Watchmaker Franck Muller continues to test the boundaries of horological design with a series of bold new additions to its most iconic collections.
We all have a friend that’s a little different from the norm, that’s a little out there, a little bodacious in his thinking but undeniably brilliant. Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller is a little like that. The brand is best known for creating striking, inspiring timepieces, watches that aren’t about luxury per see (although the average unit price is north of US$45,000) but about reimaging the conventional and breaking with tradition, and the results have proven popular with everyone from Floyd Mayweather and Chris Brown to Elton John and David Beckham.
Now the brand introduces fresh additions to its Tourbillon and Yachting collections that are sure to turn the heads of every watch aficionado.
Grand Central Tourbillon
Placed within a redesigned Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex, the new Grand Central Tourbillon (above) lives up to its name by placing the tourbillon at the centre of the timepiece. In turn, the hour and second hands frame the tourbillon cage, creating a captivating effect that’s powered by a self-winding movement with micro rotor – an extremely rare addition for a Franck Muller Tourbillon Collection timepiece – that offers a power reserve of four days.
The case of the new timepiece has also be redesigned so that the sapphire crystal goes all the way to the bracelet. The bezel, which is separate from the case, also allows for a two-tone treatment. This design totally changes the aspect of the original Cintrée Curvex and fully highlights the beautiful curves of the new model. It also gives full visibility to the dial by limiting the amount of material used on the sides, a design aspect that’s technically difficult to achieve and which gives the case a new modern persona.
Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton
The Revolution series of tourbillons by Franck Muller represents some of the most ambitious, radical and astonishing achievements in the history of contemporary watchmaking.
Featuring a breathtaking skeleton movement, the Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton timepiece reveals openworked black bridges and red aluminium indicators that allow the wearer to observe one of the most beautiful mechanisms the watch brand has ever produced.
The triple axis tourbillon corrects the force of gravity in all positions, contrary to a classic tourbillon which only compensates for it when the wristwatch is in a vertical position. Dominating the lower half of the movement, the extraordinary triple axis tourbillon slowly turns through the one-hour, eight-minute and 60-second cycles of its respective three carriages, making the Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton a wonder of precision and micromechanics.
Power flows from the gear train through all three carriages to activate the balance wheel five times each second. As the Revolution 3 has three carriages, the gear train has significant resistance to overcome. So as to provide an abundance of energy to drive this triple axis tourbillon, the movement was given a massive 10 days of power reserve. Furthermore, there are two retrograde indications at 4 and 8 o’clock for the progression of the eight-minute carriage and the 60-second carriage.
Housed for the first time in a Vanguard case, this timepiece features a unique sapphire dome on the front and back of the watch, further highlighting the magnificent triple axis tourbillon.
The Vanguard case, made of grade-2 titanium, is treated with black PVD coating, while the strap, made of red Alcantara, effortlessly takes the shape of the wrist and perfectly complements the red decorations on the movement and the Vanguard case.
Wholly designed and manufactured in-house, the futuristic design of the Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton is a mechanical treasure showcasing the exceptional know-how Franck Muller manufacture.
Vanguard Racing Skeleton
The latest timepiece inspired by automotive competition, the striking new Vanguard Racing Skeleton collection calls for a stylish engine-turned skeletonized movement, one that the watch maker’s engineers and designers have reshaped and reimagined using carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium to enhance its weight and display properties.
Available in 18k rose gold, stainless steel, titanium and carbon as well as a series of equally eye-catching coloured accents, the Vanguard Racing Skeleton features hours, minutes, seconds and date, with the central seconds counter – under smoked sapphire glass – providing an accurate display while allowing great visibility of the movement.
Continuing the motorsports theme, the seconds indications start from the bottom instead of the top as in an automobile rev counter, allowing the owner to read the seconds from both ends of the hand. The white hand with red tip and the bicolor second indications further reinforce the idea of a rev counter, making you want to push the hand into the red zone.
To further accentuate the skeleton design, the date numbers have also been fully skeletonized, while the strap has been subtly integrated into the case with the help of two unseen screws, instead of the regular spring-bar technique.
Vanguard Yachting Crazy Hours
Perfectly complementing the Vanguard Yachting collection, Franck Muller unveils its new Crazy Hours, a timepiece dedicated to the sea world. Showing hour numerals in the most unconventional order, the Crazy Hours is one of the most emblematic complications of the Franck Muller brand.
The collection offers a unique reading of time, thanks to a patented mechanism that allows the hour hand to cleverly jump from one hour to the next in the correct order. Meanwhile, the minute hand follows a conventional 60-minute cycle revolving around the dial. The timepiece shows a creative vision of time through its clever and complex mechanism.
The timepiece features plenty of seafaring details, from the deep blue to the wind rose adorning the dial, while its numerals perfectly complement the audacious design of the dial and enhance its legibility.
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