Frederique Constant was a pioneer in the development of hybrid connected watches that married the art and engineering of a Swiss watch with sensors and a smartwatch app.
Its first Horological Smartwatch in 2015 combined a quartz movement and digital module that displayed daily steps using traditional watch hands.
Updates in 2016 and 2018 tweaked the style and added functions such as on-board health checks for the watches’ movements and functions such as call and message notifications.
Smartwatch development is moving at Silicon Valley speed, and Apple Watch now sells more units in a quarter than the whole Swiss watch industry ships in a year.
Cleverly, Frederique Constant has not tried to beat the tech giants at their own game, but continues to upgrade its technology while improving on its Swiss aesthetics.
2020’s connected timepiece, the Smartwatch Vitality, looks like a classic Swiss watch, with highly polished gold-plated or steel cases — 36mm for ladies and 42mm for men — and uncluttered matte dials furnished with Roman numeral markers and hand-polished hour and minute hands.
But the dial conceals a secret display panel at 6 o’clock that only lights up when the crown is pushed and displays information such as heart rate, the activity tracker, a second time zone, stop watch, alarms, sleep monitoring and the last five messages from favourite apps.
The crown acts as a mini mouse that scrolls through the various functions.
Previous Frederique Constant watches have lasted several years before batteries needed replacing, but the extra functions of the Vitality mean it needs to be charged every week for the ladies’ models and 11 days for the men’s.
There is a full collection with several dial colours for both the men’s and ladies’ models, and the option of a steel bracelet or rubber strap. Ladies can also choose from a range of coloured leather straps.