Frederique Constant announces new Vintage Rally Collection Celebrating the 'art de vivre' of Gentlemen Drivers
For over 15 years, connoisseurs of beautiful engineering have honored the union of automobiles and watchmaking with the limited Vintage Rally series, created by Frederique Constant in tribute to the legendary Austin-Healey. Contributing to this legacy are three new retro-inspired models that are every bit as sleek as they are stylish.
It has become something of a ritual that fans of the Geneva-based Maison have come to expect like clockwork; this year, Frederique Constant is offering a new addition to the Vintage Rally collection, the only one it has ever designed for car collectors.
The similarities with watchmaking include: an appreciation of beautiful engineering, precision, timeless design, the combination of leather and metal, comfort, and above all, a certain 'art de vivre'. The Vintage Rally by Frederique Constant represents all that... and plenty more.
The collection is based on a close collaboration with Austin-Healey, the two brands having joined forces back in 2004. Counting 17 years of fellowship geared around sport and watchmaking, theirs is one of the most enduring associations in the industry, reflective of the unbreakable bond the two maisons share in drawing on tradition to create thoroughly modern designs, especially for those who truly appreciate craftsmanship and elegance.
Good company on the road
The Vintage Rally collection has seen many wonderful breakaways in its time and 2021 is no exception. Authenticated by the original "Healey" logo marked on the dial, the new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds is in fittingly short supply, with only 888 pieces available.
The first of three new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds timepieces showcases an opposite aesthetic to the traditional ‘British racing green’ colorway by way of an all-grey color palette. Modern and understated, the watch features a full spectrum of grey shades on the dial, strap, its steel case, index hour markers and hands. Every aspect of its exterior takes on a reflection of its own, as you’ll discover on making your own way along winding roads on a sunny day.
The timepiece presents an off-center small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. Its very traditional complication has only surfaced once in almost 20 years. It is counterbalanced at 3 o’clock by a date window. Running around the dial is the flange complete with 60 minute scale, all set within a 40 mm diameter case, a favorite with collectors on account of its timeless quality.
The case backs of the new models have been engraved with a Healey being driven at full throttle; the famous Healey 100S NOJ393 was purchased by a collector for just over $200 USD in 1969 and sold for over $1 million USD in December 2011. Each piece of the 888 comes in a collector’s gift set, complete with miniature replica of the NOJ393. Only the grey model is available in the United States and will retail for $1,595.
The extra kilometer...
In addition to the grey version of the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds timepiece, Frederique Constant is proud to unveil two international models in green and navy colorways.
Extending across the whole dial, this particular shade of British racing green alludes to the legendary color of the Austin-Healey company. A study in contrast and a return to the roots of one of the most iconic rally car colors, 'British racing green' has long been associated with the vintage Austin Healeys that are especially desirable among collectors now.
Finally, the last version, with a navy dial and a rose gold-plated case, as are the hour markers, hands and crown. This sunny shade of gold sets off the midnight blue dial, picked up on the leather strap.
Day and night, the classic and classy elegance of the latest Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds shines through. Both versions are available for special order in the United States.