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Frederique Constant

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Frederique Constant adds a new blue-grey dial to its Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture collection, adding a stylish air to the Geneva manufacturer’s classical perpetual calendar dial layout.

A new blue-grey dial graces the Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture.

The new deep blue-grey dial almost guarantees perfect legibility to the perpetual calendar’s myriad displays. These include: days and the phases of the moon, date, month and leap year – all in addition to the time of day.

Frederique Constant has carefully considered its chromatic choices with this fourth dial option within the nicely priced Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture collection.

Thus, we see an eye-pleasing contrast of white typography and mirror-polished and luminescent hour-markers and hands. At the center of the dial Frederique Constant places the Highlife collection’s signature guilloché Earth motif.

Here we have a nicely integrated three-link bracelet, alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces. If you’d prefer a strap, Frederique Constant has you covered: the entire Highlife collection offers bracelet-to-strap interchangeability.

The Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture comes with a navy blue textured and stitched rubber extra strap that can be changed as desired without the need for tools.

The back of the watch allows a clear view of the automatic Manufacture FC-775 caliber, which Frederique Constant has embellished with circular graining and Côtes de Genève decoration.

Price: $9,950. Available in June.

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Ref. FC-775BL4NH6B)

Displays: Hours, minutes, moonphase, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: Automatic FC-775 in-house caliber, perpetual calendar, Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished stainless steel three-part, convex sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides, see-through caseback, water-resistant to 50 meters.

Dial: Blue grey, globe decoration, silver color applied indexes filled with white luminous treatment, hand-polished silver color hour and minute hands filled with white luminous treatment, date counter at 3 o’clock with silver color hand, moonphase at 6 o’clock, day counter at 9 o’clock with silver color hand,
month and (leap) year counter at 12 o’clock with silver color hands.

Bracelet: Three-link brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet, includes an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Price: $9,950.

 

Frederique Constant pays tribute to the Heart Beat model the Geneva-based watchmaker launched twenty-two years ago by introducing a special edition watch that reinterprets that initial design.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Heart Beat Heritage.

The new Highlife Heart Beat Heritage, issued as a limited edition of 222 pieces, generally echoes the appearance of watches in the original 1999 collection. The new model measures 41mm in diameter and retains the Heart Beat opening at the top of the dial. This aperture revealed the inner workings of the ETA-based FC-310 automatic movement and the rotation of its ‘heart beat’ balance wheel.

You might recall that when Frederique Constant first debuted the open balance wheel, the young brand neglected to protect what was at the time a novel design. As it was never patented, numerous watch brands have copied the concept of the Heart Beat aperture.

The new blue Arabic numerals are inspired by the original oversized markers, as are the blue hour and minute hands. Underneath these vintage elements Frederique Constant here adds an engraved globe, replacing the crests of the original model.

Finally, Frederique Constant has added a new interchangeability to the integrated ostrich strap it continues to attach to the watch. A quick release system allows the wearer to change the look of according to the day or mood.

Price: $2,495.

Frederique Constant adds a tourbillon to its perpetual calendar to create the new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, a handsome 41mm complication available in a steel case or a rose gold case. And to underscore the Geneva-based watchmaker’s long-held mission to offer affordably priced fine Swiss watches, the steel model is priced just under $23,000.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, in steel.

For years Frederique Constant’s complicated watches, such as its flyback chronograph, in-house perpetual calendar and its manufacture tourbillon, have attracted collectors in search of affordably priced, classically styled Swiss watchmaking. Few (if any) Swiss in-house manufacturing watchmakers can boast a collection with a comparable set of complicated watches at the same price levels.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, with gold case.

The new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture combines the brand’s existing know-how as found in its own manufacture tourbillon and stand-alone perpetual calendar. The new watch displays the date, day and month in three subdials along the top of the dial, echoing the existing Highlife Perpetual Calendar.

Frederique Constant replaces that model’s moonphase indicator with its manufacture tourbillon at the subdial located at 6 o’clock. I especially like the subdial at 12 o’clock that displays the month with the large hand and the leap year indication with a smaller hand. To balance this somewhat top-heavy design, Frederique Constant deftly places its own tourbillon with silicon escapement (the escape wheel and the lever) to add symmetry to the dial. The tourbillon displays seconds with its central hand.

Frederique Constant offers two blue-accented versions of the new watch, one more luxurious in a rose gold case and the other framed in steel. Both allow the wearer to enjoy a view into the FC-975 Manufacture caliber and its blued screws, perlage and Côtes de Genève finishes. If you look closer at the dial on either watch, you’ll see another nicely executed design detail: anti-reflective recessed perpetual calendar displays that ensure a quicker, more enjoyable read.

Frederique Constant notes that it offers collectors options to customize the individually numbered steel and rose gold editions of the new watch. Each one comes with two interchangeable straps. The rose gold version comes with a topstitched alligator leather strap and a second rubber strap. The same rubber strap also comes with the steel watch, which arrives on a bracelet with a three-link design and a folding buckle.

Prices: $39,995 (rose gold case) and $22,995 (steel case and bracelet).

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Steel-cased model, reference FC-975N4NH6B, limited to 88 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished stainless steel 3-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with
Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished silvered color with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hands.
Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Open tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color second hand.

Strap: Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-link bracelet including an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Price: $22,995

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Rose gold edition, reference FC-975N4NH9, limited to 30 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished rose gold three-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished rose gold-plated with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hands. Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Open tourbillon’s cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated seconds hand.

