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Frederique Constant  - Runabout Automatic

Frederique Constant Runabout Automatic

In 2022, Frederique Constant sets sail for a prestigious celebration of Italy and its legendary runabout yachts

Frederique Constant’s Runabout collection was first launched in 2009, in an ode to the legendary wooden boats built in Italy on the shores of Lake Iseo. This year, two new limited editions have been added to the collection for an elegant, sporty take on the design inspired by the runabout yachts, available in 888 rose gold-plated and stainless steel units. Partners since 2013, Frederique Constant and the RHS (Riva Historical Society) will be running the Riva Days 2022 from July 7th to 11th, an international event that will see owners of these iconic boats flock to the Société Nautique de Genève, in Geneva, Switzerland. 

In 1988, up-and-coming independent family-run brand Frederique Constant was established in Geneva, the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry. At the same time, the RHS (Riva Historical Society) was set up in Italy in a bid to celebrate the dolce vita by safeguarding one of its most famous boats. This legendary yacht, initially hand-crafted entirely from wood, embodied the inimitable, easy-going elegance of 1960s Italy. 

A company devoted to measuring time, and an association dedicated to the art of drifting through the waves, both united in their vision of upholding workmanship, beauty, and attention to detail, destined to be carried on the tides of time for centuries on end as custodians of the same timeless elegance and burning passion. A transalpine bond was forged between Lake Geneva in Switzerland and Italy’s Lake Iseo, uniting the two entities since 2013 in a relationship that has buoyed Frederique Constant’s Runabout collection ever since: a line first launched in 2009 in tribute to the famous runabout boats. 

Heritage in motion

This year, Frederique Constant is releasing two new limited editions of its Runabout Automatic timepiece in 888 units. This resolutely contemporary design features a 42 mm-diameter dial, and is suitable for both men and women seeking masterful precision in time-keeping. 

Runabout Automatic

Runabout Automatic © Frederique Constant

The watch face epitomises the finest of Geneva watchmaking tradition, spliced through with an assertively modern feel. The Runabout Automatic offers a fresh take on a dial embellished with a delicate Clous de Paris guilloché pattern. Guilloché designs were originally intended to be both decorative and practical, lending texture to overly smooth surfaces as well as boosting readability, with each micro groove serving to temper glare and reflections from direct light. The Runabout Automatic’s central guilloché pattern set over a silver or black background allows it to capture each ray of light, imbuing the watch face with a shifting sense of texture. 

Of its time

Its lines and contours, meanwhile, reflect Frederique Constant’s modern aesthetic. The Runabout collection stands out with its large even-number Arabic numeral indices complete with five-minute markers on the inner-bezel. Each hour index is applied, lending the dial depth while improving readability. To the same end, the sword-style hour and minute hands are shot through with luminous matter to enable the wearer to continue sailing long after the summer sun has dipped below the horizon. The hands match the chosen casing, either rose gold-plated or stainless steel, with the latter featuring a turquoise blue seconds hand in a nod to the Runabout collection’s sea-inspired feel — a shade reiterated in the topstitching on the stainless steel version’s blue-grey leather strap.

The rose gold-plated version, meanwhile, is fitted with a navy blue strap embellished with off-white topstitching. Both feature FC-303 calibre, giving these two new twists on the Runabout Automatic 38 hours of power reserve. Its movement is visible for all to admire thanks to a sapphire background that offers up a glimpse of the watch’s intimate workings, engraved with the RHS (Riva Historical Society) logo. Each piece will be presented in a special case containing a miniature replica of one of these iconic wooden yachts moored alongside the watch.

Runabout Automatic

Runabout Automatic © Frederique Constant

Riva Days 2022

This July 7th to 11th, Frederique Constant and the RHS (Riva Historical Society) will be paying tribute to these legendary boats during the Riva Days 2022, an international event due to take place at Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genève (Geneva). All owners of runabout boats from around the world are cordially invited to attend this hotly anticipated celebration, in an opportunity to come together around a shared passion and moor their boats in the SNG harbour. 

The prestigious Société Nautique de Genève club was set up in 1872 and turns 150 this year. It is world-renowned for its sailboat and motorboat activities. In 2003 and 2007, the Alinghi and SNG teams scooped the America’s Cup, among other accolades. Home to over 4,000 members and a harbour equipped with 1,000 berths, this is Switzerland’s biggest club. On July 7th, attendees are invited to step through the doors of the Manufacture Frederique Constant and its museum to open the festivities. A number of activities and outings on Lake Geneva will run from Friday to Sunday, including Frederique Constant’s breath-taking Elegance Contest on Saturday July 9th from 4:00pm to 4:30pm (CET), during which all the boats will parade past the Société Nautique de Genève under the trained eye of expert judges as well as admirative enthusiasts. The event will be followed by a gala dinner at the Société Nautique de Genève.

Finally, 2022 also happens to mark one hundred years since the birth of a man who forever changed the face of the recreational boating industry. Carlo Riva, who was born on February 24th 1922 in Sarnico, on the shores of Lake Iseo, and passed away on April 10th 2017. This ingenious motorboat designer revolutionised the sector with his now-legendary luxurious yachts. The Riva Days 2022 event will therefore serve as an opportunity for Frederique Constant and the RHS (Riva Historical Society) to pay tribute to this visionary and his unwavering passion.


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Frederique 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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