Frederique Constant Jubilee Edition 10 Years Heart Beat Manufacture

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10 Years Heart Beat Manufacture Celebration

This year, FREDERIQUE CONSTANT GENEVE celebrates its 10th anniversary of its in-house handcrafted movements. Since 2004, Frederique Constant is delivering timepieces with manufacture movements that are in-house developed, in-house manufactured and in-house assembled.

Following the success of the launch of the first Heart Beat Manufacture Calibre in 2004, Frederique Constant has presented every year an additional version to its Heart Beat Manufacture range. Some features remained constant, such as the signature aperture, perfectly centred at the 6 o’clock position. Each year, however, new design features have been added; the Heart Beat is constantly being revised, updated and technically advanced.

Heart Beat Manufacture timepieces feature the iconic Heart Beat dial aperture at 6 O’Clock. The fine regulation is placed at the dial side of the movement, a patented feature. Via the see-through case-back owners of Frederique Constant Heart Beat Manufacture watches can see the finely decorated movement.

Our independent spirit is of major importance for our prestige watchmaking vision. Since the first delivery of our iconic “Manufacture Heart Beat” movement, in 2004, we have developed 15 in-house handcrafted calibers, including our last 2014 creation: the Heart Beat Manufacture FC-942 Silicium, improved in terms of reliability, durability and pure technical excellence.

For the past two years, the R&D Department at Frederique Constant has been designing, developing and improving the 143 components contained in the all-new Heart Beat Manufacture. Now, our company is delighted to introduce its implementation of the newest, most technologically superior materials available in the world today.

To celebrate its anniversary, Frederique Constant Genève is proud to reveal two new Jubilee models within the Manufacture collection: the new Heart Beat Manufacture Silicium edited at 188 pieces in 18K Rose gold and at 18 pieces in Platinum, and the new Slimline Tourbillon Manufacture edited for the occasion with a dark green finishing at 10 pieces in 18K rose gold and 10 pieces in stainless steel.

 

INNOVATION

Solving old problems

The accuracy of any mechanical timepiece is utterly dependent on the accuracy of the actual timing device, the balance wheel, balance spring and the escapement. The balance wheel’s job is to spin back and forth at a frequency of 4Hz. It is the frequency of the swing of the balance wheel, which determines the watch’s accuracy.

The escapement’s most critical function is to keep the balance spring winding and unwinding. Since watches were first invented, the requirements assigned to the escapement have involved high levels of friction. The teeth of the escapement wheel are driven by the mainspring’s power source. They slide against the teeth of the ratchet a nano-second before they lock together. This is the friction, which kicks the anchor. It is also the friction that means lubrication will be necessary.

The ticking sound of a Frederique Constant watch is created when the balance spring gear and the escapement teeth lock together. In virtually all-modern escapements, the ratchet’s teeth are extremely hard and highly polished stone. Despite these levels of strength and polished smoothness, lubrication is still required.

Until now, lubrication has been required to protect escapements from the damaging effects of friction. As the lubrication used in the escapement ages, thins or dries out, the level of friction increases, and less power is transferred to the all-important balance wheel.

Unless an escapement is properly lubricated, it can become damaged to the point where metal parts will have to be replaced. Modern watches are typically more reliable than their predecessors due to the higher quality oils used to lubricate the escapement. To maintain mechanical watches in optimum working condition, they normally require cleaning and lubricating every four years.

Introducing Silicium

Silicium is the chemical element represented in the periodic table by the symbol Si; its atomic number is 14. A tetravalent metalloid, Silicium is less reactive than its chemical analogue, carbon. Silicium does not freely occur in nature but mainly occurs in minerals consisting of virtually pure Silicium dioxide in different crystalline forms, including quartz, chalcedony and opal. It is also found in silicates (various minerals containing Silicium, oxygen and one other metal), such as feldspar. Silicium is the principal component of most semi-conductor devices and takes the form of silica and silicates in glass, cement and ceramics. Silicium is widely used in semi-conductors, because it remains a semi-conductor at higher temperatures than does the semi-conductor Germanium. In addition, Silicium’s native oxide is easily grown in a furnace and forms a better semi-conductor/dielectric interface than virtually all other material combinations. In its crystalline form, Silicium is dark gray in colour and has a metallic lustre. It is similar to glass in that it is quite strong. Pure Silicium has a negative temperature coefficient of resistance, because the number of free charge carriers increases with temperature.

Manufacturing a Silicium escapement

The crafting of a Silicium escapement wheel requires the use of a new technology called Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE).  A multiple image of the escapement is produced and projected onto a round Silicium wafer measuring 100 mm in diameter by just 0.5 mm in thickness. Typically, wafers are made in various sizes ranging from 1 inch (25.4 mm) to 11.8 inches (300 mm), and generally to a thickness of 0.5 mm. The wafers are cut from a boule of semi-conductor using a diamond saw or diamond wire; they are then polished on one or both faces. Using a single 100 mm wafer, it is possible to produce up to 250 escapement wheels.

The wafer itself is composed of three different substrates, or layers of Silicium. The central substrate functions as the separation layer. After the image of the escapement wheel has been projected on the wafer, the exposed lacquered substrate is cleaned away, leaving the non-exposed parts of the wafer. Then, the non-exposed lacquered substrate is etched with plasma, down to the separation layer. The Silicium escapement is then released via isotropic etching. The pieces produced by this operation only have to be cleaned on the surface. Each wheel is completely identical and requires absolutely no balancing, centring or polishing. Such wafers are the keys to the fabrication of the Frédérique Constant Silicium escapement.

