Independent watchmaker Franck Muller is known as 'The Master of Complications' for his ingenious creations. His eponymous watches are also immediately recognisable thanks to their curved lines and distinctive designs. Discover Franck Muller at Time+Tide.

INTRODUCING: This one has the time, now all you need is the jet – the Franck Muller Vanguard World Timer GMT

Invented in the 1930s by Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier, world time watches brought – at a glance and all at once – the time across 24 of the world’s key time zones to the hands of international jetsetters and business-makers. Indeed, no complication provides a greater desire to conquer the world, or induces a greater sense of adventure, especially if it’s made by a watchmaker as adventurous as Franck Muller and then packed inside the curvaceous Vanguard case. Vital statistics As you may have guessed, if not just from the name but perhaps from the centralised world map encircled by a 24-hour day/night ring, this is a world time watch, displaying 24 time zones, from Chicago to Tokyo through to Moscow and London. As if that wasn’t enough, as well as displaying the local time with central hour, minutes, and seconds hands, a separate red-tipped hour hand provides a second reference time that is set in one-hour increments via a pusher at 4 o’clock. The 44mm x 53.7mm trademark Vanguard case is available in 18k rose gold, titanium or, as shown here, in stainless steel with a combination of silky brushed and mirror polished finishes. And making the magic happen… Read More

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INTRODUCING: Three times the charm – the Franck Muller Vanguard Master Banker Skeleton

If watch brands were Facebook relationship statuses, Franck Muller would be “It’s complicated”. Not because the Swiss-based manufacturer has commitment problems but, rather, quite the opposite. Since its beginnings in Genthod – located in the countryside of Geneva – the innovative brand has been committed to upholding its reputation as the “Master of Complications”. And the latest addition to the enduring Master Banker collection shows off its inner intricacies with a fully skeletonised dial and movement. Vital statistics The perfect picture inside the elegant curves of the trademark Vanguard case. The open-worked dial not only gives view through to the skilfully skeletonised automatic calibre inside but also displays three separate time zones. The central hour, minutes, and seconds hands tell the local time and are synchronised to the date aperture at 9 o’clock. While sitting above and below are two sub-dials, which along with the central time are adjusted via the same crown. The real kicker, however, is that both the hour hand and the minute hand of these sub-dials can be independently adjusted. The wonderfully tonneau-shaped rose gold case measures 44mm wide by 53.7mm long. And a rubber-lined leather strap holds it close to the wrist. Initial thoughts While… Read More

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VIDEO: Set sail with the Franck Muller Vanguard S6 Yachting

Yacht rock is one of the Time+Tide office’s favourite genres of smooth, easy listening music, so it should come as no surprise that we’re more than willing to get behind the Franck Muller Vanguard S6 Yachting, which see’s the brand’s typical large, curvex case in mirror-like gold holds — well, less watch than you’d expect thanks to the heavily skeletonised movement inside. the bridges share the same stylish, angular geometry that we’ve seen on other Vanguard models. Here the bridges are in blue, which provides some beautiful contrast with the gold. Things start getting nautical when it comes to the finer details, with the compass points on the outer chapter ring and a seconds ‘hand’ at six that resembles a ye olde wind rose. All told this is a cool, very Franck Muller watch, big bold and with a distinctively fun personality.  

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INTRODUCING: This one has the time, now all you need is the jet – the Franck Muller Vanguard World Timer GMT

Invented in the 1930s by Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier, world time watches brought – at a glance and all at once – the time across 24 of the world’s key time zones to the hands of international jetsetters and business-makers. Indeed, no complication provides a greater desire to conquer the world, or induces a greater sense of adventure, especially if it’s made by a watchmaker as adventurous as Franck Muller and then packed inside the curvaceous Vanguard case. Vital statistics As you may have guessed, if not just from the name but perhaps from the centralised world map encircled by a 24-hour day/night ring, this is a world time watch, displaying 24 time zones, from Chicago to Tokyo through to Moscow and London. As if that wasn’t enough, as well as displaying the local time with central hour, minutes, and seconds hands, a separate red-tipped hour hand provides a second reference time that is set in one-hour increments via a pusher at 4 o’clock. The 44mm x 53.7mm trademark Vanguard case is available in 18k rose gold, titanium or, as shown here, in stainless steel with a combination of silky brushed and mirror polished finishes. And making the magic happen… Read More

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INTRODUCING: The Franck Muller Crazy Hours 15th Anniversary collection

I don’t know about you, but the only thing on my mind when I’m at a resort on vacation is how many trips to the breakfast buffet is considered too much (more than five apparently, if the appalled looks of fellow diners was anything to go by).  However, for watchmaker and eponymous brand founder Franck Muller, holidays can be a time of more radical thinking, as it was a holiday in Mauritius that inspired the instantly recognisable (and undeniably fun) Crazy Hours complication. First released in 2003, the Crazy Hours collection introduced a dial layout where the traditional display of 12 hour numerals was jumbled up. So, the number 8 is now at 12 o’clock, 5 is at 9 o’clock, 3 at 11 o’clock, and so on. Meaning that instead of progressing clockwise in numerical order, the hour hand must jump to the next hour which is placed nearly directly opposite (at an approximately 120° arc). The craziness was brought to life by the addition of a jumping hour module on top of a 42-hour power reserve automatic movement. With this year marking the collection’s 15th anniversary, the manufacturer known as the “Master of Complications” is celebrating with the release… Read More

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VIDEO: I tried to paint a Franck Muller dial, and it did not go well

I’m not above admitting it. I’m more than just a bit painful when it comes to painted versus printed dials. “Is this painted or printed?” is a question I’ve asked countless times. Receiving countless eye-rolls, I might add. And, full disclosure, I’ve always assumed that the colour, paint volume and line-perfect proportions of Franck Muller dials are the latter. Printed. But when I attended the Franck Muller ‘chalet’ (such a more appropriate descriptor than ‘manufacture’) for a second time, early in 2017, I asked the question and was met with a very different answer, which also happened to be a question. “They’re painted,” said my soon-to-be nemesis from Franck Muller, Laura Bondi. “Would you like to try painting one yourself?” Sure, but only if she tried to paint one too. The next hour of my life taught me a lot about the extraordinary skill required to make the watches we love — mostly by showing me how ordinary my own skills are in comparison.

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HANDS-ON: Hoisting the high spirits flag with the Franck Muller Color Dreams

My art deco admiration and monochromer habits have always had me on Team Casablanca considering Franck Muller’s selections. But it is party season after all, so I am easing up on the classic palette and eyeing off a completely different proposition. The Color Dreams collection is a parade of watches with one exuberant mission: to liven up proceedings. There’s nowhere to run for introverts with the complete spectrum of appliqué, exploded rainbow numerals — each one in a different colour — the dial is bolstered with as saturated a hand-stitched crocodile strap, from as wide a vista as the hours’ tones. On this occasion I’ve got the gloss orange croco strap. Pink and red are winsome alternatives but the green option would also be a fine match. At a quick first glance, the dial’s all childlike playfulness, but closer inspection reveals that Muller’s hallmark sunburst dial, with its lacquer and mother of pearl, has a depth to it, by means of a reference to the Crazy Hours collection. There is a ghosting of smaller, guilloché cut or embossed numerals around and across the dial, but just underneath the main numerals; the hours display time in the customary correct order though. This… Read More

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