Since 2004, Frederique Constant has been sponsoring vintage car rallies worldwide, often being the official timekeeper for events celebrating classic automobiles. Frederique Constant is supporting the European Healey Club again in 2018, which will be celebrated by a new limited edition watch. After a chronograph in 2015 and a 3-hander in 2016, here is the new Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph, a watch deeply inspired by the world of classic cars.
As we always tend to say, classic cars and mechanical watches have always made the perfect match. Both mechanical, both creating passions, both somehow outdated (and this is the exact reason for their charm), the link between these two worlds is easy to make. Classic car collectors are often watch-enthusiasts and vice-versa. No surprise then to see a brand such as Frederique Constant playing on this trend to create new watches, appealing to a wider audience.
This is not the first time that Frederique Constant creates a Healey-inspired watch – far from that, as both brands are partners for more than 14 years now. So to say, the Geneva-based watchmakers knows what to do and what not to do when it comes to these classic-car-inspired watches. And if some of the previous models were already quite appealing, the new model that you’ll see here has an undeniable British charm. This Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph consists of a series of 3 watches, all based on the same architecture, with different dials and colours:
- Stainless steel case, green dial with white sub-counters and green strap
- Stainless steel case, silver dial with blue sub-counters and grey strap
- Rose gold-plated case, blue dial with white sub-counters and blue strap
All of them pick up their design codes from the iconic style of the 1960s British automobiles, paying tribute to their classic design. Bi-compax chronograph layout, contrasting sub-counters and colours to recall vintage Healey cars. All are housed in a 42mm steel case (which can be rose gold-plated), entirely polished and with engraved pushers. While the look is vintage/1960s oriented, the proportions are definitely modern. The dials are enlightened by applied indexes and numerals (at 6 and 12 o’clock), which are filled with luminous paint, just like the hands. Overall, the look is resolutely echoing the Healey cars, mixing classic elegance and restrained sportiness.
From the 3 watches offered, the one that caught our attention was the green model – the most relevant option, considering the theme. With its dark green dial and strap (which seem almost black in certain light conditions), its white contrasting sub-dials and small red touches on the chronograph hands, it is pleasantly original.
Powering the Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph is the FC-397 automatic chronograph movement, an out-sourced calibre (and not the brand’s in-house flyback chronograph) which seems to be based on a Sellita SW-510 architecture – thus, a Valjoux clone. The movement is visible through the caseback with a specific rotor, which is gold plated and decorated with Geneva stripes. Its specifications are classic: 4Hz frequency, 46h power reserve and 25 jewels.
As always with the brand, this new Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph is friendly priced, as starting from EUR 2,595 / CHF 2,595 / USD 2,795 for the steel models and EUR 2,895 / CHF 2,895 / USD 3,095 for the rose gold-plated version. It will be a limited edition of 2,888 pieces. More details on frederiqueconstant.com.