The colourful Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic and Classics PremiereFergus Nash
- The Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic collection has been expanded with three new light colours
- With their sporty versatility and summery colour schemes, they could be considered affordable alternatives for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36
- The Classics Premiere collection has also been announced in limited numbers, with traditional looks in an elegant case
Often when discussing more affordable alternatives for some watches, it can be tempting to go and find watches that look extremely similar but with a different brand name. It’s a controversial topic with no correct answer, but many would view a more honourable option to be fulfilling the function of the expensive watch in a different way. In their summer colours, the new Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic watches are definitely gorgeous watches in their own right, but they also may be an amazing alternative to the colourful Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 models at about 1/10th of the price and arguable 10x the character.
The Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic is truly a taste of entry-level luxury, with a sporty versatility that can suit almost any occasion. The 34mm case is perfect for those with smaller wrists or vintage preferences, and the integrated-bracelet design ensures a short lug-to-lug distance too. Most of the case is brushed, honing in on an adventurous attitude, but the polished links of the bracelet and the bezel help lift its personality into something classier. Each of the watches come with a white rubber strap too, which would be perfect in the warmer or more active seasons.
The dial of the Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic is really where it sets itself apart, as well as contends with the lofty Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36. The layout of the hands and markers is incredibly simple and easily legible without crowding the space with numerals. The applied indices are quite refined, their sharpness giving a little bit of edge to the design as well. The dial bears a subtle pattern which looks like the grid around a globe, almost inspiring travel without the need for a GMT complication that would rarely get used anyway. What’s most impressive are the delightful sunburst colours, with ice blue, champagne gold, and blossom pink options bound to capture hearts.
The FC-303 within the Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic is based on the Sellita SW200, ensuring a high quality Swiss movement for an affordable price point. The calibre offers a smooth 4Hz sweep of the second hand, and a 38-hour power reserve with automatic winding. You can see the movement from the exhibition caseback, proudly displaying some nice decoration and a golden rotor. From the back you can also see the quick-release spring bars which are supplied with the straps, and the 50m/5ATM water resistance rating for the case.
Also announced this month is the Frederique Constant Classics Premiere collection, offering a much more traditional approach in an elegant 38.5mm case. The references available suit many different occasions, such as the black and white dial variant which accentuates its casual vibe with a guilloché section that almost looks like carbon fibre. Some of the more feminine options are set with diamonds around the perimeter of the centre section, including one gold-toned cased reference that is fully set with 70 diamonds in the centre and around the bezel. The movement is the unusual but welcome G100 by La Joux-Perret, which is a drop-in replacement for the SW200/2824 architecture but with upgrades such as a 68-hour power reserve.
The Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic and Classics Premiere pricing and availability:
The Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic watches in new, vibrant colours are unlimited and available now. The Classics Premiere collection are limited editions in each reference, with 100 pieces of the 70-diamond model, 300 pieces of the steel model with diamonds, and 500 pieces of the others. Price: US$1,895 (Highlife Automatic, Classics Premiere in black or silver) US$2,095 (Classics premiere with no diamonds and gold-plated case) / US$2,295 (Steel Classics Premiere with diamonds) / US$3,895 (Gold Classics Premiere with 70 diamonds)
|Brand||Frederique Constant||Frederique Constant|
|Model||Classics Premiere||Highlife Automatic|
|Case Dimensions||38.5mm x 10.67mm||34mm x 9.67mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Black, silver, diamond-set||Blue, pink, champagne|
|Strap||Calf leather||Steel bracelet and white rubber|
|Movement||La Joux-Perret G100||Sellita SW200|
|Power Reserve||68 hours||38 hours|
|Availability||Limited to 100 pieces of the 70-diamond model, 300 pieces of the steel model with diamonds, and 500 pieces of the others.||Available now|
|Price||US$1,895 (Steel case in black or silver) US$2,095 (Classics premiere with no diamonds and gold-plated case) / US$2,295 (Steel Classics Premiere with diamonds) / US$3,895 (Gold Classics Premiere with 70 diamonds)||US$1,895|