Introducing Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture

Introducing Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture

The Low-Down

For the first time, Frederique Constant brings a Worldtime complication to Highlife, their range of sporty stainless steel watches.

Called the Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture, it features a 41mm stainless steel case with an integrated bracelet. The watch punches above its weight with premium Swiss watch features such as a convex sapphire crystal, a display caseback and contrasting brushed and polished surfaces. There’s even some higher end watch flourishes including perlage and circular Côtes de Genève.

Ambitiously capable and fairly priced, the Highlife Worldtimer runs on the FC-718 caliber which was designed, produced and assembled in house. With 38 hours of power reserve, it offers Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and, of course. World Time.

The watch punches above its weight with premium Swiss watch features such as a convex sapphire crystal, a display caseback and contrasting brushed and polished surfaces.
The watch punches above its weight with premium Swiss watch features such as a convex sapphire crystal, a display caseback and contrasting brushed and polished surfaces.

The worldtimer complication keeps track of every time zone simultaneously through a combination of a rotating 24-hour scale and a similarly rotating list of cities around the globe. The FC-718 movement also affords a pointer date subdial at 6 o’clock which the two discs pass under.

Simplicity is very much part of the package. The single adjustable crown does all the heavy lifting. It can be used to set any function: hours, minutes, the date at 6 o’clock and the 24 cities disc that represents 24 time zones on Earth, engraved in the center of the piece.

There is no day/night indicator, instead the inner disc is a 24-hour scale that has been engraved with 12 hours on the light area where it is daytime and 12 hours on the blue area where it is night-time.

Is the look of the somewhat busy dial the world’s best? If you went to central casting and said “In this next scene I need a close up of a worldtimer watch on my lead star’s wrist…” this somewhat generic worldtimer dial would fit the bill admirably. At under $5000 you’re not going to get the sheer spectacle of a fully detailed Greubel Forsey rotating globe. It’s a worldtimer and it looks just like a worldtimer.

The watch features a 41mm stainless steel case with an integrated bracelet.
The watch features a 41mm stainless steel case with an integrated bracelet.
The Highlife Worldtimer runs on the FC-718 caliber which was designed, produced and assembled in house.
The Highlife Worldtimer runs on the FC-718 caliber which was designed, produced and assembled in house.

Blue is definitely the color of the Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture. It takes up the whole of the center of the dial, as well as the date counter. To improve legibility Frederique Constant has employed sunray guilloché. The three central rhodium-plated hands, including a luminescent hour and minute hands are easy to read, even in the gloom of a red eye night flight.

IMHO

You expect to pay more for a worldtimer complication, and at USD 4,295 you do pay rather more than other watches in Frederick Constant’s Highlife range. However there are many, many worldtimers out there which will cost you considerably more and may not be as simple to operate. In that respect the Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture does represent good value. Add to that the high-end pedigree touches, the integrated bracelet and the sensible 41mm size and you have a watch ready and able to accompany you on your journey across the globe.

The crown can be used to set any function: hours, minutes, the date at 6 o’clock and the 24 cities disc that represents 24 time zones on Earth, engraved in the center of the piece.
The crown can be used to set any function: hours, minutes, the date at 6 o’clock and the 24 cities disc that represents 24 time zones on Earth, engraved in the center of the piece.

Formed as recently as 1988 by Aletta and Peter Stas, with a vision to offer quality Swiss watches at competitive prices, Frederique Constant’s Highlife Worldtime Manufacture would make the perfect retirement gift for the man intent on stretching his horizons in a slowly reawakening post-Covid world.

Tech Specs

Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture
Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture

Movement: FC-718 manufacture calibre, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz);Power reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Worldtimer
Case & Dial: 41mm brushed and polished stainless steel;Blue with sunray guilloche; Water resistant up to 50m
Bracelet: Integrated brushed and polished stainless steel
Price: USD 4,295

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