Category Archives: Charity

Sponsoring and Charity


Sponsoring and charity enjoy high priority at Frédérique Constant. You started with sponsoring, so let’s begin by talking about that.

Peter: In 2004, when our business was still located in Chêne-Bourg, we held a meeting with our advisory board.

Who were the board’s members?

Aletta: Peter, a friend, two employees from McKinsey, a retired businessman and myself. It was a small group and, incidentally, all Dutch.

Peter: We were working at that time to more clearly define the values of our watch brand. What does Frédérique Constant stand for? Where do we want to go? What are our goals? And what makes Frédérique Constant different from other brands? We realized right from the start that market-sensitive prices rank among our most important competitive advantages.

Aletta: Attractive prices were decisive for reaching younger target groups composed of 30- to 45-year-olds with smaller budgets. Most of these potential customers are businesspeople at the beginning of their careers. Many haven’t yet move up the ladder and are still working in lower-tier executive positions. Their incomes are limited and they may also be starting families, which likewise requires funds.

Peter: But these young people are nonetheless enthusiastic about Swiss mechanical watches. They’re precisely the individuals for whom Frédérique Constant offers attractive timepieces. So we decided that our company should produce accessible luxury in the form of beautiful, affordably priced, Swiss watches from Geneva. Our purpose is to enable more people to enjoy luxury.

Aletta: But handsome watches at accessible prices weren’t enough. We also needed to more strongly emphasize the luxury aspect. So our discussion turned to what we could do to give Frédérique Constant the desired image. That’s how we arrived at the idea of sponsoring.

How did you come up with the idea of classic car rallies?

Aletta: A young Dutchman who was working in our communications department at the time and he contributed two good ideas.

Peter: One idea involved balloon flights with a big, dark green balloon prominently labeled “Frédérique Constant.” His other idea had to do with rallies for classic cars.

Aletta: We discussed the suggestions and concluded that car rallies would make sense for us.

Why is that?

Peter: Well, cars and watches simply belong together a priori. Their mechanisms share certain interesting common denominators. That’s particularly true for classic automobiles, which needn’t necessarily be old timers. They clearly reflect our brand’s values.

What did the advisory board decide?

Aletta: We decided to move ahead with the idea. We delegated the tasks and began to explore various options.

Peter: It was in this context that we found Healey.

HealeyAletta: A series of telephone calls led us to a Healey club that organizes a meeting in St. Moritz every two years. But we were disappointed to learn that they already had a sponsor in the watch industry.

Peter: They were nonetheless willing to talk with us because they weren’t entirely satisfied with their existing partnership. That’s how we were able to launch a limited edition of wristwatches for the upcoming event.

Peter: We were also very pleased that we didn’t need to spend a huge sum of money. We very quickly manufactured various watches for the prize conferral.

How many did you make?

Aletta: Not so many. If I remember correctly, we made five timepieces. We also delivered polo shirts and caps. All in all, we supplied articles worth about 50,000 Swiss francs.

So your sponsorship wasn’t purely altruistic?

Peter: Naturally, we talked with the organizers about a license for a series of watches bearing the Healey logo, but tot the Swiss club’s logo because, as I said, they already had a sponsor. In that way, we came into personal contact with the Healey Family, which was much more valuable for us. We and the Healeys arrived at an initial agreement on five-year a license.

Aletta: That agreement enabled us to present our brand at various events and to show our watches in the hotels.

Do you own a Healey?

Peter: No, but Aletta and I participated in a rented car. Our participation was very successful, so we asked ourselves, “What else can we do?”

Aletta: We took part in another Healey event the following year, which coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Dutch Healey club. The festivities took place in a palace. And we were again present there with our watches.

Peter: That’s also true for the planned Healey Museum.

Another success?

Peter: Yes, absolutely. The next year brought the Healey Challenge in Le Mans. Seventy Healeys rolled up to the starting line in the context of the Le Mans Classic. It was the largest fleet of such automobiles ever assembled.

But everyone knows that other watch brands also serve as sponsors at Le Mans.

Aletta: Right. But we focused on the Healey group. A solution could be found.

Peter: We were at the Healey meeting in Heidelberg the next year. The USA and Canada came after that.

