In 2020, Frederique Constant resurrected and substantially revamped its Highlife collection, which it first rolled out at the turn of the millennium. This year, the Genevan maison known for its embrace of affordable luxury adds to the contemporary family, equipping its newest member with the in-house world-time caliber that it launched back in 2014. Here’s a look at the new Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture.
The watch’s 41-mm tripartite steel case has a combination of brushed and polished finishes and measures 12.9 mm thick. Beneath its convex sapphire crystal is a newly designed dial with a streamlined, engraved globe motif — an “ode to travel,” according to the brand, and a visual distinction that sets this new timepiece apart from the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture models that preceded it, which were notable for their more complex, map-like dials. The dial is predominantly blue, with silver-colored applied indices and luminous-treated, hand-polished hands. On its periphery is a city ring with 24 time zones represented, and an inner 24-hour ring divided into day (white) and night (blue) sectors to easily identify what time of day it is anywhere in the world. At 6 o’clock is a date indicator with a sunray guilloché finish.
The movement is Frederique Constant’s automatic Caliber FC-718, which the company proudly reports was developed, produced, and assembled in-house. It measures 30 mm in diameter and is composed of 139 parts, with a balance beating at 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 38 hours. Visible through a sapphire caseback, its high-horology decorations include perlage and côtes de Genève on the bridges and plates. The built-in world-time function is operated entirely by the crown, with no additional push-buttons or correctors needed. The first of the crown’s three positions allows the user to manually wind the watch by turning the crown upwards; the second is used to set the date and city by turning the crown upward and downward, respectively; and the third lets the user set the time by turning the crown downwards.
Also in keeping with the recent design revamp of the Highlife collection, the ergonomically curved case connects to three integrated, interchangeable wristlets — a polished and satin-finished three-link steel bracelet, a blue nubuck leather strap and a blue rubber strap. The Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture is priced at $4,395.