail is not needed for everyday use, it has been moved over to the month display at 12 o’clock. Here, it can be housed intuitively together with February, the month affected by leap years. A discreet red dot appears for the month in question when the year has 366 days; at all other times, the window remains white.

February 08, 2024