Stars. An observatory. The South of France. And yes, plenty of wine and champagne. If that isn't a good way to start my first official feature story for a ladies' timepiece, I'm calling it quits! But in choosing Frederique Constant to be the first brand highlighted, I have made a conscious decision. This is a brand that over the last two years, have made an effort to improve the life of women through its timepieces. And part of that effort is an award gala they support called The Power of Women. And the driving force for this is very likely Mrs Aletta Stas, the co-founder of Frederique Constant. She's a remarkable lady and from the one time I've run into her at Baselworld - she's very focussed and very no fuss, no muss.
Stars in the sky
The company and Mrs Stas recently launched the Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture at the Azur Coast Observatory. This is a working scientific observatory to view the stars on the gorgeous south coast of France. It's located on top of Mont-Gros and let me tell you, the drive up there and down is not for the faint of heart. Or that could be just my driving! Guests for this event would have stayed in Monaco, below the mountain and they'd be driven up to the Charles Garnier built building. So it was all very posh for this shindig and why not, it was a celebration of the correlation between horology and astronomy.
Jean-Pierre Rivet, Scientific Director of the Plateau de Calern of the Azur Coast Observatory said: "Understanding the perfection and beauty of celestial mechanics would be hopeless without the diligent quest of watchmakers for perfect and beautiful timepieces. Two millennia later, this desire is still current and high-modern watches often incorporate complications to reproduce the Moon phase cycle." And that is essentially what the Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture does. Designed by Mrs Stas, timepiece is an elegant fusion of femininity and artisanship resulting in a graceful watch. The combination of curves, mysteriousness, brilliant white diamonds illuminate a woman’s wrist defining true grace and style. The perfect balance between intricate mechanism and delightful feminine grace is the reason this timepiece is so unique.
Stars on a watch
As per true Frederique Constant custom, the brand introduces a novelty that combines elegance and watchmaking technique to perfection, offering a timepiece with a moonphase complication, showcasing intricate finishing and a diamond-set bezel. Available in either a rose gold-plated steel or plain steel 38.8mm case with 60 diamonds (0.5 cts) set around the bezel, with a see-through back case revealing the new FC-701 automatic in-house movement decorated with Perlage and Côtes de Genève details.
The new in-house FC-701 movement, like all previous FC-7XX caliber series, has all its functions regulated via the crown only, an easy adjust setting which will delight their owners. The sunray night blue or the shiny dark black dial contrast with the sparkling silver or rose gold-colored printed stars.
Did you ever wish to hold millions of stars on the palm of your hand? Well then holding the new Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture and gazing into its dial, you will get lost in the luminous glitter of a thousand stars.
As a final word, Mrs Stas says: "We are selling 35% to 40% in the Ladies Collection. We feel this is a healthy percentage, of course we would be very happy if this trend continues and we reach the 50% mark!" So do look forward to more watches for the ladies from Frederique Constant.
This piece will be on sale in Southeast Asia from September 2017 onwards. The brand is found widely in both Malaysia and Singapore although for this particular piece, you may need to go to Swiss Watch Gallery, AWG Fine Watches or Watatime.