VIDEO: The Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton Black Diamond is a gem-set marvelBorna Bošnjak
The Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds from Franck Muller is a display of the Master of Complications’ other claim to fame – gem-setting. Taking the form of the 2021 Vanguard Rose Skeleton, Franck Muller gives the Diamonds iteration a PVD treatment, which means additional difficulty in setting the 422 precious stones on the case, while the dials are just as intricately finished.
The complexity in gem-setting on PVD comes from the particular way the stones need to be treated before they’re placed into the case. In the case of the Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds, pun fully intended, that meant Franck Muller had to treat the 422 brilliant-cut black diamonds before and after setting for them to remain as crisply embedded into the white gold of the case as expected. With dimensions of 35mm across, 46.30mm lug-to-lug and 10.40mm in thickness, the PVD surfaces carry a hand-brushed finish when not covered in diamonds, creating an intriguing feature line effectively splitting the case into two.
Colour-matched to the dial elements is the hand-sewn alligator strap with a PVD-coated, white-gold folding buckle, set with 12 brilliant-cut black diamonds.
Despite being covered in diamonds, the case is fairly subtle due to its monochromatic finish, if that can be set for a precious metal case set with more than 400 gems. Where the Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds throws subtlety to the wind is its dial. The model we had the privilege of checking out in person had a stunning display of red roses, the petals and stems hand-painted in enamel varnish. Where the enamel ends, more gemstones begin. Matching the red of the rest of the dial, Franck Muller sets it with 75 additional brilliant-cut rubies.
The Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds is powered by the in-house 