FREDERIQUE CONSTANT ARRIVES ON NEW YORK’S LEGENDARY FIFTH AVENUE
Frederique Constant is rounding off its thirty-fifth anniversary year in style, with an address on New York’s celebrated and prestigious Fifth Avenue, where Citizen Group’s US subsidiary Citizen Watch America has opened a multi-brand store. To mark the occasion, the Maison has unveiled a new version of its Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture in a limited edition of just 88 pieces. Featuring a blue dial and a 41-millimetre steel case, the timepiece is a clever blend of Highlife modernity (including its integrated, interchangeable strap) and all the class of a historic complication, the tourbillon. This collector’s item is a worthy successor to some of the most sought-after limited editions in which steel really is worth its weight in gold.
A NEW LIMITED EDITION TO COMMEMORATE THE NEW STORE
To celebrate the event, Frederique Constant has unveiled a new, highly exclusive limited-edition version of its Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, housed in a steel case just 41 millimetres in diameter – rightly so, for purists will not settle for anything bigger. Only 88 of these refined steel versions with a blue dial will be produced; as is traditional for the Highlife collection, each will come with a number of interchangeable straps. Three will be provided for this piece: one in nubuck calfskin, one in steel, and one in rubber, allowing wearers to change their watch from a traditional to a sportier look as the fancy takes them, in just a couple of tool-free clicks.
THE HIGHLIFE TOUCH
This carefully designed arrangement, featuring outstanding complications whose perfection is matched only by their modernity, sits amid a dial imbued with the Highlife collection ethos, engraved with a globe complete with meridians and parallels. The hour markers are suspended above it, secured at their base to the minute circle. the hours and minutes hands, which match the colour of the case, are coated with luminous material to ensure they can be read however dim the light.
Lovers of fine Swiss Made watchmaking will also appreciate the sapphire caseback revealing all the innermost workings of the FC-975 Manufacture calibre. Decorated with circular grained and Côtes de Genève finishes, it boasts a 38-hour power reserve and is guaranteed water resistant to 10 ATM.
A PARAGON OF READABILITY
The dial layout has been painstakingly designed. The month, date and day indications are at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock respectively, each with its own hand – or, in the case of the display at 12 o’clock, two: in addition to the month, another hand indicates leap years on a scale running from 1 to 3, plus an ‘L’ denoting leap years.
Positioned at 6 o’clock, the tourbillon completes the arrangement, housed beneath a steel cut-out characteristic of the Maison’s style, with an upper indentation so that it fits snugly into the layout of the perpetual calendar. This expansive aperture reveals the sophisticated escapement for which a patent application was first filed in 1801. Above it glides the seconds hand, also passing over the balance wheel, blued screws and mainplate engraved with each piece’s individual serial number.
THE POWER OF YOUTH AND ITS FUTURE PROSPECTS
As it turns 35, Frederique Constant is still a young manufacture with almost boundless possibilities before it. In addition to its main collections, whose aim remains that of providing painstakingly produced yet affordable watches, the Maison has gradually added more elite timepieces destined for experienced collectors to its ranges; the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar are undeniably among their most prized complications. Frederique Constant thus continues to look to the future as it seeks to produce ever more advanced watches, featuring increasingly sophisticated styling and finishes that are constantly being refined and enriched.