Frederique Constantís latest releases continue what has become a bit of a tradition for the brand: introducing serious complications into value-driven watches with classic aesthetics that recall the finest Swiss manufactures. They have notably released a truly impressive perpetual calendar, a world timer, and even a tourbillon with eye popping retail prices in styles that make them hard to ignore. Their new Yacht Timer collection ó built around the Regatta Countdown and Yacht Timer GMT ó includes two new complicated watches with a clear and appealing aesthetic. Let’s take a closer look.

Frederique Constant Yacht Timer GMT and Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown*

  • Case Material: Stainless steel and stainless steel with rose gold plating*
  • Dial: Regatta Countdown in silver or navy blue; Yacht Timer GMT in grey or silver
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire*
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM*
  • Movement: FC-380 (Regatta Countdown), FC-350 (Yacht Timer GMT)
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet or leather***
  • Price: Regatta Countdown starts at $2,895; Yacht Timer GMT starts at $1,995
  • Reference Number: Yacht Timer GMT: FC-350GT4H2B, FC-350VT4H4; Regatta Countdown: FC-380VT4H2B, FC-380VT4H4, FC-380NT4H4, FC-380ST4H6
  • Expected Release: Available now

I think the natural headline grabber here is the Regatta Countdown, so letís start there. A regatta timer is an unusual and highly specialized chronograph designed for use in sail boat races, or regattas, hence the name. For those completely unfamiliar with sailing (Iím raising my own hand, here) a yacht or sailboat race doesnít start from a dead stop, as in, say, a 100 yard sprint on foot. All the boats in a race are given a 10 minute warning, and a huge strategic component of the regatta becomes how to position yourself once those 10 minutes are up and youíre allowed to cross the starting line when the race actually begins. Regatta timers have been around in the watch world for a long time, and are designed to give you a clear view at a glance how much of that 10 minutes has elapsed.
On the Regatta Countdown from Frederique Constant, each passing minute fills one of five circles in the top half of the dial, first from white to blue, and then from blue to orange. If youíre part of a crew on a racing yacht, you can glance at your wrist while youíre raising or lowering your sails to hold or advance your position and have a pretty good idea of exactly how much time is left before the race officially begins. While this is certainly a niche complication, you donít need to be a regatta participant to take advantage of a timer like this. Anything that takes 10 minutes or less, or that you want to take 10 minutes or less, can be timed with this complication.

The other half of the Yacht Timer collection is the new Yacht Timer GMT, which in this iteration is an elegant take on one of the sportiest complications. If the Regatta Countdown calls to mind the excitement and fast action of a sailboat race, the Yacht Timer GMT makes one think of a long distance voyage where tracking multiple time zones might be a necessity. Of course, and this goes without saying, a yacht is not required here either. But Frederique Constant is tapping into an idea of an aesthetic with this small collection, giving their customers a hint of luxury in a package thatís actually quite practical.

A close examination of the press images provided reveals a few interesting characteristics of these watches beyond the notable complications. First, the dials are incredibly intricate and contribute a great deal to making us believe that weíre looking at the slightly elevated instruments Frederique Constant is selling. The hobnail finish on each of these watches is engrossing and really well done. Secondly, the use of color is fantastic. The shifting circular timing indicators on the Regatta Countdown provide a ton of visual interest and give the watch a touch of casual flair. On the Yacht Timer GMT, particularly the two-tone variant on a bracelet, the red tipped GMT hand, charcoal dial, and rose gold finish all around work really well together.
The Yacht Timer GMT and the Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown are both available now on Frederique Constantís website in a variety of configurations, mixing dial colors, straps, bracelets, and finishes. Frederique Constant

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