rederique Constant and The Avener really are made for each other. On the one side stands the Highlife collection. Since its return centre stage in 2020, it has won over a younger pop-urban generation that beats to the rhythm of precision Swiss watchmaking with perfect finishings available at affordable prices. This modern timepiece features an interchangeable integrated strap and a subtle, elegant style encapsulated in a 39-millimetre steel case.
On the other side is The Avener. With more than one million albums sold since his first release, the artist has established himself in record time on the Electro scene. Aged just 36, The Avener has already spent 20 years in the business, the inspiration for his eclectic output ranging from the depths of the blues to modern House music. He’s a landmark musician and producer – and the epitome of the Highlife generation.
Since the announcement of their partnership in June 2022, Frederique Constant and the French musician and producer have been working on future hits together, and two have been released to celebrate this friendship between watchmaking and music: a pair of limited-edition pieces housed in a 39-millimetre steel case designed by the artist, with 432 of each available.
That number is no accident: 432Hz is widely held to be the perfect frequency, delivering all the calm of absolute harmony. Their beating heart is the automatic FC-303 calibre. Visible through the caseback thanks to a glare proof sapphire crystal, the movement boasts a 38-hour power reserve. On the dial side, the rhythm of passing time is marked out by three hands and a date window, above which sits the a tempo inscription. In musical notation, this expression dear to The Avener indicates a return (after a faster or slower section) to the normal tempo, usually referred to by DJs playing their hits in terms of BPM (Beats Per Minute).
Each dial is decorated with a motif echoing the sound waves of those hits as depicted on studio monitors. On the first piece, they run across the Highlife dial in blue on a black background. The shade of blue in question has particular significance for The Avener: it was used on the cover of his first album, a global success boosted by the single Fade Out Lines. It’s as if the timepiece has captured a fragment of his music, depicting a few bars of the score. The dial combines all the rhythm of the producer/musician – and all the precision of Swiss engineering.
The second timepiece is evocative of The Avener’s nighttime sets, with a black strap, black DLC case, black dial, luminous black coating, and a date window with a black background. Only the hands and hour markers stand out to mark the time. The sound wave pattern here is concentric, radiating out from the centre in a nod to the sunburst finish much beloved of the Geneva-based manufacture, here symbolically repurposed by The Avener in the form of an electro finish from which only the frequency display emerges in glossy relief.
Each timepiece comes with two tool-free interchangeable straps, the first with a choice of steel or black rubber, the second with the option of rubber or nubuck, both in black.
The gift box is an original piece especially designed for these limited editions. It takes the form of a replica flight case resembling those used by musicians when touring. With an abundance of reinforcements, the flight case is an embodiment of concerts and the backstage atmosphere, and hints at valuable gear stored within. It’s the perfect setting for an artist’s Highlife, in the centre of a black interior between the additional strap and the limited edition plate.
Highlife Automatic The Avener
- RRP 1’995€
- Limited to 432 pieces
- Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- FC-303 caliber, automatic
- Diamond collimaçon decoration
- 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h, 26 jewels
- Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-part case
- Diameter of 39mm
- Height 10.34 mm
- Anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
- Water-resistant up to 10 ATM/100m/330ft
- See-through screwed case back
- Black dial with matt finishing and blue sonic waves pattern printed in the centre
- Applied stainless steel indexes filled with black luminous treatment
- Hand-polished stainless steel hour and minute hands filled with black luminous treatment
- Hand-polished stainless steel second hand
- Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-link bracelet
- Folding buckle with push buttons
- Including an additional black rubber strap with pin buckle