During a glamorous gala evening in London recently, Frédérique Constant and their Global Ambassador, Gwyneth Paltrow, announced a brand-new partnership with the children’s charity DonorsChoose.org and introduced six new Ladies Automatic timepieces whose proceeds will go towards promoting the charity.
A Night to Remember
Frédérique Constant brought together media, retailers and VIPs for a spectacular event at London’s award-winning Design Museum in celebration of its new charity partner and the six new Ladies Automatic timepieces. Guests enjoyed a gala dinner followed by a tour of an exhibit dedicated to the legendary fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa. Each one of the spectacular dresses on display represented the empowerment of women, perfectly mirroring the passion, creativity and craftsmanship invested in the new Frédérique Constant Ladies Automatic timepieces and the positive energy that someone like Gwyneth Paltrow brings to the brand.
During the gala evening event, Paltrow shared with guests the new charity DonorsChoose that will now benefit from the sales of these elegant timepieces. “I am happy to continue my partnership with Frédérique Constant and excited to unveil my latest charity campaign with the brand,” Paltrow said. “What’s great about Frédérique Constant is their combination of classic style with strong values of giving back. We are very well aligned in our passion for charity.” Co-founder Aletta Stas added: “Our Ladies Automatic embodies values that are important to women. It is bold and elegant at the same time, and most importantly, for each Ladies Automatic watch sold, we sponsor www.DonorsChoose.org.”
DonorsChoose for a Great Cause
DonorsChoose is a United States-based 501 non-profit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects. The project was started by Charles Best, a history teacher at a Bronx public high school. Best wanted his students to read Little House on the Prairie and as he was photocopying copy after copy for his pupils, he figured that there must be people out there who would want to help teachers, if they could see where their money was going. He put together the designs for a website that allowed teachers to post their own classroom projects so donors could choose where their money would go. He started with 11 projects in 2000 and today the program is available in every public school across the United States and has financed over 600,000 classroom projects to date, ranging from butterfly cocoons to robotics kits and flexible chairs.
Frédérique Constant Foundation
When the brand first started working with Gwyneth Paltrow in 2016, the proceeds from the sale of each Ladies Automatic timepiece were donated to the International Children’s Heart Foundation. The brand has always wanted to be transparent about where the money was going and donating a fixed amount particularly appealed to them. “We decided on $50 per watch because we wanted to finance two surgical tours with the pediatric cardiac surgeon, Dr. Novick, who would take his team to areas like Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, where these open-heart operations were not common. A trip would cost $25,000 so we calculated that $50 would allow us to finance two trips and later on we would be able to work with other charities as well,” says Peter Stas.
A New Look for the Ladies Automatic Collection
The six new Ladies Automatic timepieces that will be supporting the charity bring a breath of fresh air to the collection. “We launched the collection 10 years ago and Aletta has been working for the last year and a half to bring the collection up to date,” shares Peter Stas, Co-Founder of the brand. The size of the case has been increased from 34mm to 36mm with lugs that are integrated into the case — where they were previously soldered on — giving a smoother and slimmer outline to the timepiece. Other changes include a sunray heart pattern on the dial in tones of silver that brings a shinier finish than the previous guilloché design. The straps come in alligator in a selection of more vibrant colors, such as shiny gray, light blue, navy and burgundy. There are two choices of case: Polished stainless steel or rose gold plating, and each comes with an exhibition caseback, giving a view on the automatic movement within.
The movement remains the same FC-303 automatic caliber, which has always been popular with the brand’s female clients. “Women are definitely interested in automatic movements. They liked them right from the beginning. When we started the collection, 35% of all our watches were women’s timepieces and 20% were the Ladies Automatic, so it was a huge amount,” says Peter Stas. “I expect this new version to be just as strong as the first one.”
There are six new versions in total, four of which have the brand’s signature “Heart Beat” opening on the dial and two that are closed. “When we had the idea to put two hearts intertwined on the dial, we were concerned that it was maybe too cheesy, but two-thirds of the watches in the collection have the double ‘Heart Beat’ so it sells much better than the closed dial version,” explains Peter Stas.
The price is also more attractive than before with an entry price-point of around €1,500. “We previously had a chocolate version with lots of diamonds, but we purposely didn’t do new timepieces like that because in the current climate prices should be a little bit more subdued,” notes Peter Stas.
To reinforce the collection, the brand is launching a new advertising campaign featuring its Global Charity Ambassador Gwyneth Paltrow wearing the Ladies Automatic. “We were searching for a global ambassador three years ago and at the time we were looking at a number of candidates, but we were really looking for someone classic and genuine to fit Aletta’s and my idea of a good ambassador. We noticed that Gwyneth was very active in charities and we already had the Frédérique Constant Foundation supporting children’s charities and women’s charities. They said it could work, but we would need to come to Los Angeles. We met her during the Power of Women event in LA and that was the beginning of the collaboration. She was very positive and signed on as our Global Charity Ambassador for two years and now we have just renewed for another two years,” explains Peter Stas.
The collaboration between Gwyneth Paltrow, Frédérique Constant and DonorsChoose really makes a difference to young lives and provides the very best excuse to purchase a new timepiece. The watches are available in-store and online at www.frederiqueconstant.com.