Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

 

De Escapement Magazine.

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https://www.escapementmagazine.com/articles/frederique-constant-highlife-2020-collection.html/

 

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

The Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection is comprised of three models: the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, the Highlife Heart Beat and the Highlife Automatic COSC. The models feature a globe motif on their dial, include a user-friendly strap exchange system and incorporate a Manufacture movement. But, most of all, each model upholds the brand’s reputation for delivering luxury watches at affordable prices.

In 1988, the Dutch couple, Aletta and Peter Stas, founded Frederique Constant. From the outset, the company has always been located in Geneva and embraces one overriding principle, namely, to offer luxury watches at affordable prices.

Over the years, the company has repeatedly demonstrated its watchmaking capabilities. To date, they produce 29 Manufacture movements, including some incredibly complicated calibres. This list of complications offered by the brand includes a flyback chronograph, a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and even a combination of a perpetual calendar and tourbillon. Most notably, the brand has democratised high complications, offering impressive Swiss watches at very keen prices.

Since its inauguration, this strategy has delivered exponential growth. In 2016, the firm was acquired by Citizen, albeit Aletta and Peter still remain at the company and the firm’s ascent continues.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Image: ©Eric Rossier

Back in 1999, the Genevan Maison unveiled the Highlife collection. Initially, the brand released its Triple Time series, however, it was not long before it grew the collection with the addition of a tourbillon, perpetual calendar and a chronograph. The collection also included a popular ladies’ model endowed with a Heart Beat aperture, a design feature the brand first adopted in 1994. This consisted of a dial opening revealing partial views of the balance wheel in flight.

This year, the Highlife is back with a vengeance. The Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection is comprised of three models: the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, the Highlife Heart Beat and the Highlife Automatic COSC. Each version incorporates a globe motif on the dial and is offered in a range of dial colours. Interestingly, the watch is fitted with a user-friendly strap exchange system and is supplied with an additional rubber strap.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Image: ©Eric Rossier

However, most notable of all, while these three new watches are attractively appointed and feature Manufacture movements, assembled at the brand’s Genevan HQ, they also uphold the founding principle of the brand, to offer luxury watches at affordable prices. Somethings never change.

The brand’s press release (September 2020)

The Highlife collection created by Frederique Constant in 1999 has not only impacted the history of the Manufacture, but that of watchmaking as well. The original embodied all the values that contributed to the success and longevity of the Brand. Firstly, there is the sophisticated horological nature of the design, inspired by the most stunning examples of traditional fine Swiss watchmaking with high-quality finishing. Then, there is the careful attention for a fair and proportionate price, allowing as many people as possible to access Swiss Made luxury, a cause steadfastly and rigorously defended by Frederique Constant for over 30 years.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Frederique Constant launched the first models in the Highlife collection with the Triple Time series. One year later, the collection was supplemented by a tourbillon and the Brand’s emblematic Heart Beat aperture. On proving a huge hit, the collection was quickly expanded and diversified, notably by integrating a perpetual calendar, a chronograph and Manufacture movement, as well as designs for women.

Thanks to its wide range of qualities, its exclusive design would appeal to men and women of all ages. Consisting of a steel case allowing for a steel bracelet or a leather strap to be added, it represented a real aesthetic and practical breakthrough. An ingenious idea from an entirely independent manufacture that would help the Highlife collection stand out on account of its versatility.

The return of an original must-have design

Bolstered by these advances, the Highlife collection is now making its comeback. Two years of development were needed to give birth to these three models: the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, Highlife Heart Beat and Highlife Automatic COSC. Faithful to the original collection from 1999 and still designed according to Frederique Constant’s same key values, the new Highlife collection shares certain fundamental characteristics in being finely crafted, Swiss Made, affordable and engineered for everyday use.

Image: ©Eric Rossier

The three models have the same 41 mm case. True to the Brand’s DNA, they present a modern yet elegant, or sport chic appearance, and have been designed for the next generation of collectors eager to embrace luxury Swiss Made timepieces.

A new case with an integrated interchangeable bracelet

Like the original inspiration, the Highlife 2020 collection has an integrated bracelet. The lack of horns allows for greater flexibility and helps the watch sit naturally on the wrist. The integrated design is infinitely more complicated to conceive than any strap with horns. The process requires perfect continuity between the lines of the case and the links, a smooth, regular but gradual transition to the clasp and natural fluidity that should be almost imperceptible.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Image: ©Eric Rossier

Not only has Frederique Constant managed to achieve this natural continuity, but the integrated system allows the wearer to change the bracelet with ease. With no need for any tools or accessories, you can change the look of your watch just by pressing. From a steel bracelet, a leather, crococalf suede or rubber strap, the Highlife can be restyled in seconds.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Image: ©Eric Rossier

To switch between a sporty, urban, or stylish look, all you need to do is press on the two push-pins at the end of the bracelet or the strap to disconnect it from the case and, just as easily, click a new one into place. Frederique Constant supplies all new Highlife models with two alternatives at no additional cost. A leather strap or a steel bracelet are fitted as standard and accompanied by a second rubber strap, supplied with the model of your choice. A set of three additional crococalf suede straps in brown, blue and black can also be purchased separately.

Frederique Constant Highlife 2020 Collection

Image: ©Eric Rossier

The symbol of the Earth, a meaningful and unifying decoration

All the new models in the Highlife collection have a decorated dial. In the interests of unifying the collection, each one features the same globe motif. Symbolising the Earth, the harmony, the perfection of the circle, it is also the icon of a new generation that shares the same ideal for saving the planet, sustainable and sensible living. An ethic in perfect harmony with that of Frederique Constant, which has always championed quality, reliable watches that are both transferable and accessible to as many people as possible. So as to capture this life with all its subtleties, the sapphire crystals on the dial side in the new Highlife collection benefit from an anti-reflective treatment on both sides.

Image: ©Eric Rossier

The Highlife collection is based on certain fundamentals acquired from Frederique Constant’s lengthy experience, which have been revised and improved: a new case design, interchangeable straps and a delicate globe decoration on the dial that can be admired down to the smallest detail thanks to the sapphire crystal, which benefits from an anti-reflective treatment on both sides. Distinctive qualities common to all the models help propel the Highlife towards new horizons.

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