Frederique Constant is a brand known for its focus on accessible luxury, rational watchmaking with a fair share of complications (an in-house perpetual calendar and even a perpetual calendar tourbillon) and mostly, watches with a classic, discreet elegance. And this well-oiled recipe has been the key to the brand’s success for over 30 years now. But last year, Frederique Constant decided to venture into sportier territories. With the introduction of its revamped Highlife collection, FC entered the complex and highly competitive market of luxury sports watch with integrated bracelets. Just one year after its launch, the collection now comprises a wide range of models, from automatic chronometers to perpetual calendars and feminine models. And today, it’s time for the Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic Skeleton to join the range.
The Highlife collection isn’t really a new collection; it’s more a revamp of an existing model from the late 1990s that shared the same name. In 1999, the Highlife design was already characterised by its integrated strap/bracelet, a round case with a central lug module and a somewhat quirky dial design. Those days are gone, of course, and the new Highlife is far more contemporary, sportier and finally, it doesn’t hide its mission to compete in the ultra-competitive luxury sports watch market. This means that although some of the design cues of the past model have been retained, the collection now emits a relatively discreet 1970s aura.
With the new Highlife Automatic Skeleton, the brand adds a new, bolder and even more modern watch to its growing collection. And with this in mind, this new edition doesn’t change the formula established a year ago, starting with its distinctive design. It features the mandatory shaped case that this category requires. It also comes with integrated straps and/or bracelets and combines facets and curves. The most distinctive elements are the half-moon concave shapes found on the case, along with the sleek, thin bezel. Measuring 41mm in diameter and less than 11mm in height, the Highlife Automatic Skeleton retains the relative elegance of its sisters. The case is equipped with sapphire crystals on both sides and is water-resistant to 50 metres.
The main novelty in this collection is the introduction of openworked movements, a modern counterpart to the classic automatic models with no complications, not even a date. The Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic Skeleton is a time-only watch where the star of the show is the central part of the dial revealing parts of the movement, including the balance at 12 o’clock (recalling the Open Heart watches of the brand). To be consistent with the rest of the collection, the mainplate has been hollowed in a modern, graphic way that once again depicts the curvature of a globe – the hallmark of all Highlife watches.
The rest of the dial is traditional, with a sunray-brushed inner ring that displays a white-printed seconds track as well as faceted, polished applied indexes filled with Super-LumiNova. The hands are identical to the rest of the collection, with polished surfaces and luminous inlays. The movement powering this Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic Skeleton is a classic Sellita SW 200 with 4Hz frequency and a 38h power reserve. The back reveals a personalised rotor and bridges coated in black.
Two editions of the Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic Skeleton will be launched, and both will be limited to 888 pieces. The first one (Ref. FC-310NSKT4NH6B) comes in a classic stainless steel case, with brushed and polished surfaces and an inner ring on the dial with dark blue colour. Indexes and hands are silver-coloured. This version is worn on a brushed and polished steel bracelet, and an additional blue rubber strap is included. Note that both options are equipped with an easy-change device. This model retails for EUR 2,295.
The second edition (Ref. FC-310DGSKT4TNH6B) is far less classic and gives this model a more polarising and sportier appearance. The case is matte throughout and coated in titanium-coloured PVD, resulting in a dark grey attire from the case to the bracelet. The inner ring of the dial is dark grey, and the hands and indexes are “black pearl” coloured. It also includes a black rubber strap, and it retails for EUR 2,395.
For more details, please visit frederiqueconstant.com.