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20th Anniversary
Frederique Constant - Aletta & Peter Stas

Frederique Constant Aletta & Peter Stas


In 1994, Aletta and Peter Stas were obsessed by one idea. In their view, there were only two kinds of watch on sale: superb but unaffordable timepieces and shoddily-made models. And so they dreamed of producing watches that were innovative, high-quality – and reasonably-priced. That led to them launching the first Frederique Constant watch: the Heart Beat, soon to become the firm’s signature piece. In 2004, they moved to Geneva and joined the select circle of Manufactures, presenting the first Frederique Constant to be fully designed and assembled in-house. Naturally, this took the brand upmarket, but the couple’s conviction remained unchanged: the pleasure of luxury should be made more widely available.

Frederique Constant also became a group, acquiring the highly sports-oriented firm Alpina in 2002, and creating Ateliers de Monaco in 2009.

Not content with developing various ‘Manufacture’ calibers, including the least expensive perpetual calendar on the market, Frederique Constant also put the cat among the establishment pigeons in a big way in 2015 when it unveiled its first smart watch. The Horological Smartwatch featured a conventional analog dial powered by an electronic module, in a combination of Swiss watchmaking excellence and avant-garde technology.

Aletta & Peter Stas

Aletta & Peter Stas © Frederique Constant

This successful union was taken one step further at Baselworld 2018 with the release of the Hybrid Manufacture, a next-generation smartwatch, this time bringing together a genuine automatic calibre, a high-tech module, and a calibre analysis system.

Within the space of three decades, Aletta and Peter Stas’ gamble has paid off. Frederique Constant is now part of the scenery. The Manufacture recently opened a new facility at Plan-les-Ouates: an increase in space from 3,200 sqm to 6,200 sqm, including a museum.

Not only have this pair of savvy entrepreneurs made luxury available to all, they’ve also combined mechanical watchmaking with connected technology. Among those to have found this success story compelling is Japanese giant Citizen – so much so that it bought out the Frederique Constant group in 2016.

*Written by Hervé Borne

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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Frédérique Constant has made a successful business out of offering affordable luxury, experiencing growth rates well above the industry average. The owners have a clear mission to make fine watchmaking available to the largest possible audience of watch enthusiasts at sensible prices.

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