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.

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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VIDEO: Access all areas in the Franck Muller Tourbillon Department

There have been big changes at the Franck Muller manufacture over the last couple of years. The once homely property on a hillside looking out over Lake Geneva has been thoroughly expanded and modernised – Baroque and Romanesque flourishes inside and out have been updated to the more spacious proportions created by exposed beams and vaulted ceilings, all befitting of a luxurious ski lodge. Somewhere in a light-filled room appointed with watchmaker’s benches in this village of multi-storey buildings is the Franck Muller ‘Tourbillon Department’. The warmest thing in this room, no matter the time of year, is Patrice Couston’s smile. He is the head of the Department and his passion for what he does is unmistakeable. To the extent that, after a tour and his explanation of some of the challenges faced in by one attempting to assemble a tourbillon, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a watch he had assembled in his spare time at home, also a tourbillon. “I’m crazy for the tourbillon so I said ok, I will transform this movement into a tourbillon. So I did.”

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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: Bold and beautiful – Franck Muller’s Cintrée Curvex Skeleton Tourbillon 

I don’t want to get all KPI on you, but image selection is something that I spend a lot of my time working on. Of the dozens of shots of any given watch that one of our photographers take, only a handful make the final cut. That’s not because the shots are out of focus or poorly lit, but because we strive to hit the right balance between written and visual information, and both elements are complementary and essential. Typically on this sort of review, I’ll end up running with four or five images. Today I’ve we’re at 12, more than double what we’d usually publish. Not just because they’re stunning, drool-worthy pictures (they are), but because they tell a story about the watch, showing the form and quality in a way that a written description of the specifications cannot quite compete with. But that’s not to say I won’t try. Just in case the tell-tale Curvex shape and the name on the dial didn’t give it away, you’re looking at Franck Muller’s Cintrée Curvex Skeleton Tourbillon, a mighty 39.5mm wide by 55.3mm long white gold case, polished to a mirror like finish, with the thick, domed sapphire case seamlessly integrated… Read More

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ADVENT CALENDAR 2016: December 24 – Franck Muller Thunderbolt Tourbillon

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, apart from the reassuring tick of your Franck Muller Thunderbolt Tourbillon. And let’s not for a minute – or five seconds to be more accurate – mistake the forest for the Christmas trees here, the real star inside this gold curvex case is the tourbillon. When you’re playing at this level, tourbillons are par for the course, but Franck Muller’s master watchmaker Pierre-Michel Golay has taken the Thunderbolt Tourbillon to the next level. Most tourbillons make a full revolution every 60 seconds – this one does it in five, not only making it the fastest tourbillon in the world, but also one of the most mesmerising. If Santa had a stretch target, this would be it. Good luck mate! Who should you buy this for: Someone who has been very, very, very good. What’s the damage: If you have to ask…. Under $400k   Franck Muller Thunderbolt Tourbillon Australian pricing Franck Muller Thunderbolt Tourbillon, $357,600

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HANDS-ON: Franck Muller gets disruptive with the Vanguard Chronograph Camouflage

If you want to get technical (and at T+T we always do), camouflage is a combination of patterns, colours and materials that serves to conceal an object and help it blend in with its surroundings. In nature, think leopards and tigers. In more man-made contexts, camouflage is the domain of the military, where it’s often given the boring-yet-descriptive name of ‘disruptive pattern material’ – the amorphous blobs and swirling shapes of modern camo serving to obscure the shape of the soldier or vehicle against its environment. If we only used this set of criteria, the Franck Muller Vanguard Chronograph Camouflage would not pass MOD muster. Even though the dial does a good job imitating forest, desert and urban camouflage patterns, there’s still no mistaking that curvex shape of the watch. Luckily then, this Vanguard isn’t military issue – rather it uses camouflage in its far more fun and fashionable context – that of style. And of course, on high streets and catwalks across the world, fashion’s appropriation of this covert print isn’t intended to make the wearer blend in with the crowd, but to help them stand out. And on this front the Vanguard excels. Even if the watch didn’t sport those not-so-stealthy dials,… Read More

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