Frédérique Constant was among the pioneers in the “hybrid” watch game with the introduction of the Horological Smartwatch in 2015. The idea behind it was simple: rather than customers choosing between a traditional mechanical watch and a smart watch, they could have the best (not quite) of both worlds.
The underlying concern, in reality, was that the emerging smartwatch industry would blow mechanical watches out of the water. So some traditional watch brands made a simple call: if you can’t beat them, join them.
- Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture 3.0
Admittedly the smart functionality on such watches was limited compared to purely smart orientated devices. But it was enough to keep customers straying too far away from the traditional roots of Swiss watchmaking.
Frédérique Constant was an early entrant in the space. The innovative brand then took it one step further with the release of the Horological Smartwatch 2.0 about two years ago. A notable added value was that, unlike the leading smartwatches on offer, it promised an impressive battery life of up to two and a half years before needing replacement.
This year, the Swiss watchmaker has introduced version 3.0 of its hybrid watch, and it has a new gimmick to match the name.
Claimed to be another “world first” for the industry, the brand has combined three technologies, hence the 3.0. Those technologies are: manufacture, smart watch functions, and caliber analytics.
- Hybrid Manufacture FC-750 caliber
Let’s take a look as the manufacture aspect first. It refers to the Hybrid Manufacture FC-750 caliber, a patented in-house movement with 42 hour power reserve and time and date functions.
Importantly, the movement has an electronic module – also developed in-house - that enables the watch’s smart functionality. It is connected to the so-called Hybrid App via the pusher button on the left side of the case, which brings us to the second feature.
Using Bluetooth, Smart Watch Functions are displayed on the counter at 12 o’clock as well as in the app. Smart features include: activity tracking, sleep monitoring, analytics (more on that later), world timer, coaching, and adjustments to the pusher settings. Not a lot of features, but more than any of us would probably use on a daily basis.
Last but not least is the third feature of the new watch: Caliber Analytics. Through the use of an algorithm, the health of the movement can be tracked by measuring its Rate, Amplitude and Beat error. The results are communicated to the Hybrid App and are displayed in graphs over time.
- Hybrid Manufacture 3.0, reference 750MCN4H6 in polished stainless steel
Those mechanically inclined will like this feature, which allows users to measure the performance of their watch much like computers in modern cars do. As ever, green means good, and red means it’s time to have the watch serviced – a “check engine” light, if you will.
With analytics being all the rage these days, it was a matter of time before we started to see something like this on a commercial scale in watchmaking. Whether or not this is a game changer in the world of hybrid watches remains to be seen. As it stands how, it’s a nice option to have, at least to start a conversation with a fellow watch or tech enthusiast.
The Horological Smartwatch 3.0 is packaged in a 42 mm case and is available in 4 different references, including case options of stainless steel in 2 or 3-part construction, as well as a rose gold plated option.
Each comes in a special box that offers a removable charger for the electronic smartwatch functionality (the module has a battery life of 7 days) and a more traditional winder rotating box to power the mainspring in the mechanical caliber.