Now in the United States and Canada, this Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Color Dreams collection will brighten any winter weary wrist with a rainbow of colors.
The imaginative Geneva watchmakers have deftly combined its top-selling 45mm Vanguard Skeleton tonneau case with a multi-hued manually wound movement. As noted on the watch’s dial, the movement offers an impressive seven-day power reserve.
Franck Muller’s watchmakers have built the movement from satin-finished, multi-color anodized v-shaped aluminum bridges that draw attention as framed by a metallic or darkened carbon case.
The movement consists of eight colors derived from the existing Franck Muller Color Dreams collection. While the current focus for this collection in the United States (and Canada) is on the model with a black carbon Vanguard case, Franck Muller also offers the watch in either a brushed titanium Vanguard case or a stainless steel Vanguard case.
Price: $59,700 (dark carbon case). Click here to locate a Franck Muller boutique in the United States. For a video description of the watch, click here.
While the beloved Charles Schulz canine, whose front paws double as the watch’s eccentric hands, dominates the black dial, London-based Bamford enhances the glee by surrounding Snoopy with luminous concentric circles.
The hour markers are distinctly out of order on Franck Muller’s complicated, clever automatic Crazy Hours movement, which powers one of the Geneva-based watchmaker’s best-known collections. But despite the unorthodox numeral order on the dial, the movement is designed to allow the hour paw to jump to the next marker in the correct time order.
Framed by matte black 39.6mm stainless steel case, Snoopy and Woodstock (who appears twice on the dial) are pictured in black and white on the black dial with grey numerals and text.
This 25-piece limited edition is housed in a colorful box that highlights the Crazy Hours design, though Snoopy and Woodstock also appear on it. Price: 28,000 pounds, or about $37,000.
The seconds indicator on the new Franck Muller USA limited edition Vanguard Racing Skeleton Bill Auberlen starts with double zero at the bottom of the dial, not at the top. This layout, while rare on a watch dial, allows seconds to be read from both ends of the seconds hand and echoes the dashboard Auberlen would see while piloting his racecar.
The dial layout is just one of many racer-friendly details that Franck Muller built into the sporty automatic watch, which was announced earlier this year and is reaching Franck Muller boutiques and its U.S. retailers now.
Another example can be found in Franck Muller’s choice of case materials for the tonneau-shaped 44mm by 53.7mm Vanguard watch.
The watch is the latest Franck Muller model built with Auberlen’s direct input. One of America’s most successful racecar drivers, the BMW racing driver Auberlen has won sixty-three races.
One version of the watch is built with carbon, the same ultra-light, high-performance material racecar makers utilize. Another version features an unusual blue-tinged high-tech composite called Technologie Bleu, which the watchmaker says is created by mixing ‘high purity metals and other exotic elements.’
This non-conductive, non-metallic material is made using a process called the Micelle Phenomenon. Once the case is formed, Franck Muller cuts, carves, grinds and sands the material to a durable, gem-quality finish.
Additional sporty touches on the Vanguard Racing Skeleton Bill Auberlen include a generous use of racing red dial details across the skeletonized dial. The watchmakers at Franck Muller also attach a strap composed of Alcantara-like suede, reminiscent of a sports car interior, and lined with rubber. Instead of attaching the strap to the case using the usual spring bar technique, Franck Muller subtly integrates the strap into the case with two invisible screws.
In another unusual detail, Franck Muller has skeletonized the numerals visible on the date wheel to match the open-worked dial.
Franck Muller offers its Vanguard Racing Skeleton Bill Auberlen in three case materials: rose gold ($34,000), carbon ($27,400) and macro molecular Technologie Bleu ($26,200).
Any visitor to Franck Muller’s vast headquarters in Genthod, adjacent to Geneva, will vouch for the technical depth this manufacture exhibits throughout the facility. Case after case of watches set with tourbillons and multiple complications testify to decades of watchmaking with a distinctive style, typically built into the brand’s trademark Cintrée Curvex-shaped case.
But there’s much more to Franck Muller than its range of Master Bankers, large tourbillons and jaw-dropping skeleton models. Few watchmakers can match the wide-ranging fluency the brand also demonstrates year after year with its gem-set collections.
Franck Muller has again paired its technical chops with its gem-setting expertise with the release of the new Double Mystery Peony, which combines gemstone setting and its enchanting Double Mystery time display system.
In the Double Mystery collection, Franck Muller replaces watch hands with two rotating discs, each with an arrow-shaped indicator. Patented in 1998, the technique allows Franck Muller to experiment by setting a colorful spectrum of gemstones across and atop of the two rotating discs.
In this latest Double Mystery Peony, Franck Muller sets 662 diamonds and colored gemstones (4.87 carats) on each dial, all shaped and patterned across the dial to recall the namesake bloom. The watches, powered by an automatic movement topped with the Double Mystery complication, are offered in white gold and yellow gold and in 42mm and 39mm cases. Price: $88,700
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.