When I was just a little girl, my mother gave me my first watch for my birthday. I was perhaps 10 years old. My mother was not in the habit of making quick decisions, particularly when it came to investing in something to mark a special occasion. It was a classic design – round 20mm dial in a gold case, clear lettering perhaps larger than the norm for that size dial, on a black leather strap. My name was engraved on the case back. Beyond the early training that formed the basis for my dance passion and eventual part-time career, I believe the evening ritual of winding this manual beauty was the first habit I chose to learn. And I still have the watch.
Looking through my collection, I have always favoured an elegant style so perhaps it was a good thing that the black/gold option wasn’t among the six new Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic timepieces introduced via Academy Award winner, philanthropist and global charity brand ambassador Gwyneth Paltrow. This time I selected the navy dial and alligator strap combination with rose-gold plated case. Alternative dial-and-strap colour combinations are available in shiny grey, light blue and burgundy. These four models are powered by the FC-310 automatic movement while two more models featuring the date at 3 o’clock are powered by the FC-303 automatic movement.
Of all the watch experts I’ve interviewed during the past decade and more, not one has said they wear one to keep track of time. The mobile phone is generally accepted to serve that purpose, the exception being the jetsetter who enjoys a watch with a world-time complication to keep track of the availability of loved ones or staff members while travelling.
For a long while, I’ve been one of those relying on my phone as a timekeeper but since wearing the Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic the opposite is true. I find myself glancing at it regularly (far more than my phone). The romance of the “heart beat”– the movement revealed at 12 o’ clock by a double heart rose-gold signature opening on the sunray dial – is an endless fascination and the shimmer of the dial decoration constantly catches my eye. Turn the watch over and you can admire the movement and more of the intricate inner workings through the open case back. The watch bears the Swiss Made mark as a result of it being fully produced (from design to final assembly and quality control) at the manufacture in Geneva.
Being an automatic movement, as long as the watch is more on the wrist than off, this beauty maintains a power reserve of about 40 hours. The fact that for each Ladies Automatic watch sold, $50 is donated to DonorsChoose.org, Paltrow’s charity of choice, is added value. The charity supports education and sports for underprivileged children, tying in with Frederique Constant’s commitment to doing good in the lives of others.
DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help students in need, whether it is through books, school supplies or funding field trips. ‘I am very happy to continue my partnership with Frederique Constant and excited to unveil my latest charity campaign for the brand,’ said Paltrow. ‘What’s great about Frederique Constant is their combination of classic style and strong values that I really agree with, but also they have a beautiful commitment to sharing their success by giving back. We are very well aligned in our passion for charity.’
Words by Debbie Hathway