And how did it evolve?

Peter: After five genuinely successful years with Healey, we wanted to expand our sponsoring. In the course of our search, we found the Peking to Paris classic car rally, which is staged every three years…

Aletta: … and for which we served as sponsor and official timekeeper.

What benefits ensued for the Frédérique Constant watch brand?

Aletta: First, there’s the prestige, and then there’s the Vintage Racing collection, which was derived from this challenging event.

Peter: When we showed the watches in Basel, a lawyer from Chopard very pointedly called our attention to the already existent Classic Racing collection. For the sake of peaceful coexistence, we renamed our collection “Vintage Rally.”

Aletta: In the future, this name will not only cover our commitment to Healey, but also every other type of rally that we support.

The Carrera Panamericana has numbered among them since 2011.

Peter: Our Mexican distributor suggested a prestigious rally in his country. I contacted the responsible individuals and we reached an agreement.

In what form?

Aletta: We became the sponsor and we manufactured a special watch that we could sell for two years.

What will the future bring with Healey?

Peter: Our agreement comes to an end in 2012. The situation hasn’t yet been clarified. We’re holding discussions with the family, but thus far nothing essential has been decided about renewing the agreement. It’s quite possible that we won’t be allowed to sell any more Healy chronographs after 2013. The situation isn’t simple, so we we’re also supporting other rally events.

Do you want to expand your sponsorship activities?

Peter: We’re considering that option. For example, we signed an agreement with Rallye des Alpes

Aletta: … which was cancelled in 2012, although we had already made a watch for it. Now we’re hoping the Rallye des Alpes will take place in 2013.

What else can you report?

Peter: In England, we’re cooperating with the Grand Prix, a rally for classic automobiles. We’ll serve as sponsor and official timekeeper.

Aletta: In a nutshell, our focus is shifting away from Healey and toward other rallies for which we’ll release watches in limited editions.

Will you continue your involvement with the Peking to Paris rally?

Aletta: That rally will recur in 2013 and we’re currently in the negotiating phase.

Peter: I should explain here that the first time is always the most productive. We can manufacture at significantly lower costs afterwards.

Aletta: Sometimes we agree to that, but the pleasure isn’t the same.

What about antique aircraft? They would be a very good match for Alpina.

Peter: We’ve thought about it, but other brands are already strongly represented there. That’s why I believe we should concentrate on what we’ve already achieved…

Aletta: … which not only includes rallies and runabouts, but also our manufacture work, a ladies’ automatic and our classics. These five areas are really enough for us right now.

RunaboutA watch manufacture must first dream up the idea for runabouts.

Peter: That had to do with our own boat, a 1980 Boesch Cabriolet. We belong to a yacht club and we were asked if we could sponsor an event on Lake Geneva. Without our sponsorship, they said, it wouldn’t be feasible. So we agreed.

Aletta: It was essentially just a small, regional event and it wasn’t very expensive.

Peter: Our boat is too young for genuine old-timer regattas. If you want to participate in one of them, you have to own a runabout that was built before 1960, for example, a Chris-Craft, a Garwood or a Hacker. So we capriciously imagined ourselves aboard a fantasy boat – and derived our Runabout collection from that vision.

But that’s something truly elite for extremely wealthy people. Can a watch brand succeed there?

Peter: Oh, yes. Surprisingly, our Runabout watches are more successful than our Vintage Rallies.

So this would seem to have a bright future?

Aletta: Definitely. We’re also continuing our work on the Vintage Rally collection. The etuis now also include an additional stopwatch. The addition of an automobile was warmly received, but has since been copied by others. The exclusivity naturally suffers when imitators appear on the scene.

Do you dream up these attractive extras on your own or do you collaborate with a team?

Peter: Both. Sometimes our sales personnel contribute ideas that we consider and ultimately implement. We’ve also received some valuable suggestions from retail customers.

Aletta: Our advantage in all this is our office in Hong Kong, where our staff can take care of creating and manufacturing these extras onsite in the Far East. We never buy anything that already exists. Instead, we arrange to have the items produced exclusively for us.

Peter: It may be hard to believe, but those are genuinely serious projects. We have to finance the tools for them. We have to take care of the finish for the products. We strongly prioritize worth and preciousness.

