Frederique Constant | Highlife Automatic Skeleton
Born in 1999, the Highlife collection made a noteworthy comeback in 2020. A new limited-edition interpretation is now enriching the range with a technical and seductive touch. The Highlife Automatic Skeleton invites you to plunge into the heart of a watchmaking creation that does not reveal everything... but almost so.
It became a staple of Frederique Constant in a few short months and now the Highlife collection is showing itself in a new light. The focus of its unique interplay between light and dark? A globe. Finely crafted in the centre of the dial, it is one of the aesthetic hallmarks of the collection. The Highlife Automatic Skeleton lets you journey to the centre of the Earth. Laid bare through skilful skeleton work, strong lines reveal the inner workings of the Swiss Made FC-310 movement inside.
A twofold challenge
This elegant skeleton timepiece presents a technical but also an aesthetic challenge. Technical, as the in-house calibre is updated through tiny openings as numerous as they are delicate and meticulously created without the use of any sharp angles, in keeping with the curvature and harmony of the Earth.
Aesthetic, because skeletonisation is a rare watchmaking exercise that is generally carried out on the movement, exceptionally on the dial and even less so only in its centre. It is a daring style that Frederique Constant has mastered perfectly, and it was thanks to this very principle of aesthetic ingenuity that the Geneva-based Manufacture brought the iconic Heart Beat collection to life over 25 years ago. What Frederique Constant has created here is a daring and unique new interpretation that should stand it in good stead for the next quarter of a century.
The new Highlife Automatic Skeleton is in the same vein. The highly original cut-out of the Earth at its centre reveals the beating heart of the movement: at 12 o’clock, the balance wheel; between 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock, the barrel, wound by the winding stem found at 3 o’clock. The openworked Earth allows you to see something, but not everything.
In a complex play of light and shadow, between the hidden and the exposed, the Highlife Automatic Skeleton brings to life a modern vision of skeleton work and mechanical watchmaking. Those who are especially curious will appreciate the open caseback, which showcases the mechanical workings of the piece and the finishes prized by the Geneva-based manufacturer.
Two very limited series
The new Highlife Automatic Skeleton watches are not part of the collection, but will be available as two 888-piece limited series. The first incorporates the Highlife collection’s much loved colour combination: steel case and strap with blue dial. The model comes with a second interchangeable strap in navy blue rubber, accentuating its sporty look.
The second variation is a first; a steel version with anthracite grey titanium PVD coating – supplied with a strap in the same material, as well as another of the same shade, in rubber. In the 41mm case containing an automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve, the Highlife Automatic Skeleton exhibits a beautifully crafted, mysterious and modern look.
The Highlife collection created by Frederique Constant in 1999 has not only impacted the history of the Manufacture, but that of watchmaking as well. The original embodied all the values that contributed to the success and longevity of the Brand. Firstly, there is the sophisticated horological nature of the design, inspired by the most stunning examples of traditional fine Swiss watchmaking with high-quality finishing. Then, there is the careful attention to offering a fair and proportionate price, enabling as many people as possible to access Swiss Made luxury, a cause steadfastly and rigorously defended by the Manufacture for over 30 years.
The Highlife collection is based on certain fundamentals acquired from Frederique Constant’s lengthy experience, which have been revised and improved: a new case design, interchangeable straps and a daintily elegant globe decoration on the dial. Distinctive qualities common to all the models help propel the Highlife towards new horizons.