It’s the trickiest part of a boat race. Finding the start line. Since the wind causes a sailboat to be in constant motion, the starting line is defined by an imaginary line drawn between two buoys. The trick is to get your yacht to an ideal spot behind the start line without crossing it. This is artfully done with a regatta timer. A way for boat captains to count down the time before the sailboat can cross the line.
In 1997, Frederique Constant developed the most specific of all complications: The Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta. A watch that comes with the unique feature to countdown the critical 10 minutes before sailing vessels can cross the starting line. A sailor can take a quick glance at this watch, and make real-time decisions while going about raising and lowering the sails.
Now, twenty-two years later, Frederique Constant brings back this celebrated timepiece. The clear display from 1997 has been unchanged, with its characteristic five dots across the top of the dial. Each dot represents one minute, changing from white to blue for the first five minutes, then turning to orange for the final 5 minutes.
Frederique Constant has brought three versions of the Yacht Regatta Countdown:
- Gold PVD model with a blue dial
- Steel model with a grey dial
- Two-tone model on a two-tone bracelet, with a guilloché pattern
The one-of-a-kind countdown may not have much if you’re not the skipper of a yacht or a regatta official, but it’s undeniably charming and visually punchy. This nautical novelty is sure to start conversations and give you the chance to show off your seagoing knowledge. These are great looking watches that hold a special place in horological history, nautical history, and Frederique Constant’s history.
Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown
With a 42mm diameter, the case is available in steel or rose gold plated steel and box-type sapphire crystal. The dial is in navy blue or grey, both with hobnail guilloche type pattern. It’s water-resistant up to 10 atmospheres/100 meters with Super-LumiNova on the hands. The strap is available in alligator leather or matching two-tone bracelet for the two-tone model, with an extra rubber strap included.
The dial shows hours and minutes, with the unique countdown regatta timer. The movement features FC-380 (ETA 7750 or Sellita equivalent, modified to include countdown function). Winding is automatic or hand-winding with a power reserve of 48 hours. Frequency is 28,800 vph with 25 jewels.
It’s great to see this legendary watch make a comeback in such a spectacular way. Come see the Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta in person and we think you’ll agree it’s a very special timepiece.