Introducing the Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Manufacture ‘Summer of 76’ US ExclusiveBy Suan Futt Yeo
The USA is the No. 1 export market for Swiss watches in May 2022, accounting for CHF 327 million, or 16 percent of the CHF 2 billion in export value, according to latest figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry (FH). It is certainly a very important market for Frederique Constant, which is marking 4th of July — Independence Day for America — with a special limited edition of one of its customer favorites, the Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Manufacture ‘Summer of 76’.
First released in 2012, Frederique Constant’s Classics Worldtimer Manufacture was a commercial hit, and no wonder: it offered an in-house mechanical movement, and a most useful world-time complication with all settings neatly effected via a single crown, at a very competitive price. A bicolor 24-hour ring framed by a cities ring tells the day/night hour in each of the 24 time zones, with an attractive map of the world at dial center. Cutting across all three displays is a subdial at six o’clock that shows the date via a pointer.
A key feature of the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture is how the watch is fully set via the single fluted crown: the first position winds the watch; the second sets the date and the reference city, depending on which way the crown is turned; and the third sets the central time.
Several versions of the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture remain on Frederique Constant’s catalog, including versions cased in rose gold. After releasing two versions last March to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the model, Frederique Constant is introducing the ‘Summer of 76’ as a US exclusive, in a limited edition of 76 pieces. The watch is suitably dressed in red, white and blue-gray livery to mark America’s Independence Day, with ‘4’ on the date display as a red star, and a tiny American flag sitting between Denver and New York. America declared itself independent from the British on 4 July 1776.
The ‘Summer of 76’ is cased in 42mm stainless steel, with a display caseback showing the in-house self-winding movement that has a power reserve of 38 hours.
Frederique Constant offers watches across an extraordinarily wide price range and doing that successfully is no mean feat, accomplishing its mission of offering “accessible watchmaking luxury” to consumers who want authentic, high quality at prices that a fair-sized segment of consumers can stomach. The Worldtimer, in particular, is a winning package for a timepiece that offers so much utility, and is yet dressy enough for most occasions without going over the top. Besides its handsome design and construction, there is also elegance in its simplicity of operation. The date subdial could have been a divisive feature — it does obstruct the view somewhat, but on balance, the commercial success of this model shows that enough consumers want it there. A fine work watch for keeping an eye on global events and connections.
Movement: In-house self-winding caliber FC-718; 38 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, world-timer
Case: 42mm x 12.1mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 50m
Strap: Red alligator leather strap, white alligator leather strap and blue rubber strap
Price and availability: USD 4,795; limited to 76 US-exclusive pieces