With its Vintage Racing collection, Frédérique Constant is looking forward to a winning season.
By Terence Lim
Vintage-car races have been a part of Frédérique Constant's history since it became the official timekeeper of the Healey Challenge in 2004. So when Peter Stas found out the From Peking to Paris Motor Challenge was searching for a partner, he was elated. "A great opportunity was knocking on our door," says Frédérique Constant's chief executive officer. "We've been looking to add more vintage races to our list."
Not only was the brand seen on every car, it also featured prominently at the start and finish. "The race provided a direct response for the brand. We were seen on television, with the race being filmed and telecast."
Besides upping the publicity stakes, the gruelling race provided the creative spark for the new Vintage Racing collection, too. Paying homage to vintage cars (and its own involvement in the 14,500km race), Frédérique Constant rolled out a trio of automatic chronographs with nostalgic aesthetics.
"The dials are designed to resemble a dashboard [of a vintage car]," Stas explains. "These small design elements -- like a tri-compax arrangement -- give that vintage racing-car feel. We also purposely kept it clean and classical."
The Calibre FC-396, an in-house modified movement, features a commemorative rotor engraved with the "Peking to Paris" logo. Only 1,888 pieces of each version are available.
Vintage-car racing may not be everyone's sport of choice. But Frédérique Constant definitely scored an impressive podium finish with this collection.