Frederique Constant’s collaboration with the Riva Historical Society has yielded more than a few admirable classically styled, limited-edition watches over the years. The Geneva watchmaker and the Milan-based association that preserves 1920s Italian Riva boats began their partnership in 2009, and almost immediately we saw how Frederique Constant very carefully referenced the beautiful wooden boats with subtle dial treatments, complementary colors, appropriate leather stitching and caseback engravings.
Frederique Constant smartly also includes a scale-model wooden Riva boat with every Runabout watch. The watch and model boat are both nicely delivered and displayed inside a polished wooden box.
For Riva fans, Frederique Constant’s annual tribute (and Riva Historical Society fundraiser), and the combination of the model and the watch are hard to resist. For watch collectors, there’s nothing extraordinarily rare here expect the chance to own a well-designed automatic dress watch with real added value made for a clear purpose.
While in the past we’ve seen moonphase models and chronographs, most Runabout limited editions are straight forward three-handers with a date display.
Such is the case this year as well. The newest Frederique Constant Automatic Runabout maintains the collection’s subtle hobnail central dial, Arabic numerals, indexes, and hands, and offers a date window at 6 o’clock with a magnifying lens. This year, a rich nautical blue replaces the silver or brown dial color we’ve seen on past examples.
The new Runabout range features two 42mm models, one cased in stainless steel and the other in a rose-gold-plated case. Both cases are polished, in part to echo the polish of the Riva boats.
Both models are powered by a Sellita-based FC-303 automatic caliber. On the clear sapphire crystal caseback you’ll find an engraving of the Riva Historical Society flag. To complement the blue dials, each model comes attached to navy leather strap with white stitching.
Both the stainless steel and rose gold-plated Runabout models are limited to 2,888 pieces, and as noted above each watch is delivered in a box with a miniature wooden replica of the Riva boat. Prices: $1,595 (steel case) and $1,895 (rose-gold-plated case)