Classics Worldtimer Manufacture: 10 years of travel embodying the history of Frederique Constant
Presented in 2012, the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture imposed itself in record-breaking time as one of Frédérique Constant most sold timepieces, widely acclaimed by the watchmaking community. A success which shows no sign of abating, today celebrating its 10th anniversary with two very exclusive limited editions: the first in 18-carat pink gold, a production of just 88 watches and the second in steel comprising 1,888 pieces. Dedicated to the art of travel and exploration of the world, they illustrate to perfection the watchmaker’s international history, from the Netherlands to Switzerland, taking in Hong Kong on the way.
It is a special creation, dear to Frédérique Constant’s history, which itself crosses continents and transcends borders. A true travel icon presented for the first time in 2012, the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture, now a must, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2022.
To mark the event, Frédérique Constant is now presenting two exclusive limited editions, for the greatest satisfaction of fine watch collectors and fans.
An anniversary celebrated in two ways
The two versions on offer are coloured a deep blue which represents the oceans of the central planisphere, executed in relief and in grey. All around luminescent indexes are applied to ensure perfect readability, even at night – like the hour and minute hands, marked in the same way. To finish the assembly, a white disc displaying 24 cities unfolds on the flange. Finally, at 6 o’clock the date is displayed by a hand on a blue, fine sunray guilloché dial.
The first version, rarer and more prestigious, will be limited to just 88 pieces and offers an 18-carat pink gold case. The second, produced in steel, will be limited to 1,888 pieces. The hands of the hours, minutes and seconds - as well as the contour of the indexes - also elegantly reflect the case, using the same hue. Sharing the same 42 mm diameter, these two timepieces are worn on a navy blue alligator strap with a folding buckle, decorated with the emblematic seal of the Frédérique Constant Manufacture, an eternal passport for escape.
How does the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture today manage to impose itself in collectors’ hearts? A single question, but several answers, all combined within its new variations.
A useful complication
In the first place, a useful complication, the Worldtimer – not a creation of watchmakers for watchmakers, but a piece that will be routinely used by a wide audience.
This great invention intended for exploration and travel can be used to read, instantly, the exact time in the 24 cities representing the 24 reference time zones – with, the added bonus of an immediate indication of which of them are currently experiencing night or day. New York, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro or Dubai: each city is a beckoning to escape which, for 10 years, has carried in it the dreams of all the world’s globetrotters.
Ease of use
Then, with a Manufacture movement housed in affordable watchmaking luxury. Frédérique Constant has been able for more than 15 years, to design and assemble its own movements in-house, in its Geneva factory.
The automatic FC-718 calibre with a 38-hour power reserve is the result. Of proven reliability, it is also an example of simplicity: all of its indications are adjusted with the single crown, thanks to an ingenious three-notch system. The first winds the watch. The second adjusts the date (upwards) and the reference city (downwards). The third adjusts the time in the central display.
Simple and intuitive, this design allows the wearer to cross time zones concentrating only on discovery of the world, without having to worry about the time read: local time (with the central hands) and home time (via the mobile flange) are automatically synchronised with each other. No need either to have to make an effort to differentiate the day-time zones from the night-time zones: the two disc colours surrounding the globe (dark for the night, white for the day) naturally indicate them, by the two consecutive 12-hour segments opposite the reference cities in question.
This exceptional movement will be visible through the open back of the timepiece. Like any genuine Manufacture calibre signed Frédérique Constant, it is richly decorated with the Côtes de Genève stripe and delicate stippling of its bottom plate, above which turns its oscillating weight with a satin and draw file finish.
The world within reach
Finally, the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture is above all a creation of a modern and timeless design, an invitation to travel having journeyed through the past ten years unchanged apart from its colouring, in order to enrich the collection of blue, brown, grey or green variations, like wild landscapes, reefs and coloured earths.
Represented on its dial across the five continents, these marvels of nature are the witnesses of a world that has been built by events but by civilisations too. Precious guardians of cultures and traditions as well as know-how, they perpetuate their heritage and enable those who so wish to open up their minds to different practices and customs, in order to enrich their experience.
An influence which defies borders
This is how the history of Frédérique Constant evolves. Its founders, Aletta and Peter Stas, have had fascinating, international and multicultural careers, which have enabled them to create the firm and by extension, its emblematic Classics Worldtimer Manufacture watch.
Aletta and Peter Stas come from the Netherlands. Peter Stas studied at Harvard, in the United States before working in Hong Kong alongside his wife Aletta Stas-Bax. During a trip to Switzerland in 1988, and more exactly to Geneva, they noticed that the watches displayed in the showcases of the watch retailers appeared to belong to two categories: elegant Swiss watches, hand made and offering a genuine watchmaking mechanism - and therefore very expensive - or models produced in series, much less refined in terms of finish and design, but with a much lower price tag. From this trip came the idea of creating classic “Swiss Made” watches, of high quality but at affordable prices.
While still working in Hong Kong, Aletta and Peter Stas developed their first prototype, that they presented in 1992 at the Hong Kong Fair. A Japanese customer placed their first order for 350 timepieces. In 1997, the entrepreneurial couple left Hong Kong to move to Switzerland and thus dedicate themselves exclusively to developing the firm.
It was in the same spirit that the Technical Director & Master Watchmaker Pim Koeslag,and the current Chief Executive Niels Eggerding, joined Frédérique Constant. Both Dutch too, they moved to Switzerland – from the Netherlands – after meeting Peter Stas. The arrival of Pim Koeslag allowed movements to be developed in-house – including the FC-718 calibre - and led to the creation of the Factory as we know it today.
From the success story inspired by the American spirit, to Swiss quality, taking in Asian rigour on the way and the Dutch streamlining of costs, the Frédérique Constant adventure is as collective as it is international, forming the firm’s DNA. A trip around the world and a multicultural influence which are illustrated by the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture - across its continents, its movement and down to every detail.