The Frederique Constant Luxury Watch Company is currently one of the largest Swiss timepiece manufactures in the country. This luxury watch company has its roots back 4 generations to the beginning with producing dials for clocks for Swiss manufactures in 1904 when it was founded by Frederique Schreiner and Constant Stas.
The current Frederique Constant was founded and current operated by a 4th generation direct relative of Constant Stas. This is a separate business venture from the original company with a different core business targeted. It was the idea and investment by Dutchman Peter Stas and soon to be wife Aletta Bax. They both devoted time after their full time jobs to invest research and develop a new line of luxury watches.
The first series was introduced in 1994. This was the Heartbeat which took its name because of the open viewing of the balance wheel on the face of the dial for wearers of the watch to see the balance in operation as the watch worked. This became a trendsetter of the decade of wristwatches but Stas did not patent it and was soon copied by many other manufactures including Zenith.
This selling of this first series also set the Frederique Constant business on a new path were all or most of the interior movements of a watch along with the cases and assembly of the watches were created and completed by their staff. The first heartbeat in-house watch was completed and placed on sale in 2004. With their design and construction of the balance wheel in the front of the watch so it could be visible on the face of the watch and it being in front of the calibre, a patent was finally awarded to them in 2004. The Heartbeat Manufacturing process then went on to win the convented award of Watch of the Year from Horloges magazine in 2005 for watches 3,000 Euros and up.
The silicon escape wheel was developed by Frederique Constant in 2007 which was an improved version first created by Paket Philippe in 2005. This along with the new tourbillion that could obtain an amplitude of 300 degrees, the level of precision of the watches movement was noticeable. When it was joined with the FC-7xx calibre in 2009, their movements became extremely popular and were used by many other Swiss watch manufactures and considered a second generation calibre from Frederique Constant.
One of the more unique aspects of the Frederique Constant series of watches is despite of its reputation as a luxury watch, not every one of their watch series that are for sales are out of touch for the average or middleclass consumer.
The rise of this Swiss manufacturing watch company did surprise most in the industry. Even with the marketplace already filled with many different and competing luxury watch makers, this company grew by up to 50% in its first 15 years. It goes to show the world, that a good idea well executed at the right time does make good business sense. It is even better when a passion for the product is the foundation for the company like the Frederique Constant Swiss Watch Making Company has.