Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture: Fine watchmaking revisited
There has been endless speculation among the collectors waiting for this piece; the flagship collection by Frederique Constant, coupled with an iconic complication in Fine Watchmaking and with the addition of the most complex mechanical calendar ever invented. Meet the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture.
Many dreamed about it, others hoped for it. Not only does it represent what Frederique Constant has done best for nearly 35 years, it is an all-important example of Fine Watchmaking as well. Thanks to its technicality, its beauty and its precision, not forgetting what has set the manufacture apart from the very beginning – accessibility.
Available in 18 carat rose gold or steel, this piece is bold. It breaks rules that were thought to be set in stone. Frederique Constant proves you can design something truly modern, but enhanced with time-honoured complications. Then produce and assemble them at the Geneva-based manufacture and create the most accessible Quantième Perpétuel Tourbillon Manufacture ever made. In the end, succeeding in uniting what some believed would not be possible and bringing a lively, modern, elegant and accurate timepiece to life.
Simple and intuitive
As with any such high-performance complication, optimum readability is key. Within the 41 mm case with the integrated strap characteristic of the Highlife collection, Frederique Constant has organised its complications into four segments.
The day and date are the most useful pieces of information and read every day; the brand has therefore arranged them horizontally in this order, so as to be read in a natural and intuitive way in a fraction of a second.
Brought together in a single counter at 12 o’clock are the month (large hand) and leap year indication (small hand). Adding the finishing touch to this perfectly mastered aesthetic composition, the tourbillon balances it out at 6 o'clock, counting down the seconds with its central hand.
A manufacture calibre of the highest standard
This subtle composition is powered by the FC-975 calibre. It is designed, produced and assembled in very limited numbers at the Geneva-based manufacture. For greater precision (an essential characteristic of the tourbillon), Frederique Constant has equipped it with a silicone escapement - both the escape wheel and the lever. This choice of technology is a real favourite of the Manufacture, providing collectors with a piece that is stable and accurate, unaffected by temperature fluctuations and magnetic fields, including those associated with the digital environment, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, connected speakers, etc.
You can appreciate the inner workings of this exceptional movement from any angle on the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, on the dial side and on the back. Correctors used to set the watch are discreetly tucked away in the caseband.
Shades of blue
The two versions are dominated by the colour blue. On both sides of the complications on display, Frederique Constant has opted for a face without a dial. This allows you to see the inner workings of the FC-975 Manufacture calibre, alongside the delicate blued screws, perlage and subtle Côtes de Genève. It also improves the contrast between the rhodium-plated movement and the perpetual calendar display. To ensure it is easy to read, the Manufacture has also been careful to give them recessed counters on two levels, so as to better capture the light.
Unique pieces, multiple looks
Although the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is strictly limited to 30 pieces for the rose gold version and 88 for the steel version, collectors can create different looks for their numbered and engraved watches. Each one comes with two straps, which can be swapped around at will, without the need for tools.
The rose gold version comes with a topstitched alligator leather strap, alongside a second rubber strap, reinforcing the urban and contemporary attitude that the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture can take on in seconds. This same rubber strap also comes with the steel watch, alongside a steel strap with a three-link design comprised of polished and satin-brushed links and a folding buckle bearing the Frederique Constant hallmark.