It’s always a joy when a new watch arrives at the Fratello office. We open the box, get the watch out as quickly as possible, and then we discuss our first impressions. In the case of the new Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam, those first impressions were quite positive. But as I’m a born-and-raised “Amsterdammer,” immediately, I felt a special connection with the watch.

It’s not often that your city’s name is featured on a watch dial. And that’s not all; those three crosses also refer to the Amsterdam coat of arms. Even the black, white, and red colors are fully inspired by that same coat of arms. So, no, this won’t be a completely unbiased introductory article. But at least now you know where my excitement comes from.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam close-up

The Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam

Two years ago, Frederique Constant turned its sporty Highlife into a world-time watch. It debuted with a dark blue dial, and since then, a brown-dial version and a version with a rose gold case have also become available. Jorg even featured that brown version in last week’s list of Fratello’s favorite worldtimers. This new Amsterdam version is the brainchild of Alon Ben Joseph from Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam and Niels Eggerding, another Amsterdammer who also happens to be the CEO of Frederique Constant.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of those world-famous cities that feels like a metropolis but is, at least for us natives, a little too small to be one. Maybe it’s a collective case of Calimero syndrome, but it feels like Amsterdam can’t really compete with metropolises like New York, Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong, just to name a few. Nevertheless, the Dutch and certainly the citizens of Amsterdam are very avid travelers and are very internationally oriented. The world-time complication of this limited-edition Highlife is such a good match for this globetrotter mindset. Let’s go over the specs of the watch.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam on wrist

A comfortable integrated-bracelet sports watch

Just like the earlier Worldtimers, the Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam has a 41mm case. It’s 12.9mm thick, which is very acceptable for a watch with this complication, and it measures 45mm from lug to lug. That last measurement doesn’t tell the whole story here, though, because of the integrated bracelet connected to the case. However, I do feel the watch wears very well on my 17cm wrist, something I didn’t expect with its 41mm diameter. Except for my Omega Speedmaster, I usually wear watches smaller than 40mm, but that short lug-to-lug span does come in handy here.

Just like the stainless steel case, the H-link integrated bracelet displays both polished and brushed finishes. It features a butterfly clasp and connects to the case with quick-release spring bars. This allows you to quickly swap the bracelet out for the included black rubber strap with red stitching. The signed crown isn’t a screw-down type. Nevertheless, the watch is still water resistant to 100 meters. So that rubber strap will come in handy if you take the Highlife Worldtimer for a swim.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam pointer date

A clean worldtimer dial

Then we get to that black, white, and red dial, which is the true star of the show here. The color scheme reminds me a bit of the Nomos Zürich Weltzeit Amsterdam Edition, which was another limited edition in collaboration with Ace Jewelers back in 2019. However, the Highlife is, of course, a completely different watch, so the rest of the dial doesn’t look anything like that of the Nomos, except for the two-level layout. The main dial in the center is a bit elevated and combined with the pointer date at 6 o’clock.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam

Fans of the Highlife collection will notice that the dial doesn’t feature the globe motif that’s on so many of the models. In this case, the main dial is just matte black and has those three characteristic red Saint Andrew’s crosses underneath the Frederique Constant logo at 12 o’clock. The applied indexes and hour and minute hands are filled with luminous material for increased readability in the dark.

When we take one step down, we get to the white and red 24-hour disc. Here, white refers to daytime, and red refers to nighttime. And on the outer ring, we see the 24 world cities, including the “wannabee metropolis” of Amsterdam in red.

A worldtimer with a manufacture movement

Thanks to the in-house worldtimer caliber FC-718, the wearer can adjust all of the functions through the single crown at 3 o’clock. This movement debuted back in 2013, and it still works the same as when it first made its appearance. When you turn the crown clockwise, you can change the date. When you turn it the other way, it’ll activate the city disc. The movement runs at 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 38 hours. It has both perlage and côtes circulaires finishing on the back, which are visible through the exhibition case back.

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam pocket shot

Final words

What can I say? Of course, I’m charmed by this Amsterdam version of the Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer. But apart from the personal connection, I also think the matte black dial with white and red accents looks fantastic. That said, I’m not sure why, but the Highlife, in general, doesn’t fully convince me. Maybe it’s because, in my eyes, the case design doesn’t fully match that of the bracelet. However, I do think it’s a very comfortable and well-wearing watch on the wrist.

The Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam is available now at Ace Jewelers and a few other selected retailers. Production is limited to 100 pieces, and it can be yours for €4,295, including taxes and the black rubber strap. For more information, please go to the official Ace Jewelers website.

What do you think of the Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam? I’m especially curious to hear what the non-Amsterdammers have to say about it. Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Ace Jewelers × Frederique Constant Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam
Matte black with applied luminous indices, white and red details, city ring, 24-hour ring, and pointer date
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
41mm (diameter) × 45mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.9mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire display
Frederique Constant FC-718 — manufacture automatic worldtimer caliber, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hours power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100m)
Stainless steel integrated bracelet and a black rubber strap with red stitching (both with quick release spring bars)
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds), pointer date, world time with 24-hour ring and city disc
€4,295 (including taxes)
Two years