A Rally for the Wrist

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Words by: Jared Paul Stern

From 1952-1972 Austin-Healey produced some of the best British roadsters ever built.

The young Clint Eastwood was an early fan, buying a Healey with his first big paycheck. Now extremely collectible, Healey models are still true drivers cars rather than mere museum pieces – except for rare Le Mans models. One major Healey enthusiast is dapper Dutch entrepreneur Peter Stas, who founded the classic Swiss watch brand Frederique Constant in 1988. He calls Healeys a “mythical and simultaneously irrational vehicle that’s guaranteed to stop us in our tracks whenever we see one.” Well said, sir.

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Rather than form a partnership with a modern car company, Stas decided to base a collection on his favorite UK classic. Dubbed the Vintage Rally Collection, the pieces pay tribute to the days of classic motoring that Healey embodies so well. They Recently released a new model in the Vintage Rally Collection called the Healey Chronograph Automatic. Available in both steel and rose gold, it’s driven by Constant’s precise FC-397 automatic chronograph calibre, with 25 jewels and a 46-hour power reserve. The design is underlined with sub-dials that include a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small continuous seconds at 9 o’clock.As Constant puts it, “Both carmaker and watchmaker have in common engineering, innovation and artistic impression. Mechanical genius never ceases to excite and delight, especially when that marvel is a perfectly tuned engine in a fast-moving machine”, be it a car or wristwatch.” Recently a squadron of Healeys from the Southern Counties Austin-Healey Club in the UK brought their cars all the way ‘round to Switzerland to visit the Constant Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates. Rally on, gents.

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Words by Jared Paul Stern