Franck Muller now offers metal bracelet options for the first time for its top-selling Vanguard collection.
The tonneau-shaped Vanguard collection, which includes a wide range of the Geneva watchmaker’s primarily sporty models on leather or textile straps, can now be attached to the wrist with a bracelet composed and finished with either brushed steel, polished steel, brushed titanium and black brushed titanium.
Franck Muller will make the polished and brushed link bracelets to fit into the two different Vanguard case sizes, 41 mm and 45mm.
The firm’s technicians have also developed a fine adjustment system that allow the bracelet to be sized to fit proportionally and ‘perfectly’ on the wrist, according to Franck Muller. Links can be quickly removed or added to lengthen or shorten the bracelet.
The new Franck Muller Skafander integrates a diving theme with a tonneau-shaped case – a combination rarely seen among marine-focused watch designs. Because divers require a unidirectional rotating bezel to assess correct dive time, watches for divers typically utilize a round case built with a round bezel.
Here, Franck Muller has devised a functional round diver’s bezel, but has placed it inside the Skafander’s large tonneau case, a shape deeply familiar to aficionados of this iconoclastic independent watchmaker. Once set and locked, the Skafander’s dive time is secured with a clearly labeled lock, which insures that the bezel won’t be accidently altered.
While not an officially certified dive watch, the Skafander will retain its water resistance to 100 meters, which allows wearers full, worry-free use while at the beach, boating – or in the pool.
Franck Muller offers the Skafander in a range of case metals, including titanium, steel and rose gold, all with a semi-skeletonized dial that allows a view into the automatic movement below.
Skippers might prefer the highly visible titanium-cased models with blue or yellow accents, or even the blue-accented watch cased in steel. We suspect the boat’s owner, however, might opt to the ritzier rose gold model.
Price: CHF 14,800 (about $16,100, for titanium models only).
Specifications: Franck Muller Skafander (titanium case edition)
Case: 46mm x 57mm x 15.60mm titanium with black PVD treatment. Water resistant to 100 meters.
Movement: Automatic, offering 42 hours power reserve.
Dial: Unidirectional internal rotating bezel indicating the diving time. Half-openwork movement in the center.
Strap: Blue rubber. More colors available with steel and gold models.
For its new Grand Central Cintree Curvex, Franck Muller watchmakers found an innovative way to place the hour and second hands around the tourbillon cage, highlighting the large central tourbillon and a stunning guilloché dial.
That tourbillon (while large, the tourbillon here is not the brand’s largest) is housed in a redesigned Cintrée Curvex case with a separate bezel, allowing the crystal to reach the strap. Furthermore, Franck Muller has separated the bezel from the case, allowing for a series of impressive two-tone treatments.
This design totally changes the aspect of the original Cintrée Curvex and fully highlights the curves of this newly shaped watch.
And, in an unusual move, Franck Muller powers the new Grand Central Cintrée Curvex with an automatic movement. Many traditional tourbillon watches rely on manual-wind calibers.
Franck Muller wisely allows a clear view of the caliber (FM CX 40T-CTR) through a sapphire caseback, showing the traditional decorations, including Côte de Genève and sunray brushing. Prices: From $124,400 to $134,400.
Specifications: Franck Muller Grand CentralCintrée Curvex
Case: 58.70mm x 40.16 mm x 7.73 mm (various metals) with stainless steel internal bezel. Sapphire crystal. Water resistant up to 30 meters. Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds on the central tourbillon.
Movement: FM CX 40T-CTR Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system. Power reserve is 4 days. Balance wheel frequency set at 18,000 alternations per hour.
Décor: Côte de Genève on bridges, sunray brushing on the rotor and barrel cover, spotting on the bottom plate. Chamfering on the bridges and rotor board. Rhodium plating and 24-kt. gold finish on textual engravings.
Bracelet: Hand-sewn alligator strap with gold folding buckle.
Just ahead of Mother’s Day, Franck Muller unveils a bouquet of blooming beauty with the new Vanguard Rose Skeleton. And unlike many floral-themed timepieces, the new watch’s petals are more than an afterthought. The flowers on the watch are actually cut from the bridges and the bottom plate of the Franck Muller manual-wind movement.
This design enhances the technicality of what might be a classical skeleton movement that exposes the balance, barrel and gear train. Franck Muller’s artisans have hand-painted flowers within the caliber, varying the hues to match a rainbow of strap and case color options.
