Too often, luxury just seems beyond our reach, not solely because of the price tag but also because of the elitism among watch lovers. Watchmaking is an art, there’s no disputing that, but sometimes the nature can be off-putting for those who want to share their love for their craft. Frederique Constant wants to change that. How? By being more accessible, offering quality, plush-feeling timepieces sans the price that would limit the number of people enjoying it.
Created from two names
Although established right into what can be arguably the world’s watch capital, Frederique Constant does not have the hundreds of years in its history unlike most Swiss brands. It is way younger, only getting its start in 1988 when the Dutch husband-wife duo of Aletta Francoise Frédérique Stas-Bax and Peter Constant Stas put it together.
The name is a conglomeration of their respective grandparents, Frédérique for Aletta, and Constant for Peter. There is horology in Peter’s blood too, as Constant had a watch dial company during his time.
Frederique Constant since then has become one of the largest producers of watches sold all over the world. In 2016, Japan’s Citizen Holdings acquired the company, and in the following year Frederique Constant was under Citizen’s UK subsidiary. The production was reported to have doubled even more and gained wider visibility under the new setup.
The impressive manufacture
The Frederique Constant watches seen on the wrists of celebrities such as Sean Lau, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo are all made in Geneva, right where the Frederique Constant manufacture is located.
This international headquarters is a four-floored building divided into sections that are in charge of components, calibre assembly, watch assembly and quality control. The brand’s unique in-house movements, which are made by hand and employed here, include the Heart Beat movement and the 700 series manufacture movements.
Not afraid of the threat
Many Swiss brands decide to stay true to already established mechanisms with some innovations introduced every now and then, but Frederique Constant is not among them. To founder Peter Stas, Swiss brands have to adapt to technology if they want to stay relevant. The popularity of smartwatches seemed particularly troubling, with them impacting the sales of quartz watches alone and seemingly not stopping anytime soon. In fact, tech giant Apple has already exceeded the revenue of Rolex watches. Stas knew that if they want to keep their heads above water, they have to make changes.
Frederique Constant wanted to be in the game, and in they went. In 2015, the company introduced its Horological Smartwatch. Developed by Swiss company Manufacture Module Technologies (MMT) using a MotionX technology, the watch featured the best of both worlds, featuring an analog dial and hands in lieu of a touchscreen. It enabled a health monitor that could track sleep, count steps, among others. Stas was excited about the new things it would bring, in contrast to a quartz watch with a design that has remained mostly static in the past years.
As the competition is always changing and packing with more features, Frederique Constant wouldn’t want to be behind. This year, the Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture Watch was released, and it was not just like any other smartwatch—it is the very first to incorporate a mechanical movement produced in-house with the features of a smartwatch. The company proudly dubs it as the “world’s first 3.0 watch”. It is equal parts electronic and mechanical, and can be controlled partly through a smartphone. An anti-magnetic shield case was included so that the two mechanisms will not interfere with each other. It also features the same health monitors of the first Frederique Constant smartwatch, which can be enabled through your iPhone’s bluetooth.
In a fast-paced world, having the time told with precision is still important, but so is instant access to other things. With the meaningful apps that Frederique Constant has added in its hybrid watch, the company has done just and also identified a niche market to go with it.
At Frederique Constant, design and innovation are important, but so are passion and quality. You can be assured that every handcrafted timepiece with an eye-catching design are packed with features that will help you and last for a long time, as well as created by people who have a passion to create exciting watches that are luxurious yet worth every penny.
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