For this year’s edition of the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance vintage boat show, Frederique Constant has prepared a new automatic chronograph watch. The timepiece in question is distinguished by a glossy mirror-finished case and a guilloched dial with two chrono counters. Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph is available in two variations which are both limited to 2,888 pieces. While the basic steel one costs around $3,400, the slightly more lavish one with a rose gold plating on its case costs $300 more.
The Timeless Beauty of Runabouts
The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance event has been organized annually for 42 years. For this year’s edition, Frederique Constant has returned as the main sponsor of the show. The goal of the event is to celebrate and display lovely runabouts from yesteryears. This type of motor-powered yachts which feature highly polished wood, chrome and glass first appeared in the 1920s. Used for racing as well as for leisure activities, the boats that can commonly board between four and eight people have always exuded elegance thanks to their glossy appearance. Every year, the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance rounds up and exhibits all the prime examples of these vintage vessels. Among them there are the works of famed designers such as Chris Graft, Gar-Wood and Carlo Riva. The last one of these is especially interesting. Riva runabouts are named after the renowned Italian who originated from a family with an outstanding reputation in boat building. Not only that he is best known European maker of these yachts, but also his legendary Rivas from 1950s and 1960s are considered as the prettiest runabouts of all time. Additionally, the Italian historical society that bears his name is a long-lasting partner with Frederique Constant.
Mirror Finished Case Evokes the Appearance of a Runabout Vessel
Now let us concentrate a bit more on the men’s watch that the Genevese watchmaker created for the event. This piece has a round housing with a mirror finish which is evocative of the glossy wooden structure of a runabout. The case is with the diameter of 42 mm and the slightly larger thickness of 14.5 mm. On the front, there is a domed sapphire crystal with glare-proofed coating. The same material, only in a flat form, is used for the see-through case-back that also boasts an etching of the flag of the Riva Historical Society. The construction of the housing protects the watch up to 50 meters below the surface.
Inside the case and visible from its rear side there is caliber FC-393. It is a self-winding mechanical movement with 25 jewels and a power storage that lasts two hours shy of two days. Since it beats at the frequency of 28800 vph, which means its second hand moves eight times every second, its chronograph function can measure periods to the nearest 1/8th of a second. Apart from the chronograph and three central hands (of which hour and minute ones are sword-shaped and coated with luminous material), the movement enables only the display for date.
Calf in Crocodile’s Clothing
Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph is made with a distinguished looking silver colored dial whose central segment is embellished with a guilloche motif. It also includes applied Arabic numerals. Furthermore, it has two chrono sub-counters which are placed on its top and bottom, as well as a date aperture at the standard three o’clock position. For the wristlet, Frederique Constant uses crococalf – calfskin leather which is embossed with the pattern that makes it look like a crocodile skin. It fastens with a folding buckle.
As it has been said, there are two versions of the model. The basic one with the reference number FC-393RM5B6 comes with a blue attachment. The reference FC-393RM5B4 has its housing with rose gold plating. The same coating is applied to the watch’s numerals, as well as to hour and minute hands. This version is paired with a black wristlet. Both variations are sold in an exclusive wooden box and with a miniature replica of a Riva runabout.