When taking in the beautiful design and refined finish of a Frederique Constant watch, one might imagine its price is at least three times more than it actually is. This company was first founded in 1988, and its guiding theme has been to offer attractive luxury watches at equally attractive prices. Really, who can argue with that? Compared to other companies, Frederique Constant has only been blipping on the radar for a short span of time. Yet, the brand offers a wide variety of in-house calibers in Frederique Constant’s very convincing Manufacture lineup.
Even though it doesn’t have the extensive experience of other companies, Frederique Constant is outputting some very interesting products and has even added some nice signature brand twists e.g. the analog date at the 6 position. It truly is remarkable that the manufacturer has achieved so much in the space of just a quarter of a century. There’s a recipe for success at work here and it’s not banking on any grace periods for rookies. Heads up people: There’s a new Swiss wind blowing through town and its name is Frederique Constant.
Frederique Constant Collection
Its name probably gave it away already; the Manufacture collection only incorporates entirely in-house produced movements. The Heartbeat Manufacture launch caused quite a lot of commotion, because its dial provides a view of the balance wheel. A special feature of many Manufacture models is the analogue date display located at the bottom of the dial. There’s also a lot of other variety being showcased by Frederique Constant e.g. the Zodiac with Chinese characters replacing the hour indices, a scratch resistant convex sapphire glass, a tourbillon model, and Classic as well as Slim Line models with manufacture movements.
The design of the Slim Line takes after the traditions of the dress watch competition of Jaeger-LeCoultre Master or the Zenith Elite and in terms of craftsmanship and detail variety, are right up to snuff. Today, the guiding theme of “less is more” is placed right at the forefront, sometimes in the form of applied hour indices and long drawn-out, leaf-shaped hands. The designs of the Slim Line are in no way intrusive and the dials are kept simple and minimised.
DISCOVER SLIM LINE
While the Slim Line embodies the elegance of a modern time dress watch, the Classics series is based more on the Baroque period. The guilloche dials are ornate and decorated, usually with Roman numbers and curved blue hands.
With the Worldtimer Frederique Constant also offers a GMT watch. As per usual with world time watches, the Worldtimer’s world dial map sets the overall tone. Instead of a rotating bezel, two inside wheels display the current time from all other 23 displayed cities.
The automatic ladies watch in this collection emits elegance and charm. Its dial is often artistically decorated with guilloche. A Double or Single Heart provides an inside view of the mechanical workings of the watch and there are models available with a stainless steel or a gold case.
DISCOVER LADIES AUTOMATIC
The Runabout collection is very reminiscent of the legendary Runabout boats. It is offered in a version with a moon phase display (Runabout Moonphase) and as a chronograph. A cosmopolitan timepiece with an air of elegance and fashion.
The Vintage Rally collection conjures the memory of the famous English Rally driver, Donald Healey, which is why both the GMT version (40 mm) and the chronograph (42 mm) have the Healey logo tagged on their dials. Even though the design of the collection is swimming in nostalgia, the timekeepers from this collection still remain very modern.
Frederique Constant broken down in numbers
4: A low four figure price
Frederique Constant represents approachable luxury for the everyman who knows exactly how to appreciate a beautiful watch. While many people finance a smartphone over a period of two years, Frederique Constant is serving up something that’s really going to be forever. Starting at around 3,000,- EUR, you can acquire an in-house movement watch and that’s the kind of price that is way under what the vast majority of Swiss competitors are pitching. There’s only a few other brands e.g. Alpina, that offer watches with in-house movements in this type of friendly segment.
6: The date at the six o’clock position
Ever since its founding, F.C. has created more than a dozen in-house developed movements. The most famous hallmark is the analogue date display at the 6 position. Unlike most date displays there’s no turning disc at work but rather an analogue hand. To learn more about moon phase watches, check out our article presenting some of the 8 Most Exciting Moon Phase Watches. Arguably, the most famous model line, with pallet levers that are mounted on the front, is the Heartbeat Manufacture. You can even watch the escapement tick-tacking while sporting the watch.
42: Forty-two millimetre case measurement
Even though the Slim Line collection also consists of watches with a case diametre of less than 40 millimetres, Frederique Constant has apparently found its sweet spot for gentlemen watches with a dimension of 42 mm. While brands like Zenith and Jaeger-LeCoultre place their bets on 40 mm sizes, Frederique Constant is in good company comparable with the measurements of the smaller sized Portugieser models. In terms of price, it’s right alongside the dress watch models from Baume & Mercier.
1: The first Swiss Smartwatch
Frederique Constant presented its first Swiss smartwatch, called the Horological Smartwatch, in 2015. However, it’s not the same breed of smartphone as the competition from Samsung and Apple. As a tool watch, it aims to win over a technologically enthusiastic audience. Yet at the same time, it also hops on the mechanical watch train with specific features e.g. stainless steel case, sapphire glass, and a configurable watch time via the crown.
A Chronology of Frederique Constant
1988: Frederique Constant is founded by Peter Stas in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva.
2004: The Heartbeat Manufacture is the first manufacture movement from this young company.
2007: At Frederique Constant, the escapement wheel is made from silicon, which due to its “slippery” properties doesn’t have to be treated with any lubricants.
2008: The first tourbillon from Frederique Constant is launched.
2012: The Worldtimer becomes a steady member of the brand’s program. At first only available as a limited edition, due to a positive reception, it eventually becomes a steadfast member in its line-up.
2015: Frederique Constant launches the Horological Smartwatch. It’s the first smartwatch from Switzerland.
Prominent Frederique Constant Emissaries
Probably the most famous and internationally well-known emissary of Frederique Constant is Eva Longoria and it shows that Frederique Constant is taking its ladies watch segment very seriously. At the same time, it’s investing in celebrities that are relatively unknown in Europe. For example, the Polo player Sami Suhag and Hong Kong actor Sean Lau. Frederique Constant also divulges a passion for ambitious land or water based motorised sports with its Runabout and vintage Rally collections.