When creating a new Manufacture timepiece, designer and engineer work hand in hand to start a meticulous building process. While the designer is in charge of shaping the exterior of the watch, the engineer gives birth to the movement, which will bring this silhouette alive.
Component by component, layer by layer, each piece of the watch is carefully studied. Once the concept is validated thanks to 3D design modeling tools, the prototyping phase starts. A watch prototype allows our teams to evaluate its relevance in terms of function, technicality and design, once it is worn.
Commonly called T1 internally at Frederique Constant, this Manufacture’s workshop is highly technical, as it is dedicated to the production of our in-house movements. Our watchmakers and master watchmakers undertake long and fastidious work, for which patience, experience and know-how is required.
They handle delicate and fragile components and have to be very precise with every gesture. Some Frederique Constant movements are made up from more than a hundred components. They assemble, adjust and control all our mechanical movements to make sure everything functions properly. Mainly all assembly operations and settings are made by hand, to ensure our watches are provided with the highest quality: jewelling, oiling, balancing the pendulum, just to name a few.
All Frederique Constant timepieces – equipped with quartz as well as mechanical movements – are submitted to a very extensive series of tests to ensure optimum performance. Our controllers not only re-test the functions of the watch such as the date, the time settings or the second time-zone, just to name a few, but also verify its water-resistance and aesthetic details.
Mechanical watches undergo another series of tests that will differ depending on the complexity of the movement: the winding system, the rate and amplitude, and the power reserve’s resistance. Should one of these tests not meet our quality standards, the watch will return to the production cycle until it reaches perfect accuracy.
The manufacturing process of a watch starts in the so-called T0 workshop. It is where our engineers produce the brass plates for the Manufacture collection, constituting the first element of the Movement. Using CNC machines, the latter are programmed to shape the plates – and also the bridges – according to the designs of the R&D team. After milling, the plates are cleaned up and the rough edges removed, using polishing tools. A meticulous work, it reflects Frederique Constant’s luxury standards.
The plates are then sent to a finishing unit which applies rhodium plating, before ending up in the T1 workshop for assembly.
It is not to mention that each visible component of our manufactured timepieces is beautifully decorated. The aim being that every time one gazes at a Frederique Constant Manufacture watch, one is bound to feel joy. Detailed engravings, circular Côtes de Genève pattern and perlage enhance the movement’s part.
The assembly workshop at Frederique Constant, or T2, is dedicated to all the operations necessary for the encasing of the watch. Our watchmakers carefully handle all the different parts that constitute the watch: the movement, the case, the dial and the hands. Every Frederique Constant watch is assembled by hand.
The cleanliness of this workshop is extremely important, in order to prevent any foreign matter to penetrate into the movements and constricting the smooth functioning of our watches.