There are some powerhouse names in the Swiss watchmaking industry, and each has its own implied level of quality and design. Everyone knows brands like Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Patek, and Audemars Piguet have an understood level of craftsmanship.
But what about a smaller brand like Frederique Constant Classic Heart Beat Automatic? Are Frederique Constant watches good?
That’s precisely what this article will figure out. We’ll go over some of the history of Frederique Constant, the pros and cons of the brand, and some of the most popular watches. By the end, you’ll be able to decide if Frederique Constant watches are good.
Frederique Constant is a relatively new company as far as Swiss watch manufacturers go. The company saw its beginning in 1988 when Aletta Francoise Stas-Bax and Peter Stas created the company.
As legend has it, the company name is a combination of both founder’s grandfathers’ first names: Frederique Schreiner and Constant Stas.
While the company might not have 150 years of watchmaking history to claim, it’s certainly been busy for the last few decades. In 1992, Frederique Constant launched its first collection of six Geneva-assembled watches consisting of Swiss movements.
Two years later, it produced its first “Frederique Constant Classic Heart Beat Automatic” model, which featured a window on the face of the dial to allow a clear view of the pulsing balance wheel. At the time, this was quite an innovation. Frederique Constant’s focus has always been on creating affordable luxury, and many of their watches use modified ETA movements to achieve it. But, the company also designed its own high-end hand-wound movement, the FC-910 caliber, in 2004.
Even more impressive is the 2008 introduction of a tourbillon. In 2015, the brand introduced a hybrid smartwatch model that meshed traditional watchmaking with cutting-edge tech.
The year 2016 saw the introduction of an in-house perpetual calendar. And, most impressively, a perpetual calendar tourbillon in 2018.
It’s also worth noting that when the company was just 14 years old, it acquired the much older Alpina brand name, bringing the two companies (along with Ateliers DeMonaco) under the Frederique Constant Group.
In 2016, Citizen Watch bought the group, and the brands now operate under the Citizen umbrella.
The company’s headquarters are in Plan-les-Oates, Geneva, Switzerland, in a 3,200 square meter factory shared with Alpina.
With a better idea of the company history and its pros and cons, you might want to compare some of Frederique Constant’s best watches.
These four watches are some of the best representations of the company’s value in design and materials.
Frederique Constant Classic Heart Beat Automatic
Guys looking for one of the best values in the Frederique Constant catalog should consider the Classic Heart Beat Automatic. This part-casual, part-dress watch will work for most occasions, and it’s a relatively affordable way to get into Swiss luxury timepieces.
The Classic Heart Beat features modest dimensions and a classic look. The polished stainless steel case measures 40 millimeters across, and the lug-to-lug measurement of 20 millimeters.
The case measures 11 millimeters thick, so it still has some wrist presence without taking up too much real estate. This iteration features a silver textured dial and black applied Roman numeral indexes, and it comes on a black leather strap.
The convex sapphire crystal and see-through case back combine to give this piece 50 meters of water resistance. And with the Heart Beat window at 12 o’clock, there’s a lot to look at.
The Heart Beat Automatic uses the FC303 automatic movement. This movement is an improved Sellita SW200-1, so it’s reliable and affordable to service.