In Conversation With Frederique Constant’s Managing Director Niels Eggerding
It is a matter of time before artificial intelligence gets…
It is a matter of time before artificial intelligence gets built into wristwatches for various applications. How does Frederique Constant view this likely development?
In a certain way, it already exists. We say our smartwatches are equipped with “intelligent” features, but this is true. For instance, the Dynamic Coach function of our Smartwatch Vitality timepiece provides advice to help the wearer improve its well-being and health, based on the data the watch collected each time it has been worn. Thanks to the algorithms of the Frederique Constant companion app, all this information is analysed and combined to provide daily suggestions related to physical activity, quality, or time of sleep, to name just a few.
How do you think the quartz watch industry will evolve as a result of these changes?
Well, I believe that the quartz movements have earned their legitimacy within the watchmaking industry over the past 50 years. It should be remembered that quartz movements are incomparably more precise than a mechanical calibre, vibrating at the high frequency of 32’768 Hz to regulate the hands’ movement. However, due to the renaissance of mechanical movements in the 1990s, and the emergence of the smartwatch concept which has been considerably adopted over the past 6 years, the quartz movements might be challenged regarding their functionality, beyond their precision.
Frederique Constant as a brand has established the expectation of being an extremely classic and innovative timepiece for Swiss watch enthusiasts. What are the design elements the brand will focus on for 2022?
Indeed, offering classical watches while developing innovative mechanisms and concepts has been part of our DNA since the creation of the Brand in 1988. This has always been our mission, and we have been faithful to our values over the past 33 years. In 2020, we also introduced the modern yet sporty-chic Highlife collection, featuring and integrated an interchangeable bracelet to complete our classical designs featuring roman numeral, a guilloché pattern or the famous Heart Beat aperture. This year, we introduced the Highlife Ladies Automatic collection timepieces, and the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture timepiece, equipped with our revolutionary Monolithic oscillator beating at 40 Hz. In 2022, Frederique will reinforce its classical design, while keeping on offering timepieces with a more modern look, equipped with technical innovations.
Is there a definite strategy to attract younger age group buyers who may not be wearing wrist watches at present?
We have noticed a growing interest in the Brand from an even younger audience, individuals in their early twenties (ladies and gents), thanks to our smartwatch product developments over the past six years. When launching the Smartwatch Vitality line in 2020, we created a campaign which was breaking the Brand’s classical codes by displaying fresh and vibrant colours. We deviated from Frederique Constant’s visual standards in order to display a ground-breaking visual expression of the Brand, living with its time.
How does Frederique Constant want to engage with Indian watch collectors, who have been on the rise in recent years?
Firstly, we would like to remind them that since 10 years, we do have a special collection with Devanagari script. A new Special India watch should be introduced next year. Secondly, we are launching more and more special limited edition along the year, for which the number allocated to India increased significantly. We will keep evolving in that direction and even accelerate it. To finish, our manufacture capacity allows us to create specials collection for groups of collectors, therefore they can contact us and we will be happy to see what can we do.
What is the concept behind collaborating with Austin-Healey and offering a limited edition of the new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds?
Men typically have a few strong passions. The typical ‘mechanical’ passions are cars and watches, both universes which share the same characteristics. The reason why we turned to the Austin-Healey vintage cars is their elegant design, rounded lines and a true classic aesthetic. These are the same attributes you can find in a Frederique Constant watch.
The design of the Vintage Rally timepieces is inspired by specific features of the Austin-Healey cars. For example, we take numbers and colours from the dashboard counters. Cases are rounded like the Healey chassis design. The new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds timepieces are three models in retro styles that are every bit as sleek as they are stylish. What’s more, their perforated straps recall the upholstery of the beautiful cars from the 1940s to the 1970s, as well as the gloves worn by gentlemen drivers in their element. Finally, the green version is probably the most iconic, featuring the ‘British racing green’ colour.Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic