Luxury watchmaker Frederique Constant continues a strong year of releases by introducing the GMT complication to the Yacht Timer family, while reviving a Yacht Master Collection favorite from 1997 in the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown watch (above). A favorite of Peter Stas, co-founder of the company, Frederique Constant released the Regatta model after just 10 years in the industry. Its arresting visual and intriguing function made it an instant classic. Now, after more than two decades without an update, the Regatta returns as a beneficiary of the manufacture’s improved capacity and experience and rejoins the collection in two eye-catching colorways. This model more than justifies its new name (“Yacht Timer”) thanks to the instantly noticeable countdown timer on the dial between 12 o’clock and center. This unmissable series of apertures is designed to count down the critical 10 minutes before competing vessels are due to cross the start line.
Boat racing is one of the few racing formats that begins before the start line. During the ten minute countdown, competing vessels can jostle for position to catch the best wind or get a strategic advantage over a rival. The 10-minute window is crucial for timing the exact moment to strike. Inaccurate timekeeping could result in a crew having to abandon a positive launch and track to the back of the field to cross the start line fairly. That kind of blown maneuver is often enough to cost a vessel any chance of coming home in first.
Pleasingly, this is not a watch that is “inspired” by nautical endeavors; it is actually intended for use. It is a functional, highly-refined racing tool that is comfortable accompanying the world’s best skippers on deck. So how does it work? Each circle represents one minute. When set to zero, the centrally mounted seconds hand remains static at 12 and the apertures match the dial color (so blue on the blue dial and white on the white dial). When the countdown timer is activated, the seconds hand begins its travel and the circles change from blue to white, or white to blue, depending on the dial. When all five circles have changed color and the seconds hand hits 12, five minutes have passed. This countdown is commenced by the top pusher, stopped by the top pusher, and reset by the bottom pusher, as you would expect for a simple twin-pusher chronograph.
The GMT model, however, does not feature such an active complication. Instead, it is suited to the global traveler looking for a stylish and refined watch from an affordable manufacture. Powered by the FC-350 movement, the Yacht Timer’s GMT function is driven by an in-house, dial-side module. The movement is self-winding and has a 38-hour power reserve, an operating speed of 28,800vph, and a useful date function at 3 o’clock. Luminous in low-light conditions and water-resistant to 100 meters, the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer GMT watch is more than just a pretty face and has been designed to survive as a real-world companion on all manner of expeditions.
Both the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer GMT And Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown watches measure 42mm across. The Regatta Countdown model is available in a stainless steel with a white dial (reference FC-380ST4H6 priced at $3,195), a bi-color option with a white dial (reference FC-380VT4H2B, $3,395), or with a rose gold plated finish with a navy blue dial (reference FC-380NT4H4 for $3,495). Meanwhile, the GMT comes in either an anthracite dial and a bi-color case and bracelet combo for $1,995 (reference FC-350GT4H2B), or a rose gold plated finish sporting a white dial on a brown leather strap, which retails for $2,095 (reference FC-350VT4H4). Learn more about these models and one of the industry’s most accessible manufactures at frederiqueconstant.com.
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