In the early 1990s, the watchmaker Frédérique Constant – founded in 1988 by Peter and Aletta Stas, a Dutch couple, and acquired by the Japanese group Citizen in 2016 – unveiled its Highlife range. A now emblematic collection from the Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, near Geneva, characterized by watches with an original face, cut for both female and male wrists, which already sported a steel bracelet integrated into the case, affirming the character chic, sporty and avant-garde line. “Highlife marked the history of Frédérique Constant. It embodies the values ​​that have contributed to the success of the house: a very horological design faithful to the canons of fine Swiss watchmaking, a high degree of finish, and particular care for a fair price that allows as many people as possible to access the Swiss made luxury”, deciphers Niels Eggerding, CEO of Frédérique Constant.

In order to energize the Highlife range and attract a new target, especially a younger one, the brand wanted to relaunch the collection in 2020 by presenting three new references, including the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, Heart Beat and Automatic COSC, not forgetting in 2021 the exposure of Frédérique Constant with the Highlife Automatic Skeleton, a piece with an audacious and entirely skeleton design. For 2022, Frédérique Constant has decided to go even further and unveils a brand new tri-compax automatic chronograph completing the transformation of the Highlife line, which also has a new ambassador in the person of the French DJ Tristan Casara, better known as The Avener. “A strategic choice for the house which, while remaining faithful to its classic watchmaking values, opens up new horizons”, emphasizes Niels Eggerding.

The Highlife Chronograph Automatic features a 41mm diameter tonneau case – an intermediate size that hugs both male and female wrists – crafted in steel or steel and rose gold. In keeping with the classic DNA of Frédérique Constant, the case features meticulous satin-polished and brushed finishes on its caseband, profile and bezel. Chronograph requires, two pushers harmoniously integrated into the case appear, respectively at 2 and 4 o’clock, and control the start of the chrono as well as its reset.

The “panda” type dial, characterized in its center by an engraving of the Earth, features three sub-dials with the small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter, present for its part at 6 o’clock. All have an inwardly curved flange, thus offering a more precise reading of the chronograph indications, like a fine graduation allowing reading of 1/5th of a second. Three “sword” hands complete the set, including two luminescent hands for the hours and minutes, as well as a central chronograph second hand, while the date is discreetly housed in an aperture located between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Three variations have been unveiled by the Geneva house. Two first versions in steel, one with a black dial, the other featuring a blue panda with a white dial and blue subdials and limited to 1,888 pieces. The third, two-tone in steel and rose gold, has a silver dial for a more contemporary look and design. To alternate all styles, the models are delivered on several bracelets: calfskin, rubber or even a thin three-link bracelet in polished and satin-finished steel.

On the movement side, the chronograph is powered by an automatic caliber specially developed by Frédérique Constant in collaboration with the La Joux-Perret manufacture. For each of the models, the brand has designed an oscillating weight in plated pink gold and adorned with Côtes de Genève. A rotor which thus winds the movement, guaranteeing a power reserve of 60 hours and whose cogs are visible on the back of the case thanks to an open sapphire crystal back.