Frederique Constant and Christiaan van der Klaauw have joined forces to produce a unique timepiece for the Only Watch 2023 charity auction.
This one-of-a-kind timepiece features a Frederique Constant tourbillon and the brand’s remarkable manual finishings alongside Christiaan van der Klaauw’s planetarium – the smallest in the world and the first ever produced for a wristwatch.
The superlative creation has been hand-finished throughout, housed in a platinum case with a diameter of just 42mm. For the first time ever, it unites the Dutch firm’s planetarium with the Geneva tourbillon, both suitably clad for the occasion with an aventurine dial.
The exceptional collaboration between the two Maisons has resulted in an exceptional piece, with the Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023 boasting more than one first.
It’s the first Frederique Constant Manufacture Tourbillon to have a planetarium – and the first Christiaan van der Klaauw piece of this type to feature a tourbillon. It’s also the first time that a Manufacture Frederique Constant timepiece has had an aventurine dial – or indeed a 42-millimetre platinum case, designed especially for the model in question.
And too, it’s the first time since the firm’s inception that a Frederique Constant has included a combined month and date display using hands on a single counter.
The Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023 proudly displays its two main complications against the cosmic backdrop of the aventurine dial.
The planetarium designed by Christiaan van der Klaauw reigns supreme at 12 o’clock. The man himself created the first such model over 40 years ago, in 1982, for a clock, before miniaturising it for a wristwatch in 1999.
Still the smallest mechanical planetarium in the world, this complication scooped a Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Award in the Calendar and Astronomy Watch category in 2021.
The heliocentric system brings together six moving discs in the same plane, each with its own planet completing its orbit around the sun in real time: Mercury (88 days), Venus (225 days), Earth (365 days), Mars (687 days), Jupiter (12 years) and Saturn (29 years).
To bring this planetarium to life, 700 hand-milled teeth mechanism was created in the workshops of the Dutch watchmaker.
The planetarium surround indicates angles of rotation from 0° to 360° and the relevant star signs for each sector, calibrated with respect to the Earth’s relative position. The colours of the planets – painted by hand – use the Only Watch 2023 palette – whilst also remaining faithful to the hues of the original heavenly bodies.
The Manufacture Tourbillon at six o’clock has been designed, assembled and finished by Frederique Constant in its Geneva manufactory, integrated into a movement that’s been hand-finished throughout.
Using traditional tools and instruments, two watchmakers spent weeks on the meticulous finishings of each component: a buff file for bevelling, a hammer and punch for hand-punching, and so on.
Beading and graining the flanks was done entirely by hand, and all the components have been decorated on both sides – even those that aren’t visible. And for what can be seen, Frederique Constant has worked on even the tiniest details, including the block-polished, chamfered screws.
On the dial side, the two complications brought together here for the first time are supplemented by sub-dials located on either side, resulting in perfect visual harmony.
The day and month indicator is positioned at 9 o’clock. The respective emblems of Frederique Constant and Christiaan van der Klaauw at 3 o’clock are encircled by the inscription “ONLY WATCH PIÈCE UNIQUE”.
The tourbillon’s circular surround is engraved with “FREDERIQUE CONSTANT X CHRISTIAAN VAN DER KLAAUW” to highlight this extraordinary partnership.
For the caseback, Frederique Constant has created a specific decoration for the automatic bridge: a miniature artistic engraving, done by hand in a more figurative and abstract spirit.
Model: Frederique Constant x Christiaan van der Klaauw Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023
Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
Water-resistant up to 3 ATM
Blue aventurine dial
Planetarium at 12 o’clock
Date and month at 9 o’clock
60 seconds tourbillon at 6 o’clock, silver colour seconds hand
Applied silver diamond cut indexes
Hand-polished silver colour hour, minute, day and date hands
Calibre FC-988 in-house automatic movement
In-house hand-made decorations: hamfering, hammering, circular graining, flanks drawing, mirror polishing, engraved automatic bridge
Silicon escapement wheel and anchor
Power reserve: 38 hours
Blue alligator leather strap with matt finishing
CHF 90,000 – 110,000
USD 99,000 – 121,000
EUR 92,700 – 113,300