Frederique Constant Runabout Watches
When it comes to luxurious yet accessible watches, Frederique Constant is a name that stands out. In a short time, this relatively young Swiss brand has built an international reputation for stunning designs and innovative technology. Frederique Constant was established in 1988 by Aletta Francoise Frédérique Stas-Bax and Peter Constant Stas, whose great grandparents had once owned a company that made watch dials. From the very onset, Frederique Constant watches were designed with minute attention to detail and the best in technology but were priced so as to appeal to not just the elite, but to a younger, wider audience as well.
Today, Frederique Constant has gained international repute and men and women around the globe can be spotted flaunting a Frederique Constant watch. There are a number of watch collections for men and women, each with its own unique design story. The Frederique Constant Runabout collection for stylish gentlemen is probably one of the most iconic amongst these. Introduced during the first decade of the 21st century, the Runabout collection takes a step back in time to celebrate the roaring twenties and the Runabout yachts of that era. There are two lines in the collection: an automatic and a chronograph series.
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All About Frédérique Constant Runabout Watches
The Evolution of Frederique Constant
It was while Aletta Francoise Frédérique Stas-Bax and Peter Constant Stas were on a skiing holiday that they came up with the initial idea for Frederique Constant watches. They found that beautiful watches were typically too expensive for young people and watch enthusiasts and those that were affordable were not visually appealing. The couple sought to fill this gap by creating classical Swiss designs with new technology at accessible prices. The idea held so much promise that they put all their energy and passion into it, and in 1988, Frederique Constant came into being. The company was named after Aletta's great-grandmother, Frederique Schreiner, and Peter's great-grandfather, Constant Stas. Interestingly, in 1904, Constant Stas, Peter's great-grandfather, had founded a company that produced watch dials.
To support the company, Peter also set up a design software company that incidentally used to design the first Frederique Constant wristwatches. The first prototypes were put together on their kitchen table, but after a successful showcase at a watch fair in Hong Kong, the company began to grow by leaps and bounds. Within a few years, it moved to Geneva, the heart of watchmaking, where it still maintains its headquarters.
The couple showcased their watches at fairs across the world. Since 1995, they have been a name to look forward to at the World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show in Basel. They have been associated and partnered with a number of events, causes and benefits. The year 2001 was especially marked by the development of the first in-house Frederique Constant watch movement – the Heart Beat movement. This innovation was made possible after a collaboration with the Écoled'Horlogerie de Genève, Écoled'Ingenieurs de Genève and the Horloge Vakschool Zadkine. The movement was patented and later went on to win the Watch of the Year" Award by the Horloges Magazine.
In 2002, a mere 14 years after their inception, the company acquired Alpina Watches, a Swiss sports watch manufacturer. 5 years later, in 2007, they revealed the Heart Beat Calibre FC 935 Silicium for more precise timekeeping. In 2008, the company added a tourbillon with amplitude of over 300 degrees to their list of achievements. By 2011, Frederique Constant watches were available in over 100 countries and production had crossed the 120,000 mark. By 2014, they had 15 distinct movement designs credited to them. A little short of their 30th anniversary, in 2016, the company was acquired by Citizen Holdings.
Market Valuation of Frederique Constant Watches
Frederique Constant is positioned in the HAUT DE GAMME category. This means that most of their watches are priced between USD 1100 and USD 5500. At the other end of the spectrum, their novelty watches are priced well above USD 12000. Though the prices are lower than other Swiss Luxury brands, Frederique Constant watches maintain the same high standards of quality and technological innovation. Even if you are the first in your family to buy a Frederique Constant watch, it has the potential of becoming a family heirloom.
The Runabout Collection
In nautical terms, runabouts are small motorboats typically used for fishing, boating and other such pleasure activities. They were extremely popular during the 1920s. The Frederique Constant Runabout collection draws inspiration from these boats. The collection was introduced in 2009 as the result of a partnership between Frederique Constant and an Italian association that worked towards the conservation of classic runabout boats. The watch designs draw inspiration from the heritage and imagery of Runabout boats and borrow hallmarks to express the craftsmanship and luxurious aura around both enterprises.
Many of the watches from this collection were introduced as limited edition series. For example, there are only 2888 pieces available of the Runabout models launched in 2020. There are three models currently available – an automatic model and two chronograph models. Since these watches are part of a limited edition series, the individual number is marked on each caseback. On purchase, each watch is presented in a special limited-edition case with a miniature replica model of the wooden Runabout yacht moored beside it.
Runabout Automatic FC-303RMN5B6
The ideal watch for a young gentleman – the Runabout Automatic watch has a navy dial with guilloche surface ornamentation and silver finished Arabic numeric alternating with geometric indexes. The outer edge features minute markers and a date indication window is set at the 6 ’o’clock position. Luminous hands ensure that the watch can tell time even in low light situations. The dial has a transparent caseback and a stainless steel case held in place by a navy leather strap. It boasts a 38 hour power reserve and is water resistant up to 5ATM.
Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic
There are two models in this series. One features a grey dial with a dark grey calf leather strap while the other has a silver dial paired with a navy calf leather strap. The watch revives a complication that has not been used for a while – the chronograph. The tricompax chronograph is set at the 6 ‘o’clock, 9 ‘o’clock and 12 ‘o’clock position. In addition, a date window sits at the 6 ‘o’clock position. The hours are marked by Arabic numeral and geometric indexes and time is indicated by luminous, silver finished hands. A long seconds hand extends beyond the hour indexes to mark the seconds noted along the outer rim of the dial. It has an impressive 46 hour power reserve and is water resistant up to 5ATM.
A Frederique Constant Runabout watch is an ideal gift for a young watch enthusiast or an aspiring collector. Positioned at pocket friendly prices as compared to other hand assembled Swiss watches, Frederique Constant Runabout watches offer the perfect combination of design, style and technology. Not only do these watches suitable for special events, but they also can be enjoyed for a day at the office as well as an evening cocktail party. The charming Runabout watches are masculine and elegant at the same time, and very easy to style with various outfits too.