Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey6:45 pm
What makes the Frederique Constant Vintage Rally collection so special? Well, for starters it’s designed for those whose passions rise every time they hear the roar of a finely tuned engine. Frederique Constant has been associated with various car rallies, especially with vintage motor sports the world over, for many years, and has been an especially faithful and long standing partner of the famous Austin Healey car brand.
For a little background about the collection, it was created in particular to celebrate the fabled Ultimate Driving Adventure: Peking to Paris, that began in 1907. The Peking to Paris rally is still raced today, occurring every few years, covering over 7,500 miles and more than 30 days of driving. As beautifully constructed as the Healey NOJ car itself, the functionality of the Vintage Rally watches is every classic car rally enthusiast’s dream. And here we will be discussing in detail, the two most prominent watches of the collection – the Healey Automatic and the Healey Chronograph.
1. Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic | Automatic GMT
There are two variations of this watch, the Healey Automatic and the Healey GMT; both feature index markers on the dial and are cased in 40mm bodies (the perfect size for a formal watch) wherein the bezel is also part of the case. They run on the caliber FC-303 automatic movement. The dial is certainly the star of the show here. Visually, the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic has a classic silver round dial with an elegant guilloché pattern displayed prominently, giving the watch that instantly appealing, quality appearance. While a minimal dial enhances the legibility, a convex sapphire crystal not only provides rigorous protection to the watch but also offers greater clarity of time reading. The sword-shaped hands can be considered the watchmaker’s signature. An interesting feature that the brand has incorporated in the crococalf strap (of both variants) is the use of double bars, essentially ensuring that it remains properly fastened. These incredible timepieces are water resistant to 50-meters in order to prevent them from getting damaged through water exposure. The iconic Healey Automatic watches offer unrivalled accuracy and reliability and are strictly limited editions of 1888 pieces in each version, all of which are individually numbered.
The gold plated GMT version is one of our absolute favourites. It covers all the essential features that you can expect of a watch belonging to the modern era, yet retains a classic charm. The transparent case back, protected by sapphire crystal, allows you to see the incredible finishing of the movement, with the exceptionally decorated rotor.
2. Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph
The next set of Healey watches worth talking in-depth about, are the Healey Chronographs. The debut of the Vintage Rally Healey Chronograph came about to celebrate the revival of the NOJ 393 Healey Racing Car, with which it shares numerous features, and offers the same unrivalled accuracy and reliability as the car itself. This watch gets a lot of things right. To begin with, it runs on the robust calibre FC-392 automatic movement. Classically styled, it comes finished with a 43 mm stainless steel case that features an exquisitely finished guilloché decorated dial. Even though the dimension sounds rather large, the watch does not appear oversized on the wrist, a proof of it’s a well-executed design. There are different dial options available within the collection – the more elegant version features rose gold plated dauphine hands and applied indexes (with a 46 hour power reserve), while the sporty variant features a silver dial with green accents, Arabic indexes and a brown crococalf strap (with a 48 hour power reserve). Both versions are water resistant to 10 ATM.
The Healey Chronograph comes with a solid caseback with an NOJ-393 car engraved on it and a round opening that reveals the balance wheel. Again, a small but thoughtful detail that lends immense character to the timepiece. The innovation, engineering and the artistic impression of this particular timepiece is in fact so impressive that even the most cynical watch enthusiasts have been won over by it.
Underlying the main dial are three large circular sub-dials that offer increased functionality – 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours. The sub-dial above the 6 o’clock position also features the date window. Both versions are limited to just 1888 pieces.
A special presentation box
Another highlight to note is that each of these models is delivered in an exclusively designed gift box: a substantial outer box with a plaque inside that commemorates the Peking to Paris rally. Inside, you’ll also find a wonderful miniature model of the Healey NOJ 393 car that inspired a whole new generation of motor racing fanatics when it was launched back in the 1950’s. A fine presentation box for sure.
Our final word? Frederique Constant is here to offer luxury watch buyers something phenomenally classic, at an accessible price point, without compromising any aspect of quality and functionality.
Have some classic motorsport watches you want us to talk about? Tell us in the comments section below!