When Frederique Constant introduced its perpetual calendar watch with a price tag of EUR 7,995 in 2016, a lot of people started listening. In 2020, the brand introduced its revamped Highlife luxury sports watch collection, which also included a sportier interpretation of its perpetual calendar with versatile features like interchangeable straps/bracelets. Fitted with the same in-house automatic FC-775 calibre as the first more classical perpetual calendar, the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture stuck to its philosophy of affordable luxury, making it one of the most attractively priced QPs on the market today. Revisited in countless iterations since 2020, including a blue dial version, a rose gold case and a special turquoise dial and titanium edition for Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons during Dubai Watch Week, the latest version comes with a fashionable blue-grey dial.
Like any basic perpetual calendar, the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture can compute the irregularities of the Gregorian calendar and takes into account the month of February during normal years (with 28 days) and during leap years (with 29 days). And like all the other perpetual calendars, it will require only one adjustment every 100 years. Adjustments are done via pushers in the casebands (at 10 for the rapid date correction, at 10:30 for the month and leap year correction, at 8 for the day correction and at 4 o’clock for the moon phase correction).
The 41mm stainless steel case has a diameter of 41m and a height of 12.65mm (lug-to-lug measurement is just over 45mm). The barrel-shaped case with rounded casebands, half-moon facets near the strap attachment, and the simple round and polished bezel give this watch its sporty look. Surprisingly, though, it is only water-resistant to 50m. Like the case, the integrated three-link bracelet alternates polished and satin-finished surfaces. A special feature of the Highlife collection is the interchangeable bracelet system, meaning you can switch the bracelet for a sportier navy blue rubber strap delivered with the watch.
The novelty here is the blue-grey colour of the dial and the sharp contrast of white typography and mirror-polished hour markers and hands. Judging by the official photographs, it looks closer to grey than blue, but that will be determined when we get a closer hands-on look at the watch. A common feature across the Highlife family is the globe pattern engraved on the dial with imaginary longitude and latitude lines. The layout of the dial includes the months and leap years at 12, the day at 9, the date at 3, and the phases of the moon at 6 o’clock with a blue background and a starry night sky. Despite the abundant information, the dial remains legible and balanced with sword-shaped hands and applied silver-coloured hour indices with white luminous material.
Below the sapphire crystal caseback is Frederique Constant’s reliable in-house automatic calibre FC-775 (developed in 2016) with a perpetual calendar module on top. The frequency is 28,800vph, and the movement delivers a relatively skimpy power reserve of 38 hours. Even if done by machine, the finishing is attractive with blued screws, perlage on the main plate, circular Geneva stripes on the large bridge, and a gold-coloured rotor.
The Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture Blue-Grey (ref. FC-775BL4NH6B) retails for EUR 8,595. For more information, please visit frederiqueconstant.com.