Interview with Dr. Peter Stas about Frederique Constant Manufacture Zodiac 24H Limited Edition Q1: Why did you come up with this watch?
I saw an Antique pocket watch(which is from 1930s) in Genève and the pocket watch is not branded. Pocket watch has its own style in Chinese time indication. Because of its classical style, it has attracted me and it fits with Frederique as both are classical as well. Our partners have asked before for whether there will be a Chinese edition with a dragon or horses on. I rejected because it doesn't fit our brand identity. It is not classical. However, with the idea of pocket watch, I think we can make a classical and interesting special edition with Chinese time indication.
Q2: Does this edition sell exclusively for Asian market?
No, this edition will be selling in Europe, Genève, US and all over the world. Like in Los Angeles, there are already 5 million Chinese taking up residence. This edition is selling worldwide definitely especially for collector or customer who like Chinese culture.
Q3: This edition is combined with Chinese time indicator. What is the reason to develop a 24-hours indication?
We follow the design of pocket watch. Time goes in 120 minutes in one-time and minute hand runs half the speed. Now mechanical solution becomes easier but it is a brand new in-house movement.
Q4: How long does it take on movement development from idea generation to completion?
Only the change in movement takes us about 2years.
Q5: Do you meet any difficulties in developing a new movement?
We developed this edition from the inspiration of pocket watch. However, only with the picture, we cannot know how it goes. It takes time for us to understand more about pocket watch. Moreover, we don't have any ideas about Chinese time indication. However, it doesn't mean there are any difficulties. As a passionate watch maker, we refine them as development process instead.
Year of the Goat
The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle is related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2015 is the year of the goat, marked at 6 O'clock on the dial.
- Twelve Chinese zodiac signs (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig)
- Twelve terrestrial branches (original quarter, original first quarter, original second quarter, original third quarter, positive quarter, positive first quarter, positive second quarter and positive third quarter)
12 Zodiac Signs and Time
The Frederique Constant Zodiac Limited Edition has the twelve zodiac signs as the main index markers on its dial. One Chinese hour is two western hours. Each two hours has an animal zodiac sign:
Rat: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. is the time rats actively seek food. Ox: 1 to 3 a.m. is the time that oxen ruminate. Tiger: 3 to 5 a.m. is when tigers hunt prey. Rabbit: 5 to 7 a.m. is when a jade rabbit pounds herbs. Dragon: 7 to 9 a.m. is when dragons hover in the sky and give people rainfall. Snake: 9 to 11 a.m. is when snakes start to leave their burrows. Horse: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is when a horse is vigorous. Goat: 1 to 3 p.m is when sheep eat grass and become stronger. Monkey: 3 to 5 p.m. is when monkeys become lively. Rooster: 5 to 7 p.m. is when roosters return to their roost as it is dark. Dog: 7 to 9 p.m. is when dogs begin to carry out their duty to guard entrances. Pig: 9 to 11 p.m. is when all is quiet and pigs are sleeping soundly.
The small numbers 1-24 on the inner dial function as the GMT indicator to show what exact time the hour is.
There are small Chinese texts on the outside minute track. Each position is a traditional Chinese unit of decimal time reflecting a quarter (15mins) of western time. As the Chinese hour is equal to 2 hours, the outside minute track has 8 positions.