The Frederique Constant SA company is established in Geneva, Switzerland, in its current form in 1988 by the Dutch entrepreneur Peter Constant Stas and his wife Aletta Francoise Frédérique Stas-Bax. The brand is involved in all the stages of watch production, from initial design to final assembly. Their first collection was launched in 1992.
At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the Olympic Committee changed the countdown system for starting yacht races. With an increase in the number of boat categories over the years, the time for successive starts had become too long. So it was decided to reduce the intervening time gap from 5 – 10 to 3 – 6 minutes. The Frederique Constant Yacht Timer was the first watch to integrate these new racing rules.
Frederique Constant developed their new Yacht Timer quartz movement together with Herbert Derksen of Tack and Gybe International (TNG), the former helmsman of the Dutch Olympic team’s Tornado sailboat. It is fitted with a countdown function that can be set at 10, 6, 5 or 3 minutes, shown by the coloured balls as the earlier automatic regatta movements have. Besides the visible going of the countdown it is also audible. Both Frederique Constant and TNG have patented the new movement, you can download the patent here.
Frederique Constant Yacht Timer.
Model: Frederique Constant Yacht TimerTM.
- B=H Yacht Timer Officially Certified chronometer
- B=L Yacht Timer Professional
- C=N black dial
- C=S silver dial
- C=W white dial
- E=5 gold plated case
- E=6 steel case
- F=B steel bracelet
- Caliber: quartz FC-298/2P movement by Frederique Constant and TNG.
- Case size: Ø 37 mm / 12 mm and 18 mm strap (stylish version).
- Ø 40 mm (sportive version).
- Year: 1999 till 2003.
The line of different models is divided into two main models. The more stylish ones with a round Ø 37 mm case and the more sportive ones with a unidirectional bezel with compass ring, case Ø 40 mm. The first are officially certified chronometers, and were delivered with a test certificate. You can download a brochure of the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer here.
How the countdown function works.
You can read the users manual of the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer here, and learn how the countdown system works.
Test certificate delivered with the more sportive model.
Some special (sponsor-)editions must have been made, showing this two excamples:
Left saying ‘Sunsail’ and right saying ‘South Australia’ on the dial.
x – x -x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x
In 2019, some 20 years after the launch of the first Yachttimer series, the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer, the brand introduces a new Regatta series: the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown. This time the watches are driven by a new developed automatic movement, caliber FC-380.
In the dial between 10 and 2 o’clock the well known 5 dots showing the elapsed minutes during the countdown. The indicator disk is coloured blue – white – orange, or white – blue – orange, depending on the color of the dial (navy blue or silver).
Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown.
Model: Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown.
- Reference: FC-380NT4H4 navy blue dial, rose gold-plated ss case and navy blue alligator leather strap.
- FC-380ST4H6 silver color dial, ss case and a black alligator leather strap.
- FC-380VT4H2B silver color dial, bicolor rose gold-plated ss case and a bicolor ss bracelet.
- FC-380VT4H4 silver color dial, rose gold-plated ss case and a dark brown alligator leather strap.
- All versions come with an aditional rubber strap.
- Caliber: FC-380 automatic movement based on a Sellita-500 chronograph, with yachttimer function.
- Case size: all models Ø 42 mm.
- Year: 2019/2020.
- Make: Frederique Constant.
- Caliber: FC-380.
- Type: automatic chronograph with yachttimer function.
- Size: 13,25″ Ø 30 mm / H 7,9 mm.
- Frequency: 28.800 A/h.
- Power Reserve: 48 hours.
- Jewels: 25.
- Shock protection system: incabloc.
In their 2020 brochure, Frederique Constant shows a new version of the Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown models, a ‘sport-chique’ edition as they call it. With a polished stainless steel case and bracelet (with every watch comes an extra rubber strap), and anthracite grey dial. Reference FC-380GT4H6B.
To match the grey dial, the indicator disk is now coloured grey – white – orange during the countdown.
A year later, the first four models have left from the Frederique Constant catalogue.