Watch commentary is never easy; the arguments on what makes a watch great value are almost as diverse as the discussions on which religion deserves to claim the title of “The One True Faith”- thankfully, unlike religion but no less fraught with extremism (extreme brand disdain- Here be Snobs), there are a few key technical (and thus quantitative) indicators of value.
Affordable Luxury: Frederique Constant Maxime Manufacture Automatic
There are many brands who claim the tag affordable luxury, the truth? The wares they flog ARE affordable, they just aren’t “luxurious” by any stretch of the term; then comes Frederique Constant Maxime Manufacture Automatic- this second timepiece from the independent manufacture is powered by its own in-house movement.
As some of you might be aware, the true value of a timepiece lies in the movement. While there are many big name watchmakers with beautiful collections, the facts are that many of them are equipped with mass-produced ETA movements with in-house modifications (sometimes not even); The Maxime Manufacture Automatic however, is NOT one of them.
Equipped with a 26 jewel FC-700 caliber, the movement features a gold decorated rotor visible through crystal case back like many of its other high end brethren and looks to match (though some critics feel the Maxime doesn’t stand out in terms of case design)- what I love about this automatic from Frederique Constant is the central hour and minute hands with date subdial.
At less than $4000, this beautiful timepiece with Sun ray and Clous de Paris guilloche blends in with the best of manufacture de haute horlogerie (how this is a criticism is beyond me), combined with the in house FC-700 caliber; the Frederique Constant Maxime Manufacture Automatic is simply the most affordable luxury watch available today (any more affordable and we’re talking Seiko – also in house but different league altogether).