Spanning 35 years in the industry, Frederique Constant is one of the younger brands in the centuries-old tradition of Swiss watchmaking. Yet, in just over three decades, the brand has gained renown for its luxurious yet approachably-priced timepieces. The already well-established name continues to garner acclaim for its commitment to providing accessible luxury and superior Swiss craftsmanship, embodied in its impressive array of cutting-edge watches.
Dutch couple, Aletta and Peter Stas, founded Frederique Constant in Geneva, Switzerland in 1988 with the goal of enabling watch aficionados to appreciate and own high-quality watches at reasonable price points. From its very inception, Frederique Constant has offered a remarkable range of watch models to suit the discriminating tastes of watch lovers, the world over.
In this interview with Bridges, Niels Eggerding, CEO at the Frederique Constant Group, delves into key points of what sets the brand apart, both globally and in the Japanese market.
Bridges: Frederique Constant has established itself as a brand synonymous with elegance and craftsmanship. How do you perceive the legacy of Frederique Constant, and how has the brand’s essence evolved, over the years, to resonate with the contemporary luxury lifestyle?
Eggerding: Frederique Constant is a young watch manufacturer from Geneva, compared with other legacy brands that have been in the industry for centuries. We are one of the youngest but strongest manufacturers in the region; we celebrated the brand’s 35th anniversary in 2023. The brand still honors its primary mission: to provide high-quality timepieces at a fair price. Today, Frederique Constant proudly offers this strong ratio, with a unique offer illustrated by the Manufacture collection.
Many individuals describe wearing a Frederique Constant watch as more than just owning a timepiece; it’s an experience. Can you elaborate on the emotional connection that people develop with your watches, and how does Frederique Constant aim to create not only products but also a lifestyle for its customers?
Frederique Constant is appealing to a young, dynamic, innovative market between 25 and 50 years old, and we know that it is a brand that people choose to purchase for themselves. It is not necessarily only bought or given as a gift — say, for a milestone present like a graduation or a gift from one’s parents — but it is a watch that people buy for themselves because they can and they want to.
Frederique Constant is a young watch manufacturer from Geneva, compared with other legacy brands that have been in the industry for centuries. We are one of the youngest but strongest manufacturers in the region; we celebrated the brand’s 35th anniversary in 2023. The brand still honors its primary mission: to provide high-quality timepieces at a fair price. Today, Frederique Constant proudly offers this strong ratio, with a unique offer illustrated by the Manufacture collection.Niels Eggerding, Chief Executive Officer at the Frederique Constant Group
This is the mindset and the lifestyle we aim to develop, and we do so by creating timepieces that are luxurious and timeless in charm, while also meeting the contemporary standards of luxury, at prices that one can afford for oneself.
Frederique Constant has been expanding its presence globally. Could you share insights into the brand’s success in Asia, particularly in Japan, where appreciation for craftsmanship and luxury is deeply ingrained? How does Frederique Constant tailor its approach to meet the preferences and expectations of the Japanese market?
Indeed, craftmanship and luxury are two essential aspects in Japan, maybe even more than in some other countries. Therefore, the brand presence in Japan is mainly about the Manufacture collection; additionally, our communication mainly revolves around highlighting our watchmaking expertise. And, aside from the Manufacture collection, we also have a strong proposition with our automatic Heart Beat timepieces, with the aperture on the movement showing the inner workings of the movement such as the anchor, and the swinging balance wheel. This design would appeal to the deeply rooted Japanese tradition of valuing craftsmanship, as well as their meticulous attention to detail and precision.
All these cultural traits make our Heart Beat models and our iconic Manufacture timepieces especially popular and highly appreciated in Japan.
As for our marketing strategies, we believe that the Japanese market is also keen on our high-quality meets value for money philosophy.
Innovation is a key driver in the luxury industry. How does Frederique Constant balance traditional watchmaking with modern design trends and cutting-edge technology? Can you provide examples of recent innovations in design, branding, or technology that set Frederique Constant apart in the competitive luxury watch market?
First of all, by way of examples of recent innovations in our creations, I would point to the new Classic Tourbillon Manufacture presented this year, which is one of the few to feature a 39 mm case, as well as the new Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture, equipped with the brand’s latest and 31stin-house movement, the FC-735. Both timepieces present a high level of finishing, massive gold or platinum cases, and are available at a very fair price. Finally, there is the Slimline Monolithic Manufacture model, which was launched in 2021, presenting a revolutionary silicon oscillator replacing the 26 components of a standard assortment, a completely new innovation.
As for our iconic design, the Heart Beat timepieces, the visible inner mechanisms have become a signature look for us. This is one way we have balanced traditional watch making techniques with a more contemporary feel.