For now over a decade, accessible luxury watchmaker Frederique Constant is teaming up with the RHS (Riva Historical Society), an association of amateurs and collectors of the famous Italian boat. In the frame of this partnership started in 2009, the brand has been releasing several limited edition models intended as a matching accessory for these amateurs. As expected, we’re talking nautical-inspired watches with a certain casual elegance. Following the watches for the 2020 collection we presented here, the brand is now unveiling some new limited editions, with quite some upgrades on the movement side. Here are the two 2021 Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph Automatic.
Visually, Frederique Constant doesn’t break the codes of the collection and remains true to the design that has been shaped a few years ago. As such, these new editions are still chronograph models, they still have that nautical, Mediterranean vibe that matches with the Riva boats and they are still classic, yet not too dressy either. Both versions of the Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph Automatic are housed in 42mm stainless steel cases with pump-style pushers for the chronograph. The surfaces are entirely polished and you’ll have the choice between standard steel and rose gold-plated steel, for a more luxurious and warmer touch. The case features sapphire crystals front and caseback, and is water-resistant to 50 metres (in all fairness, a bit on the short side). Well executed and sleek, the watches have a certain presence on the wrist but remain comfortable.
One of the two major differences with the editions of 2020 is the dial. Indeed, these 2021 Runabout Chronograph Automatic have an even more nautical touch with their deep, navy blue dial. Elegantly designed, with a stamped “clous de Paris” pattern in the centre, they have a classic 6-9-12 layout for the chronograph with small seconds, 12-hour and 30-minute registers, as well as a date function at 6 o’clock. Besides the luminous hands, all hour indexes, either Arabic numerals or baton markers, are filled with Super-LumiNova. These are silver or gold-coloured, matching with the case. The strap is done in navy blue, to be consistent with the dial colour.
The second evolution has to be seen under the sapphire caseback decorated with the official RHS flag. While previous models were equipped with a classic cam-operated chronograph (made by Sellita over a Valjoux architecture), the 2021 Runabout Chronograph Automatic have an upgraded movement that now features a column wheel architecture. Made by La Joux-Perret (also owned by the Citizen Group), this movement is more pleasant to use with smoother pushers, more appealing to look at and also more powerful, with a 55-hour power reserve. Still named Calibre FC-392, this new movement adds a certain exclusivity to this watch, even though the price is actually the same as the 2020 models.
Availability & Price
The Frederique Constant Runabout Chronograph Automatic (ref. FC-392RMN5B6 in steel and FC-392RMN5B4 in gold-plated steel) is presented in a special case with a miniature replica of a wooden Runabout boat. Each version is limited to 888 pieces and is now available from the brand’s e-boutique or from retailers. The steel model is priced at EUR 2,695 and the gold-plated model at EUR 2,895.
For more details and orders, please visit frederiqueconstant.com.