Frederique Constant has announced its new hybrid smartwatch collection, the Hybrid Manufacture, the first to fuse tech with a mechanical manufacture-made movement.
Frederique Constant hit the connected scene with its Horological smartwatches back in 2015, but these have leant on quartz movements. CEO Peter Stas told us that a lot of people have since been asking for a smartwatch with a mechanical movement, and the Manufacture is the first to accomplish just that, arriving on the scene in four 42mm styles.
Frederique Constant brags that it also did some complex trickery to cancel out the negative magnetic effects between the mechanical and electronic modules, and the watch completely hides the technology within, though you will need to charge it once every seven days, else be left with just a (self-winding) mechanical watch.
The verdict: Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture review
Smart features include step tracking, sleep tracking and a second time zone. So pretty par for the course for a modern hybrid, but the Manufacture goes a little further with its coaching. In the app you'll see health tips based on your stats, advising you, perhaps, that too much activity in the evening is having a negative impact on your sleep. Stas said this is something the company plans to keep expanding on, too.
But the most interesting part of the app is set aside for the real watch enthusiasts, as in one section you'll be able to see the health of the caliber itself. You'll see a measurement of the amplitude (the rotation of the balance wheel), the rate of seconds per day it's off, and the beat error. "We think there is demand for this," said Stas. "We'll see how much they like it."
The watch comes in three stainless steel options, one of which is a limited edition model, and one rose gold. All of them are water resistant to 50m and prices start at $3,495, moving up to $3,795 for the rose gold. They'll be available around May/June time, the company said. Sadly there's no smaller option for women, and no plans to make one, according to Stas.
Ahead of launch, we speculated that Frederique Constant might be about to jump into Android Wear, but Stas said there's no interest there yet. "We need to stand out on the luxurious part. We know first and foremost people buy these watches because they like the design," he said "I think if we would go for an Android type of digital screen."