The family-owned company was barely in business for a decade when it introduced its first regatta watch, which was part of its Yacht Master collection. The striking signature timepiece was a tribute to the love for sailing felt by Peter Stas, co-founder of Frederique Constant.
An icon returns
Twenty-two years later in 2019, the Regatta makes its celebrated comeback. This one is part of the collection renamed Yacht Timer. The name could not be more fitting since the Regatta has a built-in timer that counts down the critical 10 minutes before the sailing vessels set off for the race.
Regatta racers can use the countdown to find the best position for dashing out front based on the wind and the other vessels — and without ever having to go over the imaginary starting line. This is a tactical and crucial maneuver demanding a precision instrument that can be read at a glance since they have to keep raising and lowering the sails to hold position as close to this line as possible.
Right in the race
Frederique Constant has not designed a “nautically-inspired” timepiece, but rather a genuine regatta watch that is operational in race conditions. The perfectly readable original display from 1997 was left unchanged. It features five dots at the top of the dial. Each dot represents one minute. The top button activates the first countdown that slowly turns all the points from white to blue, the contrasting color of the dial. Five minutes has passed when all five points are colored.
Then the second countdown starts to mark the last five minutes before the race begins. This time all five points gradually turn orange. When the final and fifth point is orange and the second hand strikes noon, the regatta is on!
Flawlessly engineered finishes
Everything on the Yacht Timer Regatta is designed for legibility. Since the only complication on the timepiece that should be the center of attention is the countdown timer, the engraved dial captures every reflection of light. The indexes are faceted to constantly display a shiny polished side that can be seen regardless of the sun’s angle. The hands and indexes are filled with luminescent material for overcast days.
The sails of this latest collection have already been filled with four models. Two are finished in rose gold with a navy blue or silver-plated dial on an alligator strap. The third one features a blend of steel and rose gold on a two-tone strap. The fourth model in the collection has a sleekly modern gray color scheme with a steel case and silver-plated dial on a black alligator strap. Frederique Constant also includes a more rugged black rubber strap with all the models that can weather the ocean spray.