How long does something like that usually take?

Peter: Sometimes creating such a box can take as just long as manufacturing the watch itself. One mustn’t underestimate the work involved.

Is there already a collector’s market, for example, for the early Healey collections?

Peter: Definitely. Some of those watches have already been sold at Antiquorum and Sotheby’s. Naturally, we’re proud of that.

Aletta: But it’s also interesting to note that we sell only ten to twelve watches during the events.

Peter: Afterwards, when the edition of 1,888 watches is on the market, we don’t necessarily sell every one of them.

In such circumstances, it would seem illogical to immediately manufacture all 1,888 pieces.

Peter: That’s right. We usually start with a batch of 1,000. Whether or not we later manufacture the remaining 888 watches depends on the order situation.

In other words, sometimes you don’t produce all of the watches in the originally planned edition.

Aletta: Yes, and that’s good for customers who have acquired the watches.

Why did you choose the number 1,888?

Peter: That’s very simple. We began with 888 pieces because the Chinese believe that 888 is a lucky number. But that number very quickly turned out to be too few watches. So we simply added a 1 and a comma at the far left!

Aletta: Alpina sometimes produces limited series that run for three years. Each is produced in an edition of 8,888 units.

You’re successful and you allow others to share in that success…

Peter: … about which we have something very new to report. We’ll support the World Heart Federation during the next three years. The contracts have already been written and we donated the first check in mid 2012, but the official announcement won’t be made until September.

Aletta: There’ll be a limited watch edition in 2013. Then we’ll start a collaborative campaign focusing on women’s cardiac insufficiencies. With that campaign, we want to heighten women’s awareness of how important it is that they stay healthy, also for the sake of their children.

You’ve also participated in “Only Watch”…

Peter: … and we’ll again donate a watch to that good cause in 2012. Incidentally, we’re also planning to make something unique for the World Heart Federation.

But those are follow-up projects.

Aletta: No, we’ve already contributed to the International Children‘s Heart Foundation, the American Heart Association and the cardiology department at the children’s hospital in Peking.

Peter: But the World Heart Federation is much more broadly positioned. It’s represented in over 100 countries. There’s a foundation in each nation. It’s a worthy cause, so we’ll provide watches that can be auctioned onsite to raise money for local projects.

Aletta: We mustn’t forget to mention the most recent Passion Award, which was conferred on the “Paint a Smile” charitable foundation. For us, it’s really very important not merely to earn money, but also to spend part of it to support worthy causes.

Peter: Our commitment to charity began with the Passion Award. It resulted from our motto, which is “Live Your Passion.” An award for impassioned commitment fits that perfectly.

Aletta: We published our intentions in the “Herald Tribune” and other newspapers. The jury, which includes Peter and me, chose the winners from among the suggested candidates.

Peter: The first winner was Peter-Frans Pauwels, who invented the TomTom navigational system.

Aletta: After the award’s conferral, someone called our attention to nonprofit and charitable organizations. He said that this was another field in which people are passionately involved. I must admit that we hadn’t thought about that at first, although far greater passions are often involved there.

Peter: Dr. Bill Novick is a wonderful example. Alongside his professional career as a physician, he’s also passionately involved in the International Children’s Heart Foundation.

international_childrens_heart_foundationAletta: In our opinion, this professor definitely deserves an award for his dedication. So we’re turning in the direction of charity and we’re very happy about that. We sometimes need suggestions and impulses because they open our eyes. That’s how we learn. After all, so many people on this planet desperately need help.

But you also donate profits from sales of your watches.

Peter: Motivated by our experiences with the Passion Award, fifty Swiss francs of the revenue earned from the sale of each Double Heartbeat watch are donated to charity. Dr. Novick received one check and a second one was donated to “Paint a Smile.”

Aletta: One day we noticed that many famous people are also active philanthropists. When we developed the Chinese market, we became aware that we urgently needed a brand ambassador. That’s not absolutely necessary here in Europe, but it’s tremendously helpful in the Far East.

Peter: We contacted Shu Qi and an agreement ensued. She’s a very well known and extremely popular actress in China and she was personally present when we gave our donation check to the “Paint a Smile” foundation.

