Peter Stas, a young and energetic head of the Swiss watch brand Frederique Constant, arrived in Dubai specially to present his new collection in the Damas Les Exclusive brand boutique, located in the largest shopping center in the region, Dubai Mall
We, as curious people, immediately tried to “find ten differences” that characterize the Frederique Constant watches and separate them from other works of watchmaking, released today under the stamp “Swiss Made”. Peter Stas himself helped us in our research, kindly agreeing to answer our many questions.
Peter, the slogan of your company is: “Live your passion.” How did your passion for watches begin?
Frederique Constant is associated with high-quality Swiss watches, a true story of passion. In fact, it all started with my wife Aletta, in the 1980s, when we, in our free time, after a long working day, drew our first hours. The real adventure began in 1991, when we received our first order for the manufacture of 350 watch products. So Frederique Constant was born. From that moment on, we invested all our energy and passion in the development of our company. Defending our status as an independent family watch manufacturer, we continue to participate in all stages of watch production, from initial development to final assembly and quality control. That is probably why the Frederique Constant brand is associated with passion, creativity, quality care, innovation and exceptional quality. The slogan of the company “Live your passion” reflects the spirit of our watchmakers, suppliers and customers. Initially, our slogan was the phrase "Live life with passion," but in 2001 we decided to change it to a more specific formula, "Live your passion." Her and live.
Then, what do you mean by the word "passion"?
Passion for us means: a passion for creating beautiful watch designs, a passion for the latest technologies for developing effective watch calibres, a passion for the wise use of components and processes for creating watches at reasonable prices, a passion for entrepreneurship and business innovation that challenges common truths, and finally , passion for the success of our company.
Peter, tell me, please, what is the fundamental difference between Frederique Constant watches and other Swiss precision watch movements?
Our watches are characterized by high quality, variability and accuracy in design and production. Their perceived value - thanks to the quality of development, materials and production - is the main component of our success. Each of our watches is hand-assembled and fully controlled by the latest equipment to ensure maximum quality. To ensure creativity and exceptional quality, we constantly innovate. Our factory at Plan-les-Ouates in Geneva is a state-of-the-art enterprise that provides the best creative environment for our passionate watchmakers.
Your company name is consonant with the famous watch brand Vacheron Constantin. Has this ever bothered you?
You know, I’m often asked this question. Yes, there are some similarities in the names, but nothing can be done about it. The name Frederique Constant is derived from the names of our great-grandfathers - Frederic Schreiner (Frederique Schreiner) and Constant Stas (Constant Stas). By the way, these names are also our second names with my wife: Aletta Francoise Frederik Stas-Bax (Aletta Francoise Frederique Stas-Bax) and Peter Constant Stas (Peter Constant Stas).
In both our families it was a tradition to name children in honor of their ancestors. In 1904, Constant Stas founded his company Lithography. This technology was mainly used for the production of offset printing forms. However, it was also used to manufacture watch dials at the growing Friesche Klokken. Finally, the coat of arms of Frederique Constant is based on the family coat of arms of Stas.
Peter, tell me which Frederique Constant watch model are you particularly proud of?
Frederique Constant watches are more than luxury watches. Behind each model is a deep creative process that includes inspired development, effective development and an unprecedented attention to detail. We suggest you study the sophisticated engraving and inscriptions on our dials. We are also known for our graceful rounded cases, the manufacture of which requires many hours of manual polishing. Hit Frederique Constant is a Heart Beat model that was first released in 1994.
The purpose of the Heart Beat development was to show the mechanical nature of our watches. In the Heart Beat watch, next to the balance, there is an aperture through which it can be seen that the watch mechanism is mechanical. The Heart Beat has become a cult model for the Frederique Constant brand, and we have much to be proud of. Since 2001, we have developed, manufactured and marketed four new Frederique Constant Manufacture calibers. Following the introduction of the Heart Beat Manufacture, Frederique Constant became a member of a small and exclusive group of Swiss watch manufacturers making their own calibers. Manufacture caliber is a real achievement of watchmaking.
We spoke with you about affordable luxury. What is the average cost of your watch?
Indeed, Frederique Constant watches are sold in the Accessible Luxury price range. In the main collections, the prices for these high-quality Swiss watches range from 500 to 2500 euros. Why? From the very beginning, my wife and I decided to create classic Swiss watches at attractive prices. We were only a little over 30, we had just married, and we had no assets. We did not complain about our salaries, but we could not afford hours for 15,000 francs. Nevertheless, we really wanted to wear beautiful and high-quality Swiss watches. Therefore, we ourselves were our target consumers. It is important to note that Frederique Constant now has the same concept and positioning.
What are your plans for the future and how successful do you consider your cooperation with Damas in the UAE?
Since the founding of Frederique Constant in 1988, our passion has remained unchanged. We believe that this is the basis for significant growth in the future. In fact, over the past 15 years, our company has been growing at 25-50% per year. In 2008, we released and sold over 95,000 watches in the affordable luxury segment at more than 2,000 points of sale in 65 countries.
I consider our cooperation with such a well-known and well-structured company as Damas to be very fruitful. In the Emirates, despite the abundance of diverse brands, each product finds its buyer. There is a very high concentration of tourists from all over the world, therefore, it seems to me that even during the global financial crisis, the Frederique Constant watch will certainly attract attention. In addition, the crisis provides us with excellent opportunities, both for the internal development of the company, and for strengthening its position in the market. Our new collections are already available at Damas Les Exclusive boutiques. So, if you are thinking about purchasing a New Year or Christmas gift to a loved one, be sure to look there.
Thanks for the conversation, Peter. Good luck and see you soon.