Just a few days ago, Frederique Constant revived its Highlife collection. Not one but three distinct models carry on the brand’s vision for the future. One of the particular features of the Highlife collection is the integrated bracelet. Of course, I could not stay away and I had to see the line with my own eyes. From all the variations, one caught my attention in a special way – the Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture Ref. FC-775S4NH6 – the white dial on a black leather strap.
Hands-on review Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
The new Highlife collection manages to keep the recognisable, classic note of Frederique Constant. A refined case, a beautiful dial, a manufacture movement and, the most important detail and keynote of the brand – affordability. The brand cemented its strong position, during its entire existence, by building not only good watches but also a powerful reputation, by gaining the respect of the public and collectors. The new Perpetual Calendar dares to reach higher: to win new followers due to its sought complication, to replenish its fans with special pieces.
The case – old and new
The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture comes in a steel case that combines the two-decades-old original Highlife with its newer Manufacture line.
We observe a subtle integration of the strap and bracelet combined with the curves of the newer models. 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 the steel crown with the embossed logo and the pushers. I talked with Niels Eggerding, Managing Director at Frederique Constant, about the difficulties encountered by R&D with the integration of the pushers. Due to the curvature of the case and size of the movement, it was found the best compromise between appearance, manufacturing possibilities and costs.
A stylised Earth and nice calendar layout
Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture comes with two dial colours, white and blue. Both variants feature a globe in a stylised manner – a symbol that unifies the Highlife collection, that reminds us about sustainable and sensible living.
The dial is split between the calendar function: leap year and months indication on top, the day on the left, the date on the right and the moonphase indication on the lower side.
The subdials are slightly recessed and present a circular pattern. the information is printed on the review piece in black.
The applied hour indexes are decorated with a SuperLuminova line for better low light legibility. The outer register uses crisp lines and numerals to indicate the minutes.
The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture uses baton hands for minutes and hours and delicate leaf hands for the calendar’s indications.
The 6 o’clock moonphase uses a “silver on blue” scheme and is identical on all dial colour variation. The name of the brand was moved from the traditional 12 o’clock position to the lower side of the dial, between the moonphase and the hour index.
Manufacture Calibre FC-775
Since some years, Frederique Constant manages to fit in-house calibres to their watches. The movements bear similarities in construction and decoration, which is expected. The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is powered by the Calibre FC-775, a movement familiar from their Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture. We find similarities also with the tourbillon version of the perpetual calendar Calibre FC-975. So we can notice the platform used, one of the key features needed for sustainability and affordability.
The Frederique Constant movements are part of the brands signature. The decorations feature circular Côtes de Genève on the bridges and a perlage background, blue screws and the skeletonised gold plated rotors weight. On the technical note, the FC-775 squeeze 38 hours of power reserve from a single barrel with the help of the 4 Hz regulator.
Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture – high-class complication, unexpected price
For many hardcore collectors, a perpetual calendar with an integrated bracelet is a must in any collection. Now, Frederique Constant offers the chance to own a Swiss Made in-house piece at an exceptional price. The brand was always about bringing quality and horological beauty at the best price possible.
The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is a comfortable companion with a fabulous set of complications. The bracelet integration is nicely done and fits well on the overall design.
I was impressed by how well fits the Highlife collection in the Frederique Constant spirit.
Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture Technical Specifications and Price
- Hours, minutes
- Date, day
- Leap year
- FC-775 Manufacture calibre
- Perpetual calendar
- Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement
- 26 jewels
- 38-hour power reserve
- 28’800 alt/h
- Polished stainless steel 3-parts case
- Diameter of 41mm
- Convex sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides.
- See-through case back
- Water-resistant up to 5 ATM
- Globe decoration and applied indexes with white luminous treatment
- Hand-polished silver hands with white luminous treatment
- Black alligator leather strap
- One extra rubber strap is coming with the watch
- 8’495€ – recommended retail price