The Vintage Rally Healey limited editions have worked their way into the affections of countless classic car enthusiasts in the past. These watches were created as a result of a partnership between the Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin-Healey car brand which dates back to the year 2004: seventeen years of allegiance and fellowship between watchmaking and mechanics, punctuated by rallies, meetings, races and a shared passion for retro design. The previous edition of the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic dates back to 2018; now it’s back with two new versions. Putting its tradition of sporty chronographs on hold, Frederique Constant has given the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic a more urban design. Designed for the gentleman drivers who also appreciate a getaway from the racing track, this timepiece allows to casually enjoy a new design imbued with retro charm.
Stylish and timeless, the first model features a 40 mm rose gold case, that coordinates with the hour markers and hands; it is also water-resistant up to 5 atm. For optimum legibility even in the dark, Frederique Constant worked with a luminous treatment. The flange counts down the minutes against a chocolate coloured background that matches the calfskin strap. With its perforation, it underscores the neo-vintage quality of the watch.
The second version’s entire dial is adorned with the legendary deep, bold green colour of the Healey company. A study in contrast and a return to the roots of one of the most iconic rally car colours, “British racing green” has long been associated with the vintage Austin Healeys that are especially desirable among collectors. Frederique Constant’s rendering is especially sleek and stylish and the revival of this shade on a three-hand model enables the wearer to subtly show off their love of vintage cars without compromising the timeless elegance of a more urban timepiece.
Both versions are three-hand models with a date window at 3 o’clock. They are all powered by the automatic FC-303 calibre. It works at a frequency of 28.800 beats per minute and provides a power reserve of up to 38 hours.
Following the success of last year’s Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture, Frederique Constant now presents two new limited editions of the timepiece. Both versions feature a classic navy blue skeletonized dial and a case in either pink gold or stainless steel. The occasion for these new watches is the opening of the new Manufacture building in Plan-les-ouates in the Swiss canton of Geneva.
The case of the Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture consists of three parts and measures 42 mm in diameter. The silver-coloured skeletonized dials are equipped with navy blue sub-dials and an outer ring in the same colour, giving the wearer a deep insight into the complex mechanics. The watch’s perpetual calendar displays an annual calendar, the day of the week, the date and the month, with a minimum of corrections. The complication takes into account the number of days of each month, displays the year and does not need to be corrected even in leap years. Normally, the Perpetual Calendar would work for 400 years without a manual correction; only due to one exception of the Gregorian calendar, the complication has to be corrected on March 1, 2100. The hour and minute functions are adjusted via the crown. At 12 o’clock the dial shows the months and leap year, at 3 o’clock the date and at 9 o’clock the days of the week. The tourbillon cage with its integrated second hand, which makes a complete turn every minute, is at 6 o’clock.
The Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture is driven by the FC-975 calibre. The automatic manufacture movement was equipped by Frederique Constant with a silicon anchor and escape wheel for greater precision. The use of silicon eliminates the problems caused by the effects of earth gravity when the movement is in a vertical position. In addition, the material is insensitive to temperature fluctuations. Both versions come with a transparent case back through which the perlage and Geneva stripes of the movement can be admired.
Frederique Constant supplies the Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture with an alligator leather strap that resumes the blue colour used in the subsidiary dials and outer ring.