When you think of Swiss watches and the years they were founded, what era do you think of? 1800’s? Earlier? Later? It’s well known that Blancpain, the oldest watchmaker in business today began producing timepieces in 1735. But not every Swiss brand is hundreds of years old. In fact, new brands arrive on the horological scene all the time. Even familiar brands can seem older than they are. Did you know that Rolex was only founded in 1905? To put that in perspective, Rolex, which is 116 years old in 2021, was founded the year Blancpain celebrated 170 years of watchmaking!
What does all this have to do with Frédérique Constant? Founded in 1988, FC is practically a brand-new company when it comes to Swiss watchmaking. But despite being a “young” watch maker, they have quickly risen to the highest ranks of horology thanks to a superior collection of timepieces for both men and women.
Origins of the Frédérique Constant brand
Founded by Dutch couple, Frédérique Schreiner and Constant Stas, the FC brand is a family affair. The FC name is derived from each founder’s great-grandparent. Notably, Constant Stas began making watch dials in 1904 and the FC brand now carries on his horological tradition. During early years, FC built up a reputation for Swiss watches made to the highest standards while remaining more affordable than many competitors. The brand now has a strong presence in the industry and remains among the premium luxury watch choices.
Development in the global industry
The FC brand has grown over the years with ever-evolving designs and functionality in its well-designed, high-end pieces. By 2002, FC had bigger buying power, purchasing the renowned Alpina Watch Company. Through combining each company’s expertise and tradition, FC and Alpina watches experienced growth. The global financial crisis of 2007-2008 sent watch collectors searching for value. In their quest, they quickly found FC and Alpina watches which offered all the best aspects of Swiss watchmaking, technology, and performance.
Frédérique Constant: Top features for a top brand
Since its appearance on the horological scene, Frédérique Constant is now a widely recognized luxury watch brand. From initial designs to final packaging, they keep all of their processes exclusively Swiss-made. The brand has a streamlined process carefully inspected at each level in Switzerland at the Plan-les-Ouates factory.
While FC manufactures many men’s watches, they also offer a line of designer watches for women, where elegance and feminine energy are translated into sleek, beautiful timepieces. Some of these leading styles are the Slimline Ladies Quartz, the Automatic Double Heart Beat and the simple yet pleasing Automatic Small Seconds.
In 2020, the brand announced the FC-810 manufacture caliber. The Monolithic’s caliber 810 movement is, quite simply and without exaggeration, one of the most important advances in contemporary watchmaking. This is thanks to the completely innovative silicon oscillator visible via the dial aperture. This single custom engineered component replaces 26 different elements normally found in an automatic movement. Developed by Frederique Constant in collaboration with materials technology firm Flexous, the piece relies on silicon’s unique flexible properties to offer both faster oscillations and less friction. The result is an operating frequency of 40Hz, a full ten times higher than most automatic watches. When running, the disc oscillates 288,000 times per hour. This means that every second, the second hand advances 80 micro-steps. At this level of function, the movement of the second hand appears perfectly smooth.
Frédérique Constant is a luxury watch brand that produces excellent timepieces. The company’s attention to quality and top performance is the reason for its reputation. FC has also come a long way from its origins. Years of skill, hard work and dedication have carried the brand to where they are today.
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