When Frederique Constant decided to unveil timepieces from its Highlife collection — 22 years after the original line was first introduced, and this time with a modern overhaul of its features and mechanisms — the Swiss watch brand knew it wanted to celebrate the occasion with a certain panache. And on Sunday afternoon, it went on to do just that at the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel.

Arun D’ Silva, India Director, Frederique Constant, expressed his delight at the launch of the Highlife collection. “Highlife Heart Beat and Highlife Automatic COSC are the two new models from the collection. Like the original timepieces, these new versions feature the fundamental characteristics of being immaculately designed, affordable, Swiss-made, and engineered for everyday use,” he said. 

(L-R) Manisha Sharma, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel   with  Balachandran Yadalam  Car Owner of BUICK8 1948 and Jayanti Varma and Arun D’ Silva, India Directors, Frederique Constant

He also went on to add how the Highlife Automatic watches — while wearing the same outward look and design as their older counterparts — are certified by the COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). “It is an independent Swiss organisation that issues chronometer certificates only after the watches pass numerous tests over several days. COSC certified pieces form an elite class of their own, and are intended for collectors who are particular about Swiss precision; these timepieces can basically tell the time correctly, consistently and precisely, within the strict limits laid down by an ISO standard,” he explained, even as a giant screen showcased the intricate components and mechanisms of the timepieces that were on display.   

Underscoring the nostalgia evoked by the design of the watches was the vintage car rally, which saw over 10 classic beauties vying for attention. British, German, and American marques such as Jaguar, MG, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen (Beetle), Plymouth, Buick, Jeep, and Chevrolet (Eagle) formed the lineup, and this automobile display in turn inspired a specially curated menu of gourmet food by the Renaissance Bengaluru’s Executive Chef Neeraj Balasubramanian.  

Manisha Sharma, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, shared her pleasure over the hotel getting the opportunity to partner with Frederique Constant. “The Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel is a lifestyle destination that has gained the reputation of offering the highest level of service along with attention to detail and a warm, genuine welcome. We are glad to have hosted this one-of-a-kind gathering that witnessed the combination of classic vintage cars and the exquisite Highlife watch collection.”   

(L-R) Behram Siganporia with Manisha Sharma, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel and Jayanti Varma and Arun D’ Silva, India Directors, Frederique Constant

To cater to the tastebuds of the crowd, cuisines of the UK, US, and Germany took centre stage: the German counter had dishes like frikadellen prawn olivetti, an assortment of grilled bratwurst, HuhnJägerschnitzel (Hunter style chicken fillets with wild mushroom sauce) and Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake from Munich with a hint of caraway), while the British section saw good ol’ beer battered fish and chips, Glamorgan sausages and more. The American counter offered grills and roasts on the barbecue, Carolina spice rubbed lamb chops, Eggs Benedict and the Louisiana rice feast. To top it all, the elaborate dessert counter — think Black forest gateaux, Bavarian cake, New York cheesecake and more — won people over with its interesting variety and presentation.  

Add to this a refreshing mix of cocktails and a live music band, and it’s easy to see how the Highlifer Club gathering boasted all the trappings of a delectable weekend brunch. Not surprisingly, the event attracted an eclectic mix of watch lovers, vintage car owners, business entrepreneurs, and guests of the hotel. 

Lead Image: Frederique Constant