Watches that can indicate the time in the 24 time zones of the world are usually accompanied by first-class price tags. In 2012, Frederique Constant, the brand that has flown the flag of “accessible luxury”, proved that tourist-class travellers could enjoy a watch with a world time complication. Turning 35 this year, Frederique Constant celebrates its worldwide success by releasing two attractive iterations of its Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture: a luxurious 18k rose gold edition of 35 pieces and an unlimited steel model with a chocolate brown dial, both with additional interchangeable straps packed in their luggage. A luxurious limited-edition rose gold, and an unlimited stainless steel Worldtimer celebrate the brand’s anniversary and worldwide success.
Frederique Constant’s Worldtimer exists in the Classics and Highlife collections. When it was launched in 2012, it was housed in the Classics family, where it still resides today. As its name indicates, the Classics Worldtimer comes in a classic round case with a vintage onion crown and classical decorative flourishes. However, a second Worldtimer, launched in 2021, co-exists in the Highlife luxury sports watch collection with a far more contemporary soul thanks to its tonneau-shaped case and integrated (and interchangeable) bracelet.
However, despite their different habitats, both Classic and Highlife Worldtimers share the Manufacture appellation, referring to the FC-718 automatic calibre, designed, produced and assembled in-house at Frederique Constant’s Geneva-based facilities.
Two world views
The contemporary and sporty 41mm multifaceted case of the Highlife is offered in a luxurious 18k rose gold case or a sportier stainless steel case. With a height of 12.9mm, the sleek tonneau-shaped case with half-moon facets at either end is decorated with vertical-brushed finishings and a brightly polished bezel and crown for contrast.
One of the advantages of FC’s in-house world timer movement is that all the functions are controlled at the crown, dispensing with fiddly pushers that could compromise the 100m water resistance of the case (the rose gold case only offers 30m water resistance).
The petroleum blue dial of the rose gold and the chocolate brown dial of the stainless steel model feature engraved longitude and latitude lines suggesting the shape of a globe. The cities corresponding to the 24 time zones are transcribed in white on the outer confines of the dial with GMT -1 and +1 in red, followed by a two-tone 24h day & night track intercepted by a pointer date disc at 6 o’clock. In both models, the applied indices are treated with luminescence, as are the sword-shaped hour and minute hands; the central seconds hand is polished by hand.
Equipped with a user-friendly toolless interchangeable system, the bracelet can be swapped for a strap in seconds. The rose gold model comes with a blue nubuck-finished alligator strap and is supplied with an extra blue rubber strap. The stainless steel model comes with an integrated 3-link steel bracelet, a chocolate brown alligator leather strap and a rubber strap.
Under the sapphire caseback is the in-house FC-718 calibre. This automatic movement beats at a 4Hz frequency and delivers 38 hours of power reserve when fully wound. It is decorated with circular Geneva stripes, perlage, blued screws and a large gold-coloured openworked rotor.
Availability & Price
Limited to 35 pieces, the rose gold model retails for EUR 25,995; the unlimited stainless steel Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture retails for EUR 4,295. For more information, please visit frederiqueconstant.com.