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Frederique Constant Introduce Highlife Chronograph Green and Rose Gold Editions

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Steel Here’s a genuine question for you. What do you think about coloured panda watches? A timepiece with a white dial and coloured subdials that is reminiscent of the iconic black and white chronograph colourway but with an added splash of vibrancy. The reason I ask is I always tend to find myself being a panda purist, the monochrome design works so incredibly well and the nickname fits. There are no blue or green pandas in the wild. However, with their latest watch, perhaps Frederique Constant can change my mind with the new Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph green panda limited edition. Plus, there’s also a new non-panda blue rose gold edition.

Starting with the limited edition, it measures 41mm in diameter in stainless steel with the signature design of the collection. That being a tonneau-esque case with a broad, gently curved surface leading into an interchangeable strap. You can definitely see the influence of 1980s sports watch design in its DNA although it was designed much later, in 1999 and subsequently revived in 2020.

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Steel
Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Steel

That brings us to the dial, which is protected by a convex sapphire crystal. It features a tricompax chronograph display with an opaline, off-white base and dark, forest green subdials. At 3 o’clock is a 30-minute timer, 6 is a 12-hour timer and at 9 o’clock is the small seconds indicator. The combination of the green and opaline is very subtle and unless you know that it’s green, it could easily be mistaken for black – except in certain lighting. It gives the piece a slightly aged appearance, not tropical exactly but as if a regular panda edition were left outside in a jungle for too long.

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Rose Gold

In that manner, there’s a certain adventurous quality to the piece that appeals to me and is absent from a monochrome panda. It’s a chronograph that feels suited to the vintage pioneers of yore, whether that be in aviation or perhaps more appropriately, motoring. The green is somewhat reminiscent of British racing green, which makes me want to strap the watch on, jump into a retro Jag (perhaps an E-Type or something a little more esoteric) and head off on a grand tour.

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Rose Gold
Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Rose Gold

In addition to the limited edition green panda Highlife Chronograph, Frederique Constant have also released a blue edition with white subdials and a gold plated case. It’s the first time a Highlife Chronograph has been dressed in precious metal and it’s a good look for the piece. Dialling up the luxury and giving it a more aspirational appeal.

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Rose Gold Caseback

Powering both the limited edition and the non-limited gold is the calibre FC-391 automatic with 60-hour power reserve. It’s based on the LJPL110,  from La Joux-Perret, who are rapidly becoming one of the most popular third-party movement manufactures including in the realm of high-end microbrands. Frederique Constant have a rose gold rotor with Côtes de Genève finishing.

Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Steel
Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph Rose Gold

In terms of price and availability, the green panda is limited to 1,888 pieces at £3,295 and the gold edition is not significantly higher at £3,495. Have coloured panda displays won me over? I will concede that they are interesting enough to warrant their place in the horological world, although I’d still personally opt for the Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph in black and white.

Price and Specs:

Model: Frederique Constant Highlife Chronograph
Ref: FC-391SGR4NH6 (steel), FC-391NS4NH4 (rose gold plated)
Case: 41mm diameter x 14.22mm thickness, stainless steel or stainless steel with rose gold plating
Dial: Silver (steel), navy blue (rose gold plated)
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Frederique Constant calibre FC-391, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Strap: Dark green (steel) or navy blue (rose gold) calf leather with crocodile pattern embossing, pin buckle with additional rubber strap and additional stainless steel bracelet (steel only)
Price: £3,295, limited to 1,888 pieces (steel), £3,495 (rose gold plated)

More details at Frederique Constant.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.