Aletta: She joined us on a visit to young patients in the cardiology department of the children’s hospital in Peking. We’re very happy with Shu Qi and she seems equally happy with us because she recently renewed her ambassadorial contract. It suppose it’s important to Shu Qi because alongside her luxurious world, our support enables her to become involved in another, less glamorous side of human life.

Peter: It’s simply different when you can personally experience things and see how much joy you can bring to people who are less fortunate.

Would you care to sum things up?

Aletta: Collaboration helps both sides. That much is clear to me. I almost forgot to mention Nicole Faria, Miss Earth and Miss India. She also assists us as brand ambassador and accompanies our campaigns to help children with cardiac insufficiencies.

More in our book Live your passion

Live your passion

If you had three wishes for your future and for the future of Frédérique Constant, what would they be?

  1. That we continue to grow;
  2. that there always be a place for independent, family-run watch manufactures because their existence encourages creativity in general;
  3. and that all people on our planet can enjoy good health. Through our charitable activities, we see time and again that people, especially children, suffer from cardiac insufficiencies. Within our modest means, we want to continue to do all we can to combat that problem.

Passion Awards

Many elements inspire success. Goal, energy and ambition play their part. But the fundamental element in building a successful charity is Passion. Passion for your mission, Passion to do good, Passion to give back.

Twenty five years ago, we started a company that was unlikely to succeed. We founded a new fine Swiss watch brand. The market for hand-made, high-value mechanical watches was dying. We were very young. And not even Swiss, but Dutch. Two decades later, Frederique Constant is one of the main success stories within the Swiss watch industry. The company grows 25-35% annually. In 2014, with a team of over 170 people, Frederique Constant expects to produce and sell over 130,000 watches in over 100 countries.

The overriding factor for this success has been Passion. Passion that made us evolve from lovers of fine watches into global producers. This is why the company slogan has always been ‘Live your Passion’. And why we created the Frederique Constant Passion Awards. Through these awards, we personally aim to reward charitable organizations that are driven by Passion, and celebrate and support their entrepreneurial success. The Passion Awards have evolved in to an institution through which Frederique Constant gives back to society, and namely to people that are less fortunate.

Winners of the previous editions of the Frederique Constant Passion Awards are Dr. William Novick of the International Children’s Heart Foundation and Mrs. Laura Cotton of the Paint a Smile Foundation.

American_Heart_Association
After two memorable editions in Geneva, we choose another city for this very special event: New York. The prize in 2010 included a generous donation of USD 50’000,- towards the American Heart Association, as well as Frederique Constant timepieces.

The check handover was part of the exclusive, celebratory Passion Awards for Charity dinner, hosted by the company and taking place in New York City on June 29th at Cipriani Wall Street.

Supporting Heart Related Charities

We are in the process to plan strategy for 2015 and I would like to share with you our activities to support more heart related charities.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills 17.3 million people each year. Contrary to common belief, it is not just a man’s disease as half of all deaths occur in women, and children are vulnerable too. To protect the heart of women and children and help avoid these millions of needless premature deaths, Frederique Constant has been active in a number of heart related charities.

Frederique Constant focuses on heart related charities as it is in line with its signature, the Heart Beat. In 1994, Frederique Constant developed its first Heart Beat watch. The purpose of the Heart Beat development was to show the mechanical nature of these Frederique Constant watches. Heart Beat watches have an aperture at the position of the balance wheel to show that the movement of the watch is mechanical. Early in the 1990’s, automatic mechanical watches were slowly making their return to the market after the quartz crisis of the 1970-1980’s. Typically, the exterior of such mechanical watches looks similar to quartz watches except that the second hand moves continuously. On quartz watches, the second hand makes 60 steps per minute. At Frederique Constant, we considered it important to better show the difference between mechanical and quartz watches. In a mechanical watch, the balance wheel beats 28’800 times per hour. The balance wheel rotates clockwise and counter clockwise on its axes in a large ruby jewel. Its rotation is controlled by the hairspring, which constantly coils and uncoils, and can be seen through the open eye of the Heart Beat watches. The Heart Beat has become the signature of the Frederique Constant brand.

