I’ve been a pretty vocal advocate for micro-brand watches, and for good reason. I’ve found that many micro-brands are able to deliver excellent quality products, and for great prices. This isn’t typically a knock on more established luxury watch brands, but given the nature of the industry, smaller teams operating with direct to consumer sales models are able to better optimize their final retail prices. But if micro-brands start to drive up their prices, then there should be no reason to avoid larger brands like Hamilton, Frederique Constant, Certina, Tissot, Alpina, etc. These brands have been around for a while, and some of their watches are pretty impressive.
Since Baltic and Lorier decided to venture close to the $1000 category, with mostly typical Frederique Constant Yacht Timer gmt watch designs and specs, I decided I would take a look at some of the other options available in this category. The Baltic and Lorier were very well received, but there are other GMT watches out there at similar prices. The Frederique Constant Yacht Timer GMT is one such watch; although following a very different design aesthetic. This particular watch has a retail price of around $2000, but can be found close to the $1000 mark.
Located on the outskirts of Geneva, Frederique Constant operates from a modern production facility. From the outset, the company’s objective was to create quality watches at very keen prices. Indeed, the founders of the Maison, Peter Stas and Aletta Bax, have frequently stated,’ let more people enjoy luxury’.
Some of watchmaking’s old guard have been in existence since the 18th and 19th centuries, hence, in comparative terms, Frederique Constant is a young company. It was founded in 1988 and has since enjoyed exponential growth. In 2004, the luxury brand unveiled its first Manufacture movement, a technical feat which has eluded many firms. Today, the brand has produced 29 different calibres, demonstrating its ingenuity and technical capability, two attributes which are at the heart of the brand’s culture.
In 2019, the luxury marque unveiled the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown. As its name suggests, this watch is designed for regattas, where five dots on the dial transition from one colour to another, signifying the countdown to the start of a race.
This latest version of the watch, presented in a stainless steel case, features a gorgeous anthracite guilloché dial and is equipped with the brand’s in-house FC-380 calibre.
A Frederique Constant signature timepiece, the Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown made its return to the watchmaking scene in 2019. It joined the Maison’s collections as early as 1997 at the instigation of its co-founder Peter Stas, who is passionate about sailing and the open sea himself.
Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown offers a technical complication popular with fans of yachting and regattas: the countdown to the start of the race. Its classically stylish new look is the epitome of luxury sports chic, designed for regattas and relaxed pontoon times alike.
Housed in an elegant 42 mm polished stainless-steel case, the new Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown presents an anthracite grey dial, playing on the colour harmony. Inspired by the most stunning examples of traditional luxury watchmaking, this new dial features a guilloché decoration. This age-old finish affords the light a regular pattern, where it can dance, stretch out and be reflected, like waves and swells, presenting an ever-changing appearance depending on the viewing angle. To complement this elegant symphony of tones, this new version comes with a matching stainless-steel strap made up of alternating polished and satin finished links, fastened with a folding buckle.