The Highlife range from Swiss Watchmaker Frederique Constant has been around for over twenty years. To celebrate the brand has added some models that share the genes of the original which is regarded as a horological icon with its unique strap built into the case.
The new Highlife models are the Heart Beat, Automatic COSC and the Perpetual Calendar Manufacture. They maintain the system which allows the owner to switch from a steel bracelet to a leather, croc calf suede or a rubber strap.
In 1999 Frederique Constant launched the Highlife collection (above) which impacted the history of the Manufacture and Watchmaking as a whole. The watch embodied all the company values, which it maintains today, ensuring success and longevity—sophisticated horological design following the tradition of exquisite Swiss watchmaking with the highest quality finishing.
Next, they look at fair pricing, proportionate to the work that goes into creating the watch. This opens the company up to as many people as possible who want a luxury Swiss watch.
2020 marks the comeback of the icon, which after two years of development has created the three new models. All are faithful to the original sharing characteristics, such as the new case with a diameter of 41mm and interchangeable bracelet.
It sits naturally on the wrist due to this design. This means the wearer can change straps without the need for tools, a handy feature.
Switching straps is easy, just press two push-pins at the end of the strap or bracelet. This disconnects it from the case, allowing a different one to be fitted. You can have an urban, stylish or sporty look in seconds. Two alternative straps are provided in the cost of the watch allowing the wearer to match their clothing or mood.
A decorated dial showing a globe motif is a feature of all three models in the new Highlife range. Symbolising the Earth, harmony and the perfection of a circle, as well as being a new icon of future generations. They have an ideology to save the planet through sustainable and sensible living, which is at the heart of the Frederique Constant ethos.
Epitomising the FC approach to watches and life is the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture. ‘Highlife’ is the revival of a legendary line, part of a historical collection that has sculpted the face of luxurious and affordable contemporary Swiss watchmaking. ‘Perpetual Calendar’ describes a level of complication to which few brands have access, an indication of technical mastery patiently acquired over the course of more than 30 years.
‘Manufacture’ is a declaration, about belonging to an exclusive club of watchmakers capable of designing, producing, assembling and testing their own timepieces within their factory.
The dial of the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture (mai image) is characterised by three counters: a day at 9 o’clock, month and leap year at 12 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock. A moon phase at 6 o’clock completes the set.
Discreet controllers placed in the middle of the case make it possible, as with the crown, to adjust all the indications. For optimum legibility, the hand-polished hands and index hour markers are tinged with luminescent material, allowing clear display in dark conditions.
The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture has three different variations available. Option one is characterised by two-tone styling, uniting steel and rose gold plating on the bezel, bracelet and crown. Out of the white decorated dial, come rose gold-plated hands and index hour markers. The piece is also supplied with a textured black rubber strap featuring a rose gold-plated buckle, to set it off.
Predominantly plain blue for the second version, it has silver hands the same colour as the index hour markers. A blue rubber strap with a steel pin buckle is provided as a second strap to the original steel bracelet.
A black leather strap, complemented by a second rubber strap, also in black, is the third option. The piece features a modern and refined white dial with silvered index hour markers and hands, filled with luminescent material, so dials are easily read in low light environments.
The three Highlife variants start at £1800, which amazes me for what you get. At a price which does not reflect the quality of the three watches, they make an attractive option for a special present for a watch lover or anyone wanting a luxury Swiss timepiece.
See the Highlife range at https://frederiqueconstant.com.
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