With a case measuring a moderate 32mm by 42.3mm, the Vanguard Rose Skeleton is sized for thinner wrists. This fit is enhanced by the caliber’s trim design, keeping the watch a fairly thin 9.9mm from crystal to back.
Franck Muller has built its own high-efficiency escapement for the movement, which helps provide a full four-day power reserve to the watch. And beyond the eye-catching floral enameling, the watchmaker’s artisans have attended to smaller, traditional finishing details. Artisans have mirror-polished and chamfered the bridges and the main plate, brushed and chamfered of all the steel components and have added fine circular brushing to the barrel and wheels.
As noted, Franck Muller is offering its Vanguard Rose Skeleton in a variety of color and case material variations. These options include models set with diamonds on two or on five of the roses, as well as options with a diamond-set case. Prices begin at CHF 20,800 (about $22,800) for a non-diamond model.
Franck Muller’s new Vanguard Line Cut emphasizes lightness and curves with a micro-blasted matte gray titanium case, dial and bracelet.
As the latest model within Franck Muller’s winning Vanguard collection, the Line Cut offers collectors a matte-finished contemporary option within Vanguard, known for its wrist-hugging tonneau-shape and trademark elongated numerals.
The new collection broadens the appeal of Vanguard, which Franck Muller has expanded considerably in recent years with racing designs, skeleton models, gem-set editions and several seriously complicated calibers.
Franck Muller equips the new Vanguard Line Cut with a simple two-hand time-telling function, which serves to emphasize the sleek, curved matte gray case and its curved black ‘line cut” along the sides.
Furthermore, Franck Muller then matches the cut to the black outline of each of the dial’s long, hand-applied numerals.Ironically, while the dial projects depth, the case remains relatively thin, here measuring only 9.8mm from front to back. By Franck Muller standards, that’s ultra-thin.
Franck Muller watchmakers have fit the new watch (which is still in limited release) with an extra-flat automatic movement.
Specifications: Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut
Reference: V 41 S AT REL LINE CUT FM 708
Movement: Franck Muller Automatic, 21,600 vibrations hour, 42 hours power reserve, Côtes de Genève, circular graining, rhodium plating.
Case: 41mm by 50mm by 9.10mm micro-blasted grade 5 titanium, water resistant to 30 meters.
Dial: Gray titanium PVD, matte gray hand-applied numerals with black contours.
Bracelet and buckle: Micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.
With multiple debuts during the past year, Franck Muller has shifted its skills at fashioning dynamic openwork movements into overdrive.
Most recently, the independent Geneva-based watchmaker debuted a stunning Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton triple-axis tourbillon, the first time we’ve seen this mesmerizing movement inside the best-selling tonneau-shaped Vanguard case. (We’ll have details on this ultra-complicated watch in an upcoming post).
In early July, Franck Muller debuted the red and white Vanguard Skeleton Swiss Limited Edition, dedicated to the brand’s home country.
This spring in a more broad-based debut Franck Muller updated its Vanguard Racing Skeleton with a lighter, more open-worked movement and more intense use of titanium, carbon fiber and aluminum.
With a new, heavily skeletonized movement, you’ll see more hints of a racecar engine within the movement’s structure.
Perhaps the most noticeable nod to automotive timing is the seconds indicator. Here, you read seconds starting from the lower portion of the dial (at 6 o’clock) instead of the top. This echoes most automobile rev counters. With two red tips, the hand also shows the wearer an ongoing seconds display from both ends of the hand.
Furthermore, the white hand with red tip and the bicolor second indications track reinforce the idea of a rev counter. Even without a gas pedal, the owner might possibly want to push the hand into the red zone. Of course, as this is not a chronograph, any ‘racing’ will not technically include a timing element. The watch displays only hours, minutes, seconds and date.
To further accentuate the skeleton design, the date numbers have been fully skeletonized. The central seconds counter, thanks to a smoked sapphire glass, provides a full display while allowing complete movement visibility.
For a closer fit, Franck Muller has subtly integrated the strap into the case with the help of two unseen screws instead of the regular spring-bar technique.
And finally, the rubber inside the strap shapes more easily to the wrist, while the Alcantara suede layer recalls a sports car cockpit.
Franck Muller makes the Vanguard Racing Skeleton line in 44mm by 53.7mm rose gold, stainless steel, titanium and carbon case options. Prices upon request.