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Frederique Constant Slimline Monolithic Manufacture

May 05, 2021 3 min read

Frederiqe Constant Monolithic Manufacture

A technological breakthrough in the field of precision timekeeping

Marking a world premiere, Frederique Constant presents a silicon oscillator beating at an unprecedented pace of 288,000 vibrations per hour, or 40 Hz. Redefining the principles of mechanical watch regulation, the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture ticks ten times faster than most mechanical movements. Thanks to its innovative design and reduced size, this revolutionary high-frequency silicon oscillator fits inside a traditional movement configuration. The 40mm Slimline Monolithic Manufacture is the proud recipient of this groundbreaking oscillator, the first watch in the world to boast a 40Hz frequency combined with a price that reflects the brand’s commitment to accessible luxury.

Frederique Constant Oscilator

 

A collaboration with Flexous

The idea behind the Monolithic Oscillator was born 3 years ago during an encounter between Peter Stas, co-founder and former CEO of Frederique Constant, and Dr Nima Tolou, founder and CEO of Flexous, an independent innovative horology-oriented technology branch of YES!Delft specialising in compliant or flexible mechanisms. Following their encounter, the Frederique Constant team commissioned Flexous with the production of a unique, flexible oscillating system. The technical mandates were clear: a size comparable to that of a traditional balance; the highest possible frequency; an 80-hour power reserve; and a cost-effective formula allowing the manufacture of significant quantities at a reasonable price..

Frederique Constant Monolithic

In the image, the different parts of the  Monolithic oscillator by Frederique Constant

With the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture, Frederique Constant replaces the 26 components of a standard assortment with a single component fitted with two regulation weights. Thanks to a new geometry of flexures and masses, the size of the oscillator (9.8mm diameter x 0.3mm thickness) was substantially reduced to match for the first time that of a conventional regulator. Another factor that kept the dimensions in check and create an ultrathin oscillator and to keep all functions in one thin silicon layer was the integration of the anchor system in the flexures. The third innovation responds to the adjustment weights used to regulate the flexure oscillator (just like the system used in a traditional free-sprung balance), a feature that allows watchmakers to fine-tune the frequency with exceptional ease. 

The oscillator is made of monocrystalline silicon, a material that eliminates key weaknesses of traditional sprung balances. Monocrystalline silicon is 100% anti-magnetic, resilient to oscillations in temperature, less sensitive to gravity and four times lighter than a regular assortment. The absence of mechanical coupling means a lower generation of friction and wear on the parts. Consequently, less power is needed to drive the escapement wheel and the oscillating system. Finally, yet importantly, silicon does not require lubrication, which enhances the long-term reliability of the escapement.

 

The 30th Movement from Frederique Constant's Manufacture 

Because a traditional gear train cannot cope with the breakneck speed of a 40Hz regulator, Frederique Constant’s watchmakers designed a new base movement - automatic calibre FC-810. Capable of performing with the speed of the new silicon oscillator, the calibre also delivers a substantial 80-hour power reserve.

The Frederique Constant Slimline Monolithic Manufacture, a three-hand with pointer date, is the first model to bear this groundbreaking oscillator. Presented in a 40mm round case, the new watch features an elegant, classic dial with a guilloché hobnail pattern, printed Roman numerals paired with Breguet-style hands. The pulsating oscillator of the watch is revealed in an aperture at 6 o’clock.

On the reverse side, an exhibition caseback offers an unimpeded view of the automatic FC-810 calibre. Its traditional decoration combines Geneva stripes with perlage, and the oscillating weight is openworked.

Frederique Constant-FC-810MCN3S6

Fredrique Constant Slimline Monolithic Manufacture Blue

The model is available in three limited editions: 810 pieces in stainless steel with a blue dial and 810 pieces in stainless steel with a silver-coloured dial. In addition, 81 pieces are available in 18-carat pink gold. If you wish to purchase any of these pieces, we recommend that you check with us for availability, as these limited editions may sell out quickly.


Also, feel free to explore our collection of Frederique Constant watches in stock or with express shipping. And of course, if you require any further information or would like to place your order, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can write us an email, or visit our boutique in Madrid, Spain, at Núñez de Balboa 90. We will be happy to help you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 


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