An emblematic complication of watchmaking, the chronograph has entered Frederique Constant’s Highlife collection Three models are already fitted with it. Two of steel, including a limited series of 1888 pieces, and the third in two tones of steel and pink gold gilt. Each timepiece will come with a 41 mm case with an integrated and interchangeable strap, a marker of the Highlife collection, in the same way as its dial decorated with an engraving representing a globe. As required by the collection, each watch will be delivered with an additional steel or rubber strap.

Created in 1999 and relaunched in 2020, the Highlife collection has marked Frederique Constant’s story. It embodies the values which have contributed to the watchmaker’s success: a watchmaker design faithful to the standards of fine Swiss watchmaking, with high-quality finishes and careful attention for a fair price, making Swiss Made luxury accessible to as many people as possible.

The addition of a chronograph to this flagship collection was highly anticipated. It is a leading complication of watchmaking which, contrary to a widespread idea, is also one of the most technically complex to produce, as well as probably being the most used. Frederique Constant has chosen an automatic version in line with the positioning of its Highlife: dynamic, urban and modern.

Pure Highlife DNA

To meet the requirements of the various profils of Highlife collectors, Frederique Constant offers three different versions of the Highlife Chronograph Automatic. They share the same 41 mm stainless steel case. In accordance with the uses of fine Geneva watchmaking, it alternates polished and brushed satin finishes on its middle, its contour and its bezel. Two push buttons appear at 2 and 4 o’clock. They control the start / stop of the chronograph and its reset to zero. Their contour has been slightly inclined by a few degrees to fit harmoniously with the case contour.

As regards the dial, each version has a compax chronograph, with a small second hand at 9 o’clock, a 30 mn counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock balancing the watchmaker’s “Frédérique Constant, Genève” signature at midday. Three central hand-polished hands complete the timepiece: two fluorescent hands for the hours and minutes and a central chronograph seconds hand. Each model is also fitted with a second complication, useful every day, the date, discreetly housed in a dedicated window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

A very intricate chronograph

Many details have been designed to make the Highlife Chronograph Automatic subtle and particular. Its dial still bears the engraving of the Earth in its centre, the symbol of its cosmopolitan nature. As regards the chronograph counters, they have an inward curved flange, offering a deeper perspective and more accurate reading of the chronograph indications. The fine gradations of its flange allow for 1/5th second readings.

As for the back, the case is fitted with a sapphire crystal through which one can admire the FC-391 automatic movement and its chronograph module – in particular its column wheel located at 3 o’clock that fans in the know will spot easily. Developed in collaboration with La Joux-Perret this calibre is not only housed within a remarkable modern construction, but it also boasts a high degree of quality and finishes. Moreover, for each of these new models, Frederique Constant has designed an oscillating weight decorated with Côtes de Genève pink gold gilt – a decoration which is a favourite of Frederique Constant, whose Manufacture is also located in Geneva.

This rotor thus winds the the automatic movement, beating at a frequency of 28,800 alt./h and guaranteeing 60 hours of power reserve. Each timepiece is engraved with the words “Highlife Chronograph” and its associated water resistance to 10 ATM, i.e. 100 metres.

One complication, three executions

Sporty, urban or stylish: the new Highlife Chronograph Automatic is available in three highly complementary versions. The first, made of steel, will be the most sought-after: it is limited to 1888 pieces and alone has two additional straps. It will thus be possible to alternate between a navy blue calfskin strap in a Nubuck finish, a rubber of the same colour, or a three-link strap of polished and satin-finish steel. Three different options which will highlight, according to each person’s preference, either the white dial or the blue counters and the flange of this rare collector’s item, of which each timepiece will be individually numbered.

Precious, the second version is the only one in two tones, alternating the steel with the pink gold gilt decorating the central link of the strap, the bezel, the push buttons, the hands and the indexes. These discreet touches of pink gold on the silver dial give this version a bold but stylish mix, demonstrating the ability of the Highlife collection to adapt to all the styles of contemporary life. For a more sporty look, this edition will be supplied with a brown rubber strap.

Finally, the third version plays on contrasts, where the timepiece - case and strap - of steel contrasts clearly with a black dial punctuated by indexes and hands also of steel. The second black rubber strap will emphasise its sporty and secretive look.