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.

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: 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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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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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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HANDS-ON: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Franck Muller goes green and gold with limited-edition Vanguard for Australia

One of my main gripes with the watch industry in general is that it’s an overwhelmingly Serious Business. Tradition. Precision. Luxury. Attributes that are easily capable of erasing the merest hint of fun. Thankfully, there are a few brands out there capable of injecting some playfulness into their watches. Franck Muller, with their left-of-centre designs and obsession with colour, are definitely one of those brands, as you can see from this Aussie-as limited edition Using the sporty tonneau-cased 44mm Vanguard as a base, Franck Muller’s very limited edition, offered in titanium (18 pieces) or rose gold (eight pieces), doesn’t just display a dash of green-and-gold pride, it adds a ridgy-didge boxing kangaroo to the mix. The only way this watch could be any more ’Strayan would be if the roo was eating Vegemite while listening to Jimmy Barnes. In case you’re not familiar with this particular boxing kangaroo, it’s a motif strongly associated with our sporting prowess, from the Olympics to rugby league. The symbol came to international fame with our epic (and still celebrated) 1983 America’s Cup win. As far as symbols of Australia go, it’s a good choice: bold graphic, politically neutral and, thanks to the kangaroo, instantly recognisable as… Read More

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HANDS-ON: The Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Jumping Hours Tourbillon

Earlier this week we showed you Franck Muller’s Skeleton Tourbillon, a sculptural wonder that let the movement shine. Today we’ve got a different take on the tourbillon: the Jumping Hours Tourbillon, which is just as stunning, even if it’s a little less revealing to the casual observer. The first thing you might notice about this watch (OK, the second, after you’ve finished gazing in wonder at the hand-engraved 60-second tourbillon) is that it appears to be missing a hand. The sinewy blued steel minutes are there, but what about the hour? And for that matter, where are the hour markers? The exploded Arabic numerals on the stamped sunray dial display the minutes. Well, the hours are there, displayed in the aperture between Franck Muller and Geneve on the dial. As far as they go, jump hour complications are fairly uncommon, perhaps because the unconventional time display tends to be polarising. I do think Franck Muller missed an opportunity to make their jump hour stand out — the square white disc with plain printed numbers is a dissonant note. I would have liked more, especially on a watch at this level. Turn the heavy platinum case over and you’re met with… Read More

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