Following up on the launch of a Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown timepiece in 2019, Frederique Constant has added a new variation for 2020.
Highlighted by an anthracite gray Clous de Paris guilloché dial, the regatta countdown complication uses 5 circular apertures — that can change between gray, white, and orange — to indicate the 10-minutes before the start of a yacht race.
First, you push the button at 1 o’clock, and after 1-minute the first dot individually turns from gray to white, then each subsequent circular indication (representing 1-minute) begins to change, and once the first 5-minutes is up (and all the dots are white). Then the second set of colored dots automatically begins counting down and changing from white to orange every minute. After 5-minutes the process is finished and the race begins.
The reason for such countdown is because yachts cannot idle at the start line like with cars, for example. And so they need to approach the start line as close as they can without crossing before the starting buzzer, or else risk a time penalty. The regatta yacht timer helps quickly visualize this two-part 10-minute countdown process — on the wrist.
Like the existing models from 2019, the 42 mm diameter stainless steel case is finished with a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces. A tall box-type sapphire crystal protects the dial. Water-resistance is rated to 100 meters.
Driving the hours, minutes, seconds, and regatta yacht timer countdown function is an outsourced ETA 7750 (or Sellita) — modified with a regatta countdown timer function in place of the typical chronograph functionality. The automatic movement beats at 4Hz, has 25 jewels, and a power reserve of 48-hours.
This gray dial version is available with the stainless steel bracelet as shown or a rubber strap and the retail price is $3,495.