I'm very lucky in this job. I get to see and test a whole range of watches way before they hit the market.
That makes me a good font of knowledge when it comes to horology. But it also makes me kind of numb to new releases. When you see that many watches, it can be tough for new models to cut through the noise. When one does, it's a big deal.
This Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar stopped me in my tracks. In fact, writing this is taking forever, because every time I glance up from my keyboard, I'm lost once more in the beauty of this watch.
This model – designed in conjunction with British watchmaker, Peter Speake – features and openworked dial, showcasing the inner workings of the timepiece. The overall design is very reminiscent of Speake's work with his own brand Speake-Marin, and this one looks absolutely stunning.
An in-house calibre sits inside, with perlage decoration. That powers regular hour and minute functionality, as well as a moonphase, date, day, month and leap year complications.
Somewhat remarkably given the wealth of stuff going on inside, it's not too chunky. The watch sits just a hair over 12mm thick, which is Rolex Daytona territory. That's seriously impressive.
Elsewhere, you'll find 30m of water resistance – this is no dive watch, in case you were wondering – a 4Hz beat rate and 38 hours of power reserve. All of that makes for one of the coolest watches I've seen in a while. But you probably can't get one.
Why? Well, this is a limited edition and will only be produced 135 times. That's going to make them incredibly hard to come by.
What's more it's priced at a really respectable £10,795. Okay, that's still a lot of cash, but for a limited run perpetual calendar from a respectable brand? That's a bargain. Let me tell you, if I had that kind of cash lurking down the back of the sofa, there would only be 134 left.