Monochrome Watches
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The Updated Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph

Two new sports chronographs celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Highlife collection with new dials and finishes.

| By Erik Slaven | 3 min read |

The Frederique Constant Highlife collection launched in 1999 with an interchangeable, integrated strap/bracelet at an affordable price, making the desirable “luxury Swiss sports watch” accessible to many. The collection ultimately went dormant but was relaunched in 2020 to great fanfare with musician, producer and brand ambassador The Avener. In 2022, the brand introduced the Highlife Chronograph with a panda edition, bringing a more contemporary aesthetic to one of the three new chronographs. Fast forward two years and we have two updated Highlife chronographs with a panda(ish) style, one limited and one standard, that bring welcomed aesthetic tweaks to keep the collection fresh.

The stainless steel case size hasn’t changed at 41mm in diameter and 14.22mm in height, but these two models double the size of the Highlife Chronograph line and one features a rose gold plated finish. That’s a first for the chronographs, although not for the overall Highlife collection. A convex sapphire crystal protects the dial and there’s an exhibition case back displaying a well-finished automatic. Rectangular pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock are standard chronograph fare and work well with the design, while water resistance is rated at 100 metres. The integrated strap design keeps these sporty and one comes with an additional steel bracelet (more on that below).

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The dial designs are the main feature and really separate these from the earlier models. The steel finish piece has a matte silver dial with three dark green sub-dials – a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock. A white date window is tucked between 4 and 5 o’clock. Silver-coloured applied indices and hour/minute hands have white Super-LumiNova inserts and sit above an embossed globe pattern that spans most of the dial. The rose gold-plated model has a matte navy blue dial with silver sub-dials. The hands and indices are rose gold-plated with Super-LumiNova, the white date window is in the same place and both models have an outermost minute/seconds track that matches the sub-dial colours.

Powering the new Highlife chronographs is the same FC-391 automatic calibre from the earlier models. It’s a column wheel chronograph based on the Valjoux 7750 (then modified by La Joux-Perret) with 26 jewels, a beat rate of 28,800vph (4Hz) and an extended 60-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, small seconds, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter and date in a tri-compax layout. Finishing includes Côtes de Genève on the plates and gold rotor.

Strap options depend on the model, with the steel variant coming with dark green calf leather with a crocodile pattern, tone-on-tone stitching a pin buckle, an additional dark green rubber strap and a nice two-piece steel bracelet. The rose gold model comes with a navy blue leather strap with a crocodile pattern and tone-on-tone stitching, and an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Only the steel model gets the bracelet. The rose gold model is a standard edition, but the steel model is limited to 1,888 pieces. Pricing is CHF 3,995 for the rose gold model and CHF 3,495 for the limited-edition steel model, and both are available to order now.

For more information, please visit Frederique Constant’s website.

1 response

  1. I’ve looked at the watch several times and even when it was on sale I didn’t take it. Why? The dial is terrible. Even watches for 300 euros have nicer dials. This pseudeo globe or whatever it’s supposed to be doesn’t go with the watch.


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