Since 2008, we are donating 50$ per Frederique Constant Double Heart Beat watch sold. Recipients have been the International Children’s Heart Foundation, Paint-a-Smile Foundation, American Heart Association, the World Heart Federation and many others.

While our partnership with the World Heart Federation will continue in 2015, we plan to step-up our charitable activities significantly in the coming years. Intention is to organize our charitable activities in connection to the Frederique Constant Charity Foundation that is currently being incorporated in Switzerland. We will group all our charitable donations (http://www.frederique-constant.com/charity/) into the new foundation and use funds to support more projects directly. We will also be able to support other foundations.

Our Hearts of Children (http://www.world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/awareness/hearts-of-children/) initiative will continue. Thanks to this initiative, World Heart Federation members received support to strengthen their action against cardiovascular disease in women and children. All around the world, they are organizing events, campaigns and fundraisers to raise awareness of the adverse ways in which cardiovascular disease affects the health of women and children.

Any thoughts are welcome.

Case Passion Awards

IMD Case

 

 

Dr. William Novick, CEO and Founder of the International Children’s Heart Foundation won the 2007 Frederique Constant Passion Awards and was offered a Business Case Study by Professor Dominique Turpin of IMD Lausanne on a strategic issue of choice.

Frederique_Constant_Passion_Awards_Winner_2007-Case_IMD-5-0733_Novick

Dr William Novick, was on his way back to Memphis, Tennessee, via London, UK after an intensive week of work in Rawalpindi (Pakistan). Over the last two weeks, Novick and his team had performed 22 heart surgery operations on children with severe congenital or acquired heart defects. Exhausted but proud to have saved the lives of these children aged from 2 to 13, Novick was now relaxing on a British Airways plane bound for New York City. The long transatlantic flight enabled him to consider various challenges ahead of him for the next six months. Before boarding his flight from Islamabad to London, he had just received confirmation of his next surgery programs in Bogota (Colombia), Santiago (Dominican Republic), Kyiv (Ukraine), and Nanjing (China) spread over the next four months. He needed to finalize his medical teams to ensure smooth operating procedures in these different countries. Over the next few months, he would also need to raise more funds to finance his medical plans and to better publicize his efforts in and outside the US.

Saving Children

Back in 1991, a 12-year-old girl with a major heart problem from Lagos, Nigeria was admitted to the pediatric cardiology department of the US hospital where Novick was training. He recalled:

This little girl totally changed my life. I suddenly realized that a lot could be done to save children from the developing world with cardiac problems and with very limited access to cardio surgery facilities in their home countries.

Later, Novick joined a private practice in Orlando, Florida and another case involving a Columbian girl with a heart defect affected him drastically. At the suggestion of two colleagues, Novick traveled to Columbia to treat the child.

Novick recalled:

While traveling to several developing countries around the globe, I came to realize a number of unsolvable issues. 1% of the world’s population is born with heart disease making it the most common birth defect. Only about a third is actually diagnosed and fewer receive life-saving surgery. About 93% of the children who need operations every year do not get them. As a result, the life expectancy of these children is short, often they don’t reach adolescence…Think about this: 4.5 billion people in the world have no access to cardiologic care! More than 2 million kids are on a waiting list in China for heart surgery alone. In India, the number is close to 1.5 million and there are probably another 2.5 million in Africa, Asia and Latin America. So overall, more than 6 million kids are on the waiting list for heart surgery in emerging, transitional and third world countries. I know that the problem is not immediately solvable but it should not stop us from acting!

Many congenital heart defects can be repaired with one surgical intervention, some require staged repairs. The United States and other developed countries throughout the world have hundreds of medical centers with trained specialists to care for children with heart disease. For children who are born in developing nations, this is not the case. In these developing countries, when a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, it is often undiagnosed until the child begins to have difficulty eating, breathing, not growing, and turning blue. This is when the nightmare begins for the child and the parents. Local doctors will tell them there is no one who can help in their country. They will be told that they can send their child to London or New York or some other developed city that has trained doctors. But it costs more money than most parents would ever see in their lifetime! Imagine the anguish of parents in underdeveloped or remote regions who have no one to work this miracle on their suffering child. Imagine having no alternative to watching your child waste away and die while a simple procedure performed by skilled surgeons could save many children. The challenge is to get skilled doctors to the children in time to save them!

