The latest automatic Frederique Constant pays tribute to Austin Healey
Yes. Austin Healey
Frederique Constant is an often overlooked watch manufacturer that creates great timepieces. It's bit underrated as a brand and I'm not sure why. The brand, currently owned by Citizen Group, was founded in Switzerland in 1988 and over the years, they've made divers, dress watches, amazing automatic watches and this, car people are going to love this, the Vintage Rally "Healey" limited edition.
As the name suggests, the watch is dedicated to the (now defunct) British classic car marque Austin-Healey. Even though Austin hasn't made a car in nearly fifty years, the brand is still alive, albeit I wouldn't call it 'active', and currently owned by SAIC. Frederique Constant first introduced this watch in 2004 and in 2018, the Swiss brand released the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic, which is essentially the predecessor of this watch.
The watch is available in two different colour combos. The first model features a 40 mm rose gold-plated case with matching hour markers and luminous hands, with a green dial and calfskin perforated strap. The second version comes with the timeless British Racing Green colour for the dial, encased in a titanium grey frame with silver-titanium grey markers and hands. The watch, both versions of it, is powered by an automatic FC-303 calibre with a date window at the 3 and a 38-hour power reserve.
But the best part about the watch is the caseback, on which you'll find the engraved silhouette of the Healey 100S NOJ393, originally purchased by a collector in 1969 for just £155 and sold for nearly 1 million euros in December 2011. Production is limited to 2,888 units only, and each watch comes with its own collector’s gift set with a miniature replica of the NOJ393.
Pricing starts at €2,790