Alpina, Frederique Constant, and Ateliers de Monaco are all part of the Frederique Constant Group, which is now owned by Citizen. It is worth noting, that the manufacture flyback chronograph design actually originated at Ateliers de Monaco in 2011.
Fast forward to Baselworld 2017, and Frederique Constant unveiled their version of the Chronograph Flyback. And it’s a good one.
Presented in a 42 mm diameter case, crafted from stainless steel or rose-gold plated stainless steel, the Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture comes in five different variations. All versions have a fully polished case, a glass box sapphire crystal, sapphire caseback, and flat chronograph pushers.
The new Flyback collection comes in two primary versions: one that has either a silver or dark gray dial and lance-shaped hands, and another that is more classic with a silver dial and “Clou de Paris” guilloché decoration, with black printed roman numerals and Breguet-style hands. With the flyback, the chronograph’s hand can be stopped, reset to zero, and restarted with one push of a button. This function is useful for timing an elapsed interval of events during races.
To achieve this functionality, which is typically very expensive, a special patented star wheel replaces the conventional column-wheel. Together with the operating lever, which is controlled by the start/stop push-piece, this component is responsible for the exceptionally smooth operation of the mechanism.
Pressing the push-piece just once starts the timer again from zero. In this case, the push-piece at 4 o’clock and its associated mechanism cause three tasks to be performed very quickly one after the other: first, the clutch is disengaged; secondly, the chronograph is reset to zero by means of the single-piece hammer, whose sloping surfaces turn the two zero reset hearts so that the hands position themselves vertically again; and thirdly, the clutch engages once more as soon as the push-piece is released.
Ultimately, Frederique Constant has taken a caliber used in two other watches, one of which we reviewed here, within the Frederique Constant Group, and adapted it to their own watch. The result, is a stunning chronograph, with the extra flyback complication, starting at an incredible price under four thousand dollars.
(Ref. FC-760MC4H6 – $3,995 – steel/silver dial/Bregeut hands, FC-760DG4H6 – $3,995 – steel/dark gray dial, FC-760DG4H4 – $4,295 – rose-gold steel/dark gray dial, FC-760V4H4 – $4,295 – rose-gold steel/silver dial, FC-760MC4H4 – $4,295 – rose-gold steel/silver dial/Breguet hands).