A Swiss brand now owned by Citizen Watch of Japan, Frederique Constant excels at complications in an affordable and reasonable manner, and now it has added the Regatta Countdown Chronograph to its repertoire.
Unlike many yachting watches that are often over-designed with nautical details – think pennants and lots of colours – Frederique Constant has kept its regatta chronograph clean. Priced a bit over US$3000, the Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown has two key elements: central chronograph seconds hand and five circular apertures lined up under 12 o’clock.
The apertures function as a 5- or 10-minute regatta countdown timer; this records the time just before the start of a race when yachts position themselves for the best spot at the starting line.
When the chronograph is inactive, the apertures show white discs. Once started with the pusher at two o’clock, the apertures turn blue one by one, with each aperture representing one elapsed minute.
After five minutes, and five blue apertures, the five-minute countdown to the race begins. The apertures progressively change from showing blue to orange, again at the rate of one a minute.
The dials – blue or silver – are straightforward, apart from the countdown windows, and decorated with a hobnail guilloche. Luminous hands match the luminous baton hour markers.
Rated to 100m, the case is steel (or gold-plated steel), and 42mm in diameter. Notably, it’s fitted with an upscale, “box-type” sapphire crystal that has an angular dome. Inside is the automatic FC-380 movement, which is a Valjoux 7750 (or Sellita equivalent; the brand does not specify) modified to have the countdown function.
Material: Steel or rose-gold plated steel
Water resistance: 100m
Functions: Time, elapsed seconds, regatta countdown timer
Frequency: 28,800bph, or 4Hz
Power reserve: 48 hours
Strap: Alligator strap or steel bracelet; both accompanied by spare rubber strap
Price and availability
The Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown starts at 2,895 Swiss francs in steel with a silver dial (ref. FC-380ST4H6), while the gold-plated models (ref. FC-380NT4H4)are 3,195 Swiss francs. For more, visit Frederiqueconstant.com.
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