Frederique Constant Launches Two New Austin-Healey Limited Editions
Frederique Constant has a longstanding partnership with the currently dormant Austin-Healey brand. Now, the watch brand introduces two new chronographs celebrating the 70th anniversary of the legendary British car manufacturer.
Or actually, I should probably say one chronograph in two versions. The two new releases are technically identical except for two specific differences on their dials. One version comes with a celebratory “70” at twelve o’clock. The other comes with a regular applied “12”, as well as a “70th Anniversary” line above six. Frederique Constant limits the former to just 10 pieces, while the latter is limited to 700 units.
All about the dial
These chronographs are all about the dials. As an ode to Austin-Healey, they are matte British racing green. The chronograph hands provide optimal readability and some attractive contrast with their bright red hue. We find a “Healey” signature in its characteristic historical font just below the tail of the chronograph seconds hand. All of the printing on the dial is white for good readability against the dark background.
Frederique Constant opted for a layout with two sub-dials, providing a clean and balanced aesthetic. I tend to prefer this over three registers. However, it does mean you have to make do without an hour counter. Keep your rally stages under 30 minutes — that’s my advice.
A serious case
As much as I like the dials, based on the spec sheet and photos, I am less excited about the cases. It’s not because of their shape, but because of their size. At a width of 42mm, 14.45mm tall, and without any sort of rotating bezel, expect them to wear large. I know, size is a matter of taste. But with a retro-inspired watch like this, I always feel it is a bit of a stylistic breach. This aesthetic makes more sense to me at 38mm, regardless of your wrist size. Luckily, there are plenty of fans who wholeheartedly disagree.
Frederique Constant opted for a lug width of 21mm. The watches come on a black calf leather strap with contrasting off-white stitching.
Flip the case over and you are greeted by a display case back. You will find your unique number out of 10 or 700 around its perimeter. Through the glass, you can spot the caliber FC-387, which is based on an ETA chronograph movement. As is typical of most ETA chronograph calibers, it is cam-actuated and has a horizontal clutch. This movement runs at 28,800vph and delivers a power reserve of 48 hours. Frederique Constant applied Geneva striping and its name to the rose-gold plated rotor.
A cool Frederique Constant/Austin-Healey set
One cool aspect of these Healey-specials from Frederique Constant is the packaging. They come in a nice presentation box, complete with a scale model of an Austin-Healey 100S. If you are an Austin-Healey enthusiast, I can imagine this will make for a nice mantle piece.
Pricing and availability
The Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph Automatic comes in at €2,595. Both versions share the same RRP, so if you want a “70” dial, you may want to act quickly. They are now available through authorized dealers worldwide. For more information, please visit the Frederique Constant website.