|From left: Slim Line, Amour, Maxime|
Swiss luxury watch brand Frederique Constant introduced three new timepieces for women and men to the U.S. market at the recently concluded Centurion 2011 luxury jewelry show in Tucson, Ariz.
Recognizing the newfound financial power of women in China, the Geneva-based company introduced the Amour by Shu Qi. The watch is designed by Shu Qi, an extremely popular Chinese actress. “She’s considered the Angelina Jolie of Asia,” said Ralph Simons, company president.
The watch comes in two models: white gold with white leather strap and the one Simons showed me, with a rose gold finished with brown satin strap. The mother-of-pearl dial and embossed heart center is accented with spot diamond hour markers except the Roman Numeral at the 6 o’clock position. The word Armour across the top of the dial is paved with round-cut diamonds with the letter “O” replaced by the heart-shaped skeleton tourbillon window. The rose gold around the dial is also covered in round-cut diamonds.
Obviously, the watch is made for the Chinese market, but Simons explained that it will be available at all Frederique Constant outlets throughout the world for the Chinese tourist trade. It will retail for $4,250.
The company’s popular Maxime watch has been updated with a silicon escape wheel. “It’s expensive but easy to produce,” Simons explained. “It has very low tolerance. It’s very light and very smooth. It doesn’t need lubrication and requires less energy to move.”
The technology isn’t new, Simons said, but is has been used primarily for more expensive watches than the this one, which retails for $2,850.
One of the trends coming out of the recent watch shows in Geneva is slimmer timepieces and Frederique Constant’s new Slim Line certainly rides this wave. However, Simons notes that the company has been producing slim watches for the past 20 years. Its new Slim Line watch is comes in gold for $5,995, but the company is also making a Slim Line combining gold and titanium that retails for $2,995.
“It looks very much like a gold piece but saves gold weight and money,” Simons said. “It’s a very classical watch with an unexpected combination.”