Luxury fashion

Frederique Constant Launches New Classics Carrée Watches In Collaboration With Bloomingdale’s

Founded in 1988 in Geneva by Aletta and Peter Stas the Frederique Constant timepiece company debuted its first range, the Century Collection, created by a Geneva watchmaker, four years later. Since then Constant has been known for watches that embody elegant design and cosmopolitan, clean-lined sophistication that keep great time, transcend trends, and are priced very attractively considering their luxurious production values and horological chic.

While Constant’s Classics Carrée collection launched in 2003, it remains one of the brand’s top selling collections. The art déco-influenced, rectangular polished shaped case and fluted case bands makes the watch look sleek and beyond trends. This holiday season, Constant introduced new colorways to the collection and an exclusive Classics Carrée capsule collection in partnership with Bloomingdale’s to celebrate the New York-based heritage store’s 150th anniversary. This writer caught up with Susan Chandler, Chief Merchandising Officer of Citizen Watch America, Constant’s parent company, to discuss new models in the art déco-inspired Classics Carrée collection, and the range’s new design attributes.

As Chandler related, “We have expanded the Classics Carrée collection for 2022, but we have maintained the case size and classic design attributes we have long been known for. One of the notable changes we’ve made,” she continued, “is the circle of diamonds on the dial, which adds a jewelry element. This special accent allows the wearer to enjoy the timepiece for any occasion.” While the sparkle of this watch looks impressive, it is nevertheless restrained enough to suit work wardrobes and leisure situations.

In a customer-friendly design move, Constant has endowed the new Classics Carrée with a quick release strap. Each strap features an interchangeable quick release system so the consumer can quickly change their strap color. (There is a small metal button on the inside of the strap that can be slid to release the strap. This can be done easily with your fingers or the tool that’s included in the set.) “To style additional looks to suit one’s mood or outfit,” Chandler relates, “there is also a separate strap kit comprised of three straps and a changing tool that can be purchased for $175.”

According to Chandler,We focused on a fashion approach when conceiving the new Classics Carrée strap palettes. Neutrals like grey and olive played into our vision, along with classic black. We also selected matte and shiny leather finishes. We took care to create options that work well with the metals, such as rose gold plating and stainless steel.” For example, the rose gold-plated strap kit includes a black, grey and olive green strap in calf leather with crocodile embossing, and a rose gold buckle. The stainless steel strap kit features a burgundy, grey and olive green strap in calf leather with crocodile embossing, plus a stainless steel buckle.

While design and technical finesse are of utmost importance to Constant’s watchmakers, quality control is also a constant (pun intended) concern. All of the brand’s timepieces, whether equipped with quartz movements, like the Classics Carée, or ones with mechanical movements undergo extensive testing to ensure optimum performance. Constant’s controllers test and re-test the functions of the watch such as the date, the time settings and the second time-zone, to name but a few, and they also take care to verify water-resistance and aesthetic details.

Compared to other Swiss-made luxury watches of comparable production values, the 2022 Classics Carée offers considerable value for money, making it a brilliant holiday season gift, or Valentine’s Day present. While a complete watch is available in a rose gold-plated stainless steel case with a pink strap for $1,295, it’s also offered in a sleek stainless steel case with a black strap for $1,095. While the Classics Carrée features a Swiss quartz movement, it’s worth noting that Constant has a solid reputation for creating innovative in-house movements. As Chandler observed, “We have 30 in-house calibers in our Manufacture collection, including the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture, which features the world’s first silicon oscillator.” This technical innovation, she continued, “enables the movement to tick ten times faster than traditional mechanical watches at 288,000 vibrations per hour.” If Constant is planning to create a super-fast Classics Carée replete with a silicon oscillator, Chandler isn’t ready to say. In the meantime, however, “We are very pleased to launch an exclusive Classics Carrée capsule this holiday season in partnership with Bloomingdale’s to celebrate their 150th anniversary.”

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