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather strap with nubuck finishing including an additional navy blue rubber strap

Price: $39,995

 

For seventeen summers Frederique Constant has released a new Vintage Rally limited edition series, which the Geneva-based watchmaker dedicates to collectors of classic Austin-Healey vintage automobiles. The annual debut rarely disappoints, and this year’s releases are no exception.

This year’s highlight is an all-grey Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with a range of the contemporary color on its dial, strap, steel case, index hour markers and hands.

The new all-grey Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds.

The dressy 40mm watch sports the original Healey logo on the dial, just adjacent to the off-center small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. Around the decidedly matte dial is the flange displaying the sixty-minute scale. Frederique Constant has engraved each watch’s caseback with a Healey automobile in action. (See below for additional technical details).

Frederique Constant will make 888 examples of the grey-dialed Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with each arriving in a gift set alongside a miniature replica of a vintage Austin-Healy automobile.

Custom green

For buyers outside the United States, or by special order in the United States, two additional Vintage Rally watches are also available.

For these ‘international models” Frederique Constant offers a green dial and a blue dial, both colors that allude to the Austin-Healey company. One model features British racing green while the other offers a dial in navy blue within a rose gold-plated case. This model’s hour markers, hands and crown are also navy blue, which is hinted on the leather strap as well.

Only the grey model ($1,595) is available in the United States. As noted, the two “international” models are available here only by special order. Prices: $2,175 (Blue dial/rose-gold plated case) and $1,957 (Green dial, steel case).

Specifications: Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds (Limited edition of 888.)

Movement: ETA-based FC-345 automatic caliber with 38-hour power reserve.

Case: 40mm by 11.15mm polished steel, two-part case, convex sapphire crystal, engraved case-back with Healey Noj 393 vintage car. Water resistant to 50 meters.

Dial: Grey with matte finishing, white inner ring with printed seconds graduation
, silver color applied indexes with white luminous treatment, hand-polished silver color hour and minute hands with white luminous treatment, small seconds counter at 9 o’clock w/red hand
, date window at 3 o’clock.

Strap: Grey calf leather with light grey stitching.

Price: $1,595

 

Frederique Constant this week unveiled a groundbreaking one-piece silicon oscillator that effectively replaces the traditional mechanical movement’s twenty-six-piece escapement assortment, and has developed a new movement around the high-tech component. The new movement, automatic Caliber FC-810, will power the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture Collection of 40mm watches, available this September.

The gold-cased model of the new Frederique Constant Slimline Monolithic Manufacture collection.The silicon oscillator appears at 6 o’clock.

Debuted after three years of research and development, Geneva-based Frederique Constant’s new oscillator beats at the ultra-high rate of 288,000 vibrations per hour, or 40 Hz, about ten times faster than traditional mechanical movement oscillators. And since it is created as a single friction-free, anti-magnetic, lightweight component, both the oscillator and the movement demonstrate ultra high efficiency.

The oscillator beats at the ultra-high rate of 288,000 vibrations per hour, or 40 Hz, about ten times faster than traditional mechanical movement oscillators.

As a result, when teamed with a standard winding spring in the new movement, watches in the new Slimline Monolithic Manufacture collection realize a full eighty-hours of power reserve.

High-tech team

Frederique Constant teamed with Nima Tolou, CEO of the Netherlands-based micro-engineering firm Flexous, to develop the silicon oscillator. Frederique Constant’s watchmaking department asked Flexous to develop a unique, flexible oscillating system in a size comparable to a traditional balance. Furthermore Frederique Constant set specifications, including: the highest possible frequency; an 80-hour power reserve; and a cost-effective formula allowing the manufacture of significant quantities at a reasonable price.

Flexous met the requests, devising a component that measures 9.8mm in diameter and 0.3mm thick, approximately the size of a conventional regulator. As noted above, the new oscillator incorporates all twenty-six components that make up the typical assortment, including the traditional balance, spring, anchor and rubies. And, echoing the traditional escapement, the new oscillator’s frequency can be fine-tuned by adjusting two tiny weights.

The watch

 The first collection Frederique Constant is fitting with the new movement is the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture, a three-hand watch with a pointer date. The 40mm round watch offers a classic Swiss dress dial with a central guilloché hobnail pattern, printed Roman numerals and Breguet-style hands.

The design of the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture echoes the brand’s pioneering use of open dials that expose portions of the movement. When it debuted in 1994, the Frederique Constant Heart Beat was the only serially produced non-skeleton Swiss-made collection that boasted an open dial.

Where that collection displayed the automatic caliber’s escape wheel at the 12 o’clock position, the new collection displays the new pulsating silicon oscillator through an aperture at 6 o’clock.

On the reverse side, a clear sapphire caseback offers an unimpeded view of the automatic FC-810 caliber, which is Frederique Constant’s thirtieth in-house movement. The brand decorates the movement with traditional Geneva stripes with perlage; the oscillating weight is open worked.

 

Frederique Constant will make the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture in three limited editions, projected to be shipped starting in September. The editions include 810 pieces in stainless steel with a blue dial ($4,795) and 810 pieces in a steel case with a silver color dial ($4,795). Also, an 18-karat gold model with a silver-colored dial will be made as a limited edition of 81 pieces ($15,995).