If there is one watch brand that has a head start, it is Frédérique Constant, based in Switzerland. Combining timeless designs with innovative technology, the brand spares no effort to deliver unmatched quality to watch connoisseurs. For the latest line, the brand has relaunched and reinvented its 25-year-old Highlife collection, creating a buzz among the brand’s customers.
Coming up, Pim Koeslag, technical director and master watchmaker of Frédérique Constant delves deeply into this beloved collection, and more.
ELLE: What inspired you to reintroduce the collection?
Pim Koeslag (PK): The Highlife collection revives an emblematic design of the brand, introduced in 1999. At that time, the movements used to equip these timepieces were built with components of the highest quality, thus meeting all the precision criteria for production. official Swiss chronometer certification. These models featured an integrated bracelet. The rebirth of this collection was therefore a logical continuation since Frédérique Constant wanted to introduce a timepiece integrating a bracelet into its core collection, and a COSC certified model.
The new Highlife collection is designed for the next generation of collectors keen to embrace Swiss Made luxury watches. The collection presents a look that is both modern and elegant, or sport chic, faithful to the DNA of the Brand, advocating a case designed to integrate an interchangeable strap.
ELLE: Can you please explain the story of the iconic Highlife Heart Beat design that is loved and preferred by women around the world. What prompted you to bring the collection back after 25 years?
PACKAGE: The history of the Heart Beat dates back to 1994. In the early 1990s, automatic mechanical watches were slowly making a comeback after the quartz crisis of the 1970s-1980s. These mechanical watches looked like quartz watches. However, in a mechanical watch, the balance beats 28,800 times per hour and turns clockwise and counterclockwise on its axes in a large ruby jewel. Its rotation is controlled by the hairspring, which winds and unwinds continuously. At Frédérique Constant, it seemed important to us to visually highlight the difference between mechanical watches and quartz watches. The aim of the Heart Beat development was therefore to show the mechanical character of our watches, with a window on the dial in the position of the balance. The Heart Beat has become the iconic signature of Frédérique Constant.
ELLE: You have introduced a good number of innovative watch parts, what is your thinking and how do you come to a conclusion in terms of design, style, mechanisms and innovations?
PACKAGE: Research and development of new product concepts are essential for Frédérique Constant, because the spirit of the House lies in a tradition of innovation. This is why we invest heavily and continuously in our means of production, to offer creativity and endow our timepieces with exceptional technical characteristics. However, we have to keep a good balance between innovation and design, with clean and classic lines, to stay true to our DNA.
ELLE: Watches express a personal style, a status of emblem and power, what inspires you to make them a distinct creation?
PACKAGE: For me, creating a watch is not a question of personal status or an emblem of power, it is all about innovation embodied in a timeless design. These are the most important aspects when creating a timepiece. The point is to create something that has never been created or done before. For example, the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture watch features revolutionary technology while presenting classic lines, reflecting the DNA of Frederique Constant. The high frequency characteristic of this watch inspired me to trace the history of watchmaking. We went from 18,000 beats per hour to 21,600 and 28,000. This has been possible thanks to the evolution of technology, and it is deeply inspiring and empowering. Now we are able to hit 288,000 beats per hour.
ELLE: The preferences of watch collections differ from country to country. What goes into designing a watch that best adapts to different cultures?
PACKAGE: Frédérique Constant is a watch brand offering timepieces with a refined and classic aesthetic. I believe that classic elements can adapt to all countries and cultures, besides being timeless.
ELLE: Frédérique Constant is known for its exclusive and innovative watch pieces. What are the perfect costumes for Indian women?
PACKAGE: In the Ladies category we have introduced some classic timepieces which are trendy. The steel Art Deco round, for example, is a suitable accessory for corporate clothing as it is circular in shape, elegant and can be worn with sarees. We also recently introduced the Highlife Ladies Automatic collection, which can be worn with both formal and casual attire.