 

Benefits of the Silicium Escapement

Improvement

Benefit

 

Lubricant-free running

  1. Age-related thinning and drying of lubrication will no longer occur.
  2. An escapement wheel that doesn’t require oiling avoids the risk of excess oil spreading to other parts of the movement.

 

Very light (low inertia)

The escapement wheel is accelerated and stopped at each tick and tock of the watch.
The low-weight Silicium escapement wheel has lower inertia, thereby increasing energy efficiency.

Good friction properties

Lower friction reduces energy loss. Hence, the energy requirements for this calibre are lower.

 

The Heart Beat Manufacture features a Silicium escapement that uses less power and maintains amplitude more efficiently than a standard lever escapement, because it functions without lubrication.

Building technical perfection into a beautiful body

The Heart Beat Manufacture watches with the new Silicium escapement are part of the Frederique Constant Manufacture Collection. The Heart Beat Manufacture Silicium features the recognizable popular patented balance wheel bridge on the front side of the calibre.The Silicium escapement wheel can clearly be seen through the Heart Beat aperture in the dial, working tirelessly and at the same time creating an eye-catching effect. The new Heart Beat Manufacture Silicium Calibre is housed with a case measuring 42 mm in diameter. The popular sapphire crystal see-through case back is another feature certain to please. 

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Heart Beat Manufacture Silicium

  • Mechanical self-winding movement
  • Silicium escapement wheel, anchor and plateau
  • Heart Beat aperture, hours, minutes, date and moonphase
  • 13 ¼ line (30.5 mm diameter)
  • 4 Hz, 28.800 Bph
  • 42 Hour Power Reserve
  • Kif Regulation
  • Kif Anti-shock  (x2)
  • Côtes de Genève & perlage decoration
  • Anglage and Rhodiage on all bridges
  • Gold plated rotor decorated with Côtes de Genève

Number of Components

  • Platine and bridges:  8
  • Gear train:  15
  • Automatic wheels:  4
  • Tirette systems:  7
  • Reglage systems:  8
  • Assortments, including the Silicium escapement wheel:  10
  • Jewels:  25
  • Screws:  26
  • Rotor:  1
  • Other parts:  39
  • Total:  143

Reference FC-942ABSHPT

Limited edition 18 pieces

Movement

  • FC-942 Manufacture caliber, automatic, with silicium escapement wheel, anchor and plateau
  • Perlage & vertical Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement
  • 28’800 alt/h, 25 jewels, 42-hour power reserve

Case

  • Platinum
  • Polished 2-parts case, diameter of 42 mm
  • Convex sapphire crystal, see through case back
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM
  • Individually numbered

Dial

  • Black
  • Hand-applied indexes with Arabic numbers
  • Hand polished hands

 

Strap Black alligator strap

Functions Hours, minutes, date, moonphase

Special features Heart Beat aperture at 6 o’clock, complete escapement wheel in silicium

Reference FC-942ABS4H9

Limited edition 188 pieces

Movement

  • FC-942 Manufacture caliber, automatic, with silicium escapement wheel, anchor and plateau
  • Perlage & vertical Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement
  • 28’800 alt/h, 25 jewels, 42-hour power reserve

Case

  • 18K Rose gold
  • Polished 2-parts case, diameter of 42 mm
  • Convex sapphire crystal, see through case back
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM
  • Individually numbered

Dial

  • Black
  • Hand-applied indexes with Arabic numbers
  • Hand polished hands

Strap Dark brown alligator strap

Functions Hours, minutes, date, moonphase

Special features Heart Beat aperture at 6 o’clock, complete escapement wheel in silicium

Tourbillon Silicium Manufacture

  • Mechanical self-winding movement
  • One Minute Tourbillon, Hours, Minutes, Day-Night Indicator
  • 13 ¼ line (30.5 mm diameter)
  • 4 Hz, 28.800 Bph
  • 42 Hour Power Reserve
  • Incabloc Regulation
  • Incabloc Anti-shock
  • Glucydur Balance Wheel
  • ivarox No. 1 Balance Spring (Spiral)
  • Decoration Côtes de Genève, Perlage
  • Anglage and Rhodiage on all bridges
  • Gold plated rotor decorated with Côtes de Genève

Number of Components

  • 80 Tourbillon Cage
  • 7 Mainplate and Bridges             
  • 10 Gear Train
  • 5 Automatic Wheels
  • 14 Tirette system
  • 33 Jewels
  • 24 Screws
  • 1 Rotor
  • 14 Other
  • Total: 188

Reference FC-980DG4S6

Limited edition 10 pieces                             

Movement

  • FC-980 Manufacture caliber, automatic Tourbillon with silicium escapement wheel and anchor
  • Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement
  • 28’800 alt/h, 33 jewels, 42-hour power reserve
  • Individually numbered

Case

  • Stainless steel
  • Polished 3-parts case, diameter of 43 mm
  • Convex sapphire crystal, see through case back
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM

Dial

  • Green
  • Curved, with hand applied indexes
  • Hand polished hands

Strap Dark green alligator strap with folding buckle

Functions Hours, minutes, day and night indicator, one minute Tourbillon

Reference FC-980DG4S9

Limited edition  10 pieces

Movement

  • FC-980 Manufacture caliber, automatic Tourbillon with silicium escapement wheel and anchor
  • Perlage & Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement
  • 28’800 alt/h, 33 jewels, 42-hour power reserve
  • Individually numbered

Case

  • 18K Rose gold
  • Polished 3-parts case, diameter of 43 mm
  • Convex sapphire crystal, see through case back
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM

Dial

  • Green
  • Curved, with hand applied indexes
  • Hand polished hands

Strap Dark green alligator strap with folding buckle

Functions Hours, minutes, day and night indicator, one minute Tourbillon

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