The Frédérique Constant Horological Smartwatch made its debut in 2015 after a development period of three years, making it the first Swiss ‘smart watch’. Since then Japanese watch giant Citizen has taken over the watch house that was established and made into a success by Peter and Aletta Stas and some things have changed; on the inside mostly, not so much the outside appearances. Frédérique Constant still looks and feels the same and that also applies to sister brand Alpina.
However, on the inside of the latest series of smartwatches there have definitely been some changes. Those who think the latest generation of smart models now has Japanese technology will be disappointed. The collection was partly realised in conjunction with Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT), a Swiss company that was established in 2015 and is a stone’s throw away from the ‘FC’ manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates. The company develops and commercialises modules for smartwatches, firmware and apps; innovative technology made to fit in the traditional haute horlogerie universe. One of the founders of MMT is … Peter Stas. MMT was not taken over by Citizen and will therefore continue to operate independently and sell the products it develops to other brands in addition to ‘FC’ and Alpina.
Ten new models
The five new smart women’s models and the five fully revised men’s watches have been fitted with an MMT module. The recognisable subdial of the first Horological Smartwatch is absent in the new models. The attention now focuses on the markers at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock. New functionalities like incoming phone calls, sleep monitoring, a step counter and text notifications are shown on the outside of the dial. The new women’s model is a melting pot of traditional watch values and modern technology. Guilloche dials, mother-of-pearl accents, embossed Roman numerals, white diamonds and a sleep cycle alarm go hand-inhand. The 34mm case has been fitted with the MMT-281 quartz module, which guarantees more than two years of battery life.
The 2.0 variant for men differs with Arabic numerals that replace the Roman markers, different dials in the colours blue, silver and black and four different types of leather straps. Even more so than its predecessor, the emphasis of this watch is on sportiness. The MMT-282 quartz module has been fitted in a steel, 42mm case and is equipped with a battery that lasts more than four years – this module is significantly bigger than the version used in the women’s model, so the battery is also bigger and more powerful. The ten new watches work with the new MMT- 365 app that connects watch and telephone via Bluetooth and is available for both Android and Apple. Simplicity and ease of use are the priority; of course sleepless nights worrying about incomprehensible operating structures are not the intention when you’re talking about a smartwatch that monitors sleeping patterns. Prices start around 600 euro.