Frederique Constant (Est. 1988) is an independent, family-owned and operated watch brand. Launched in 1988 with just six models, the brand has evolved into a dominant force in affordable luxury watches. It occupies a 3,200 square meter facility in Plan-les-Ouates on the outskirts of Geneva, alongside noted watch manufactures including Patek Philippe, Piaget and Rolex.
The firm’s brand name is a combination of the names of the great grand-parents of each owner: Frederique Schreiner (1881-1969) and Constant Stas (1880-1967). The current managing director, Peter Stas, is a fourth-generation descendant of Constant Stas, who owned a company that printed dials for the watch industry.
The company is involved in all stages of watch production from initial design to final assembly and quality control. Frederique Constant develops, manufactures, and assembles in-house calibers, with 25 different versions since 2004. Peter and his wife, Aletta Stas-Bax, a Dutch married couple, were the principals behind the company’s creation in 1988.
In 2001, the company began development of its first watch movement in cooperation with the École d'Horlogerie de Genève, École d'Ingenieurs de Genève and the Horloge Vakschool Zadkine. The Heart Beat model they developed has a bridge for the balance wheel on the front side of the movement. This configuration made it possible to have the spiral and fine regulation on the front side as well, creating the company's "Heart Beat" design. The company patented this construction as an innovation in watch design technology.
The company's Heart Beat model won the Watch of the Year Award from Horloges Magazine in the category up to €3000 in 2005.
As a genuine “manufacture,” Frederique Constant produces its mechanical watch movements entirely in-house. Its first-ever in-house caliber, the FC-910, was launched in 2004 and has evolved over the years into two separate series, the Heart Beat line, whose signature aperture at 6 o’clock shows off the beating heart of each caliber, and the FC700 series.
In 2002, to diversify the Frederique Constant group, Aletta and her husband acquired Alpina Watches, a manufacturer of Swiss sports watches founded in 1883.
In little more than twenty years, Frederique Constant has grown into one of the larger Swiss watch manufacturers. In 2011, production reached over 120,000 watches, sold at over 2,700 points of sale in more than 100 countries.
In 2013, Aletta and Peter Stas (with two other contributors) wrote their book, “Live Your Passion – Building A Watch Manufacture.” It describes and explains their passion for watchmaking and the history of the brand.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its first manufacture movement, Frederique Constant launched two limited-edition Heart Beat models and two limited-edition Slimline Tourbillon models.
Frederique Constant has grown into one of the larger Swiss watch manufacturers. In 2011, production reached over 120,000 watches, sold in over 2,700 points of sale in more than 100 countries.
The company introduced a Worldtimer watch in 2012 with a unique mechanism, adjusted solely using the crown. The Worldtimer function operates by selecting the desired city and placing it at the 12 o'clock position on the dial. Internal discs automatically synchronize, and after that, it is possible to see what time it is in any of the 24 cities on the dial. In addition, thin discs also easily indicate whether it is day (white disc) or night (black disc).
The Runabout line is a main collection of the brand and is designed to pay tribute to sports boats of the Roaring Twenties. The company has sponsored the Hélice Classique Genève and Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance boating events which showcase vintage wood boats.
Since 2004, Frederique Constant has sponsored several classic car rallies worldwide, and it develops limited-edition watches for each of these sponsorships. The sponsorships have included Healey Challenges, Peking to Paris, and the Carrera Panamericana.
In 2015, the Frederique Constant and Alpina brands introduced the Horological Smartwatch, a product with motion and sleep tracking functions that uses a secondary analog dial rather than a screen for its display – giving the timepiece a more classic look than other such devices.
In 2018, the company offered the world's first mechanical smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture that fused smartwatch technology with a mechanical movement.
The firm offers a wide range of Men’s and Ladies’ watches. Long awaited by collectors and fans of fine watchmaking, the Classics Art Déco collection is the result of over ten years of thought about the design, femininity and subtleness. A balanced combination of modern materials and vintage aesthetics turns these timepieces into a unique fashion accessory. The delicate oval shape of the case emphasizes the intense details of the Guilloché decoration on the white or Blue Navy mother of pearl dial. The elegant rose gold-plated or silver applied and black printed Roman numerals and diamond indexes are all statements of the vintage look of the watches.
Other collections include the Ladies Automatic collection that include the Double Heart Beat models that elegantly transfer to a feminine design the idea opening up of the dial to reveal the movement in operation. A special model in gold pays tribute to the work of the World Heart Federations, while the Love Heart Beat, with its satin strap and diamond-studded inscription on the dial, is a watch for romantics.
The Slimline models boast uncluttered dials that come in mini to mid and gent’s sizes that are powered by quartz or self-winding mechanical movements.
Frederique Constant watches span the full range of movements, from quartz to high complications. Frederique Constant has a dedicated Service section for repairs. Also located in Geneva, the Service Atelier will repair typical problems from loose screws to replacing damaged hands.
In the last decade, Frederique Constant has become one of Switzerland’s leading luxury watch brands, thanks to consistently well designed and finely-crafted pieces. While it is considered a luxury brand, the company prides itself on a quality/price ratio that make many of its pieces a superb value for the money.
Currently, the Frederique Constant range includes the aforementioned Heart Beat collection, the Art Deco, Maxime, and a Pairs Collection that offers matching pieces for partners.
The firm was acquired in 2016 by Citizen Holdings of Tokyo, Japan which also owns Bulova. Before the sale to Citizen, Frederique Constant SA was owned by Union Horlogère Holding B.V., which also owned Alpina Watches International SA, and Ateliers deMonaco SA, that were, in turn, owned by Frederique Constant Holding SA.
A classic and timeless design for every Frederique Constant ensures that each of the brand’s watches stands the test of time and fashion. All its watches are priced competitively for the quality they offer.