The International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF)

In 1993, William Novick decided to establish the International Children’s Heart Foundation (1), a non-profit charitable organization based in Memphis, Tennessee with the mission to serve all children irrespective of their race, religion or gender and to help children with congenital heart disease in developing countries throughout the world.

With ICHF, we also strive to educate the health care professionals in the countries we visit and bring them to the US and other countries for advanced studies so that they may better serve their own children. Our primary goal is really to make ourselves obsolete in the countries that we serve.

Our first key challenge has been and continues to be the financing of the Foundation. As Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, I was lucky to become the Endowed Professor of the Paul Nemir Jr Chair of International Child Health in October 1999. A very generous donor provided my university with a $3 million endowment of which the interest pays for my salary and allows me to take all the time away I need to travel around the world and perform surgical operations. I also found a couple of people to fund my first budget. For us, the cost of a pediatric cardiac surgery is about $2,200 per child while it would cost a minimum of $50,000 in the United States. For that price, I can send a team to Nicaragua to save 20 kids. Today, my budget is around $700,000 in cash for a year but this is nothing in comparison to the $350 million that a big US hospital such as the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis would get annually… 75% of our funding comes from the US. Pakistan funds its own program. The Belarus government handles our local expenses and local Rotary Clubs in the Dominican Republic do the same.

[1] For more information, visit: http://www.BabyHeart.org

FREDERIQUE CONSTANT CORE VALUES – ACHIEVEMENT

Frederique Constant Growth 1992-2012

Frederique Constant Growth 1992-2012

At Frédérique Constant, we believe that for any company to be successful, they must aspire to, establish and abide by a strong and dynamic set of core values.

We see our core values not as rigid guidelines that limit or inhibit our workforce, but as a creed that constantly encourages our dedicated and talented employees, and reassures our customers that Frédérique Constant will never be satisfied just to be successful. We aim for more…much more…which is why the first of our clearly defined core values is “Achievement.”

How do you measure achievement?

Achievement can be measured in so many ways, and at Frédérique Constant we look at all these standards of measurement; then we look for more.

Growth is what drives our company, because through growth, we can continue to encourage and invest in the many things that are important to Frédérique Constant. Over the past quarter of a century, the company has experienced unrivaled growth in the Swiss watchmaking industry, averaging a 25 percent increase in sales each year during that time.

People at Frédérique Constant watches come to work with a winner’s mentality, knowing they are an important part of a highly successful company. Our employees’ achievements have brought recognition and rewards. Because of their success, the company has been able to invest in an ultra-modern, 32,000 square foot facility with the most attractive, dust-free and climate controlled working environment.

The exceptional growth in the sales of Frédérique Constant watches has allowed the company to invest in the newest, most technologically advanced equipment in the industry, helping to ensure and sustain growth in the years to come and job security for our employees. At Frédérique Constant, achievement has led to success, and that success has been one of our greatest achievements. We work hard to sustain this success.

With success comes responsibility

Donation 75'000 US$ to the ICHF

Donation 75’000 US$ to the ICHF

Rather than rest on our laurels and concentrating solely on sales and profits, the men and women who are the driving forces at Frédérique Constant have always believed that successful companies have a responsibility to give something back to people at home and abroad, and to the planet on which we live.

We understand that we have been fortunate, and we see it as our duty to do our utmost to help those less fortunate than ourselves. As such, Frédérique Constant has been a passionate advocate of and contributor to a wide variety of charities, and in particular those that deal with children, education and heart disease.

In China, the company joined forces with one of that country’s greatest movie stars, Miss ShuQi, to visit young patients in the cardiology department of Beijing Children’s Hospital. Frédérique Constant also sponsored the redecoration of the hospital’s wards in conjunction with the Paint a Smile Foundation.

Achievements in innovation

One of the greatest achievements to which any watch maker can aspire is the creation and production of their own calibres. In the past 11 years, Frédérique Constant have managed this achievement with not one, but eleven calibres in our Manufacture Range of watches. Our company is one of the very few Swiss watch manufacturers that can actually claim to produce and use their own calibres in-house, a fact even more amazing considering Frédérique Constant is a family-owned business, not part of some giant, faceless corporation.

