Apple threw down the gauntlet when they announced the Apple Watch. This week the Swiss responded. At an event strategically placed between the SIHH and Baselworld fairs, Frédérique Constant gathered a select group of journalists to drop a horological bombshell – the official announcement of the Frédérique Constant smartwatch. Yep you read that right. You’re looking at a smartwatch. A Swiss made smartwatch. However, what was unveiled was not a just a product, even less a smartwatch as we currently understand them. What the Frédérique Constant Group announced was nothing less than a brand new market segment, one that CEO Peter Stas dubs ‘Horological Smartwatches’. “All current smartwatches are based upon a screen, not a dial. Our goal was to make a real watch, which is our core business, being a manufacture for 10 years now. Something made to last, not a simple connected device”. But Frédérique Constant hasn’t spent the last three years developing this project in isolation. They teamed up with two key partners, Fullpower (the guys behind Jawbone UP) and MMT, the second being a new Swiss joint venture formed by Fullpower Technologies, Inc. and Frédérique Constant. Who’s doing what? Fullpower creates and licenses the schematic design, firmware,… Read More
Frederique Constant make watches according to a philosophy of accessible luxury, and they do it very well – developing in-house watches at reasonable prices.
First Impressions: The Frederique Constant Worldtimer has been given a (facelift) with a minimal pricelift. The young brand continues to offer exceptional value. Increasingly Frederique Constant is running their own race as a brand. They make a broad range of mostly dressy watches, powered by movements running the gamut of quartz to full on in-house assembled / designed by quite famously young watchmakers; the next generation, they are hoping. And they do this at prices that are, how shall we say, flying in the face of wider (read: pricier) industry pricing morés. Two of their most interesting collections are the Slimline, and the Manufacture Worldtimer. We’re looking forward to seeing what new Slimline offerings they have at Baselworld this year, but the watch we’re talking about today is the latest addition to their Classic Manufacture Worldtimer family. Essentially it’s the same watch that’s been around for the last few years, but with the ever-popular navy blue colouring. It’s a great colour combination and one that really suits the classic styling of the piece. The dial is fairly busy, but given that you can, at a glance tell the time anywhere in the world (unless you happen to live in the… Read More
While we are occasionally guilty of gushing over the odd quadrillion dollar superwatch we at Time+Tide do have very effective reality and hip-pocket firewalls in place. Which is why we really appreciate the excellent work of Frederique Constant. Frederique Constant have quietly been making excellent watches under the mantra of ‘accessible luxury’ since their creation in 1988, but for the last 10 years they’ve developed capabilities to produce movements completely in-house, and then casing them in gorgeous models like this Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture. If God really is in the details, then there’s more God for your dollar in FC timepieces than in many other competitors at their price point. And in 2014, this democratic approach to high quality timepieces paid off, with FC reporting 26% growth compared to 2013. FC are gaining in the uber-competitive $1000-5000 AUD segment of the market, with especially strong growth in Australia and Asia. This growth is testament to their experience in this space and the quality of their products. In our opinion, it’s refreshing to see brands like Frederique Constant offering high quality, and highly rewarding on the wrist, watches at accessible prices, and while their current success is only reflective of one section of the market, their attitudes and… Read More