Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Highlife COSC

Now, I suspect that I am a little contrarian. I sort of feel that whether or not you appreciate a watch should not be based on how much it cost, who the "friend of the brand" is, or how many tears were shed by an Arcadian Nymph to varnish the dial. If you like it, you like it.

Now in a previous post, I admit that I was crushing on one of the latest offerings from Frederique Constant - their Highlife Perpetual Calendar. And as my Grandfather would have said -

"It's a very fine watch".

But gentle reader, while it is a beautiful piece, I personally am even more drawn to the "basic" model, the Highlife Automatic COSC -

Courtesy of Frederique Constant

Courtesy of Frederique Constant

Courtesy of Frederique Constant

I will be the first to admit, I have probably been writing about watches for too long. Not unlike the baker, the last thing I want when I close the bakery and go home at night is a donut. So it has to speak to me on some level beyond the Brooklyn based, tweed wearing, "Amish Outlaw" (that's the affected beard style, not the music group) sporting posse telling me that I should like it because they cashed a check. Sorry, but we're keeping it real. I don't need some jumped up writer/salesman to tell me what to put on my wrist.

I am also, for better or worse, not a fan of artifice -(clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others.  "the style is not free from the artifices of the period")

And I think that is why this new edition, with hours, minutes, seconds and date speaks to me. I have no doubt that the clever boys and girls who get paid to pour digital treacle in an unending digital stream (providing the payment has been received) will refer to this as a "value proposition". By the way, can we agree that the term value proposition needs to be banned from the vernacular? It is the ultimate back-handed compliment. In essence, it is saying that if you can't afford something really good, then this is a good compromise. Put it in the bin with timepiece, novelty and brand DNA.

If it is as advertised? This is a great watch for a lot of reasons, and if you ask me they aren't pegged to the price tag.

The case is of stainless steel and is available in (I believe) 3 different variants - "standard", gold plated bezel, and fully gold plated case. Available standard with either a bracelet or a leather strap, with an extra rubber strap that (if the spec sheet is correct) that comes at no extra cost.

A manufacture, COSC movement.

And let's talk about those straps and bracelets - they appear to be changeable without the use of a tool. A part of what drives the purchases of more and more watches is often the desire for a "new" look. Well, it would seem that on that front, FC has you covered.

Courtesy of Frederique Constant

Courtesy of Frederique Constant

Starting at 1’795€

Personally, I dig it. And for those of you who aren't saying "baaaahhhhh" and following the rest of the flock, it might be in your wheelhouse too.

Here are the pertinents -


Hours, minutes, seconds, date


FC-303 caliber, automatic, certified by the COSC 26 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28'800 alt/h


Polished stainless steel 3-parts case (also available with gold plated case and gold plated bezel).
Diameter of 41mm
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides. See-through case back
Water-resistant up to 5 ATM


Globe decoration and applied indexes with luminous treatment
Date window 
at 3 o’clock
Hand-polished hands with luminous treatment


Stainless steel bracelet (also available with alternating gold plated links) or leather strap.\
One extra rubber strap also comes with the watch

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