Inhorgenta 2023 was the perfect opportunity to see the latest novelties from Frederique Constant. The brand’s presence was highlighted by the 35 years anniversary. One of the anniversary pieces is the Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Reference FC-718C4NH6 – a non-limited piece, a variation of Frederique Constant’s fantastic worldtimer with a sweet chocolate dial.
The world timer is one of my favourite complications from Frederique Constant. Over the years, this complication came in various colour schemes, satisfying the most peculiar tastes. The word timer is part of the Highlife Collection and comes with the brand’s in-house calibre covered by a chocolate truffle dial. An absolutely obsessed chocolate fan and devourer, I could not escape the charm of the Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Reference FC-718C4NH6.
The case – the versatility of the Highlife Collection
The Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Reference FC-718C4NH6 comes in a steel case that combines the two-decades-old original Highlife with its newer Manufacture line. The subtle integration of the strap and bracelet combined with the curves of the case creates a fluid piece that blurs the lines of size and gender. I found myself, unconscious playing with my fingers across the side’s curve. The polished side feels nice to touch.
The 41mm diameter case is decorated on top side with a vertical brush that highlights the polish present on the integrated link. The rounded and polished bezel is found on almost all the brand’s timepieces. On the sides, we find polished casebands and a steel crown with the embossed logo.
The watch is fitted with a brown alligator leather strap with a nubuck finish. The choice is very inspired for this “chocolate” themed watch. The retail package also includes a sporty brown rubber strap. Changing the strap is extremely easy and toolless due to the Highlife particular easy change system.
For the metal bracelets fans, there is a fully integrated bracelet available as well. The combo of polished and brushed links is great. The Frederique Constant logo can be found on the buckles.
Chocolate dial with a stylised Earth
Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Reference FC-718C4NH6 comes with a chocolate praline colour scheme. The watch features a globe in a stylised manner – a symbol that unifies the entire Highlife collection, that reminds us about sustainable and sensible living.
The time display dial disc is decorated on edge with a stamped guilloche-style pattern. That is a lovely detail. The date is indicated via a small hand and a sub-dial placed at 6 o’clock. For the date indication, Frederique Constant invested a lot of attention: a nice guilloche sun-ray pattern, printed numerals and indexes, plus an exterior stamped ring.
The Worldtimer is decorated with an outer rim displaying twenty-four cities, that can be set via the crown. A second disc features a 24h day-night indicator. The 24-hour worldtimer disc rotates counterclockwise.
The applied hour indexes are decorated with a SuperLuminova line for better low-light legibility. The Highlife Collection uses baton hands for minutes and hours. The legibility is good, although the worldtimer readout requires some accommodation.
Frederique Constant Manufacture Calibre FC-718
For the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, Frederique Constant uses, as the name implies an in-house movement, the calibre FC-718. What is visible under the crystal caseback pleases the eye. The movement is nicely decorated. Even if the decorations are industrially executed, the brand makes sure that the view of the movement is great.
The mainplate is decorated with perlage – a classic choice almost overall in the industry. The same decoration, with a smaller radius, is also used for the area below the balance wheel. The top bridge is adorned with circular Côtes de Genève and gilded engravings. The visible screws are blued.
The gold-plated open-worked rotor is vertically brushed. The name Frederique Constant is present in a positive engraving, along with the “Manufacture” nomenclature – a proud certification of the in-house movement.
On the technical side, the Frederique Constant Calibre FC-718 has a 4Hz balance wheel and a power reserve of 38 hours. This movement is a carryover from the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture Collection.
The Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Reference FC-718C4NH6 is a beautiful watch – the chocolate dial is a blast. The worldtimer function is extremely useful for someone travelling often, or that needs to know, by a fast look, what the time is around the world. Having friends all over the globe, the watch gave me a good hint about the time of day in the Middle and the Far East, Canada, the US and so on. For those having business partners all over, it is almost a must-have.
The watch is relatively heavy but is not tiresome. Those used to wearing mechanical watches daily will find it as a familiar weight on the wrist. The Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture is easy to use and set. Have a look at the hands-on video from the article’s beginning. The timezones change has a distinct, relatively loud sound – I find it very amusing (I have to admit that I played with that quite a lot). Setting the watch on the wrist is possible but not as comfortable as setting it off the wrist.
For the price, Frederique Constant offers a manufacture (in-house) calibre excellently decorated. As mentioned, I was impressed by the quality of the finishes. The Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture is a good-looking allrounder.
Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture Steel Technical Specifications
Reference FC-718C4NH6 – RRP 4’295€
- Hours, minutes, seconds, date by hand, worldtimer
- FC-718 Manufacture calibre, automatic with all functions adjustable by the crown
- Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations
- 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h, 26 jewels
- Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-part case
- Diameter of 41 mm
- Height of 12,90 mm
- Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
- See-through case back
- Water-resistant up to 10ATM/100m/330feet
- Brown dial with matt finishing and globe pattern embossed in the centre
- Silver colour applied indexes with white luminous treatment
- 24H disc with day (light brown) & night (dark brown) indication
- Brown city disc with 24 cities
- Hand-polished silver colour hour and minute hands filled with white luminous treatment
- Hand-polished silver colour second-hand
- Date counter at 6 o’clock with hand-polished silver colour hand
- Brown alligator leather strap with nubuck finishing
- Including an additional brushed and polished stainless steel 3-link bracelet
- Including an additional brown rubber strap
About Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant is a Swiss watchmaking manufacture located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Maison was founded in 1988 by a couple of independent entrepreneurs, Aletta and Peter Stas, to offer quality Swiss watches at an affordable price, with the aim of democratising luxury Swiss Made watches.
Frederique Constant creates, develops, assembles and controls a wide variety of mechanical, quartz and connected timepieces at the same time within its 6,200 m2 Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates (GE). To this day, Frederique Constant has designed 30 Manufacture calibres, including high complications, such as the Tourbillon, the Perpetual Calendar, the Flyback Chronograph, as well as a new and unprecedented type of escapement in watchmaking – the Monolithic. Made from a single piece of silicone, replacing the 26 components of a standard assortment, it oscillates at a frequency of 40 Hz, which is 10 times that of most mechanical movements.
In 2015, Frederique Constant launched the Horological Smartwatch, the first Swiss Made connected timepiece featuring a traditional appearance. In 2018, the Classic Hybrid Manufacture succeeded it, combining a mechanical Manufacture movement with connected features. It was followed by the Smartwatch Vitality line in 2020, equipped with a new generation built-in heart rate sensor.
The same year, Frederique Constant reinvigorated the Highlife collection (1999) with a redesigned case and an interchangeable integrated strap. This was followed in 2021 by the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture with its very high-frequency one-piece escapement, then by the Highlife collection for women. Frederique Constant is currently present in nearly 3,000 points of sale in 120 countries across the world. In 2016, the Frederique Constant group (Frederique Constant, Alpina Watches, Ateliers deMonaco) joined the Japanese group Citizen, so as to pursue its international development and nurture new synergies.