Passion drives us to achieve

“Live Your Passion” is the company slogan, but it doesn’t just apply to our customers. Every watch maker who works at Frédérique Constant is truly passionate about what she or he does for a living. This is what we encourage and what we expect from each of our employees.

Frederique Constant Original Heart Beat 1994

Frederique Constant Original Heart Beat 1994

Passion is what makes the heart beat faster, so what better way to demonstrate our passion than through our most successful watch. In 1994, we developed our first Heart Beat watch.

We wanted our customers to be able to see the inner workings—the heart and soul—of our mechanical watches, so our designers placed an aperture directly over the balance wheel. This allows the proud owner of a Heart Beat watch to see the intricate movements that go on beneath the surface.

Greater achievements to come

Our goal has not just been to achieve. It is to continue to achieve, to succeed…to win for generations to come. Only by continued investment in our workforce and new technology can we be assured of future success.

By continuing to achieve, we can also continue to do those things we are most passionate about; helping others and giving back to the global community. For that is our greatest achievement of all.

LIVE YOUR PASSION!

Frederique Constant’s slogan is “Live your passion”, and we do.  Passion definitely shows through our craftsmanship, as well as our charitable donations. We create beautiful watches with precision design that are assembled by hand, allowing for a high quality timepiece each and every time. Perceived value is important, so we know that quality must be consistent in our work and is vital to our success. We are equally as passionate about charity, with $50 from each watch sold in our Double Heart Beat Collection donated to various charities. These charities include those related to the heart and children.

Cheque to ICHF

Our first cheque US$ 50’000 to International Children’s Heart Foundation

Heart Beat

Frederique Constant focuses on heart related charities as it is in line with its signature, the Heart Beat. In 1994, Frederique Constant developed its first Heart Beat watch. The purpose of the Heart Beat development was to show the mechanical nature of these Frederique Constant watches. Heart Beat watches have an aperture at the position of the balance wheel to show that the movement of the watch is mechanical. Early in the 1990’s, automatic mechanical watches were slowly making their return to the market after the quartz crisis of the 1970-1980’s. Typically, the exterior of such mechanical watches looks similar to quartz watches except that the second hand moves continuously. On quartz watches, the second hand makes 60 steps per minute. At Frederique Constant, we considered it important to better show the difference between mechanical and quartz watches. In a mechanical watch, the balance wheel beats 28’800 times per hour. The balance wheel rotates clockwise and counter clockwise on its axes in a large ruby jewel. Its rotation is controlled by the hairspring, which constantly coils and uncoils, and can be seen through the open eye of the Heart Beat watches. The Heart Beat has become the signature of the Frederique Constant brand.

Heart related charities

Somewhere out there is a child with a bad heart that could end a potentially eventful life and a future replete with possibilities. Frederique Constant donated two cheques in the value of $50’000 (2008) and $75’000 (2011) to the International Children’s Heart Foundation, a passionate organization that brings skills, technology and knowledge to diagnose and care for children with congenital heart disease to developing countries.

In 2009, we lent our support by funding Paint a Smile’s bid to decorate the Beijing Children’s Cardiology Department and put smiles on the faces of children dealing with heart-related issues.

In 2010, we awarded the American Heart Association with a $50,000 check for their charitable efforts to prevent heart disease and stroke. We stated, “Driven by Passion since we started our company, Frederique Constant is very honoured to award the American Heart Association and their passionate projects to save lives. We wish and hope that our donation will permit them to actualize their goal.”

In 2011, we also held a benefit for the Hong Kong Children’s Heart Foundation, with Chinese actress and Frederique Constant brand ambassador ShuQi helping us drum popular support for the cause of children with congenital heart problems.

With passion, we continue to provide support to heart and child related charities. In 2012, we will again donate a major cheque to a charitable cause. The next time you see someone wearing one of the beautiful Double Heart Beat Collection watches, remember that part of the cost for that watch went to help a patient.

Peter Stas
Co-Founder and CEO
Frederique Constant SA
Geneva, December 2011