26 March 2021

Slimline Monolithic Manufacture by Frederique Constant

World premiere Slimline Monolithic Manufacture - 40 HZ, that embodies Frederique Constant’s visionary spirit, determination and passion for watchmaking know-how
Frederique Constant unveils a technological breakthrough in the field of precision timekeeping. Redefining the principles of mechanical watch regulation, the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture delivers industry-leading precision by ticking ten times faster than most mechanical movements. Etched from silicon, its oscillator replaces an assembly of several parts and eliminates many of the major weaknesses of mechanical watches.
 
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture.
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. Photo: © Eric Rossier.
 
Thanks to its specific design and reduced size, the revolutionary high-frequency oscillator has been designed to fit inside a traditional movement configuration. Housed inside a 40mm case with an aperture on the dial to view the oscillator, this cutting-edge technology is available at a price that respects the brand’s commitment to accessible luxury.
 
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture.
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. Photo: © Eric Rossier.
 
A groundbreaking concept and a breakthrough in the field of precision mechanical timekeeping, the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture is equipped with a movement ticking at an astounding 288,000 vibrations per hour, ten times faster than most mechanical watches. Frederique Constant replaces the 26 components of its standard assortment with a single component fitted with two regulation weights. Made of monocrystalline silicon, the Monolithic oscillator also integrates the escapement anchor in its flexible structure. Three novel innovations distinguish the oscillator.
 
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture.
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. Photo: © Frederique Constant.
 
Thanks to the clever engineering of the oscillator's flexures and geometry, Frederique Constant’s team reduced its dimensions to the size of a conventional regulator and increased its frequency for enhanced accuracy. While many traditional mechanical movements operate at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the Monolithic Manufacture represents the first Swiss-made mechanical watch oscillating ten times faster at an astonishing 288,000 vibrations per hour, or 40 Hz. Despite this high-speed frequency, the efficiency of the mechanism delivers a substantial 80-hour power reserve.
 
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture.
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. Photo: © Eric Rossier.
 
The idea behind the Monolithic Oscillator was born during an encounter between Peter Stas, co-founder and former CEO of Frederique Constant, and Dr Nima Tolou, founder and CEO of Flexous, an innovative horology-oriented technology branch of YES!Delft, a leading Dutch tech incubator.
The new topology of the flexures and masses has permitted the creation of an unprecedented compact size for a flexure pivot oscillator (9.8mm in diameter and 0.3mm in thickness). For the very first time, the anchor has been integrated within the flexure. The revolutionary design combines high-frequency (40 Hz) with low amplitude (6° versus ~300° for a regular balance wheel). The choice of material for the oscillator 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.
 
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture.
Frederique Constant. Slimline Monolithic Manufacture. Photo: © Frederique Constant.
 
Presented in a 40mm round case, the new watch features an elegant dial with a guilloché/stamped hobnail pattern, printed Roman numerals paired with Breguet-style hands. The signature Frederique Constant Heart Beat was the perfect model to showcase the pulsating oscillator of the watch in an aperture at 6 o’clock. The pointer date at 12 o’clock creates a classic counterpoint to the high-tech oscillator 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.
 
The model is available in three limited editions: 810 pieces in stainless steel with a blue dial, 810 pieces in stainless steel with a silver colour dial and 81 pieces in 18k pink gold. In conclusion, the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture is a beautiful combination of classic watchmaking and high-tech innovation. In the words of Niels Eggerding, Managing Director of Frederique Constant: “The new Slimline Monolithic Manufacture embodies Frederique Constant’s visionary spirit, determination and passion for watchmaking know-how.”
 
Edited by Lisa Maria River
Text source and photos: © Ufficio Stampa Frederique Constant
Photos: Copyright © Frederique Constant / Eric Rossier.
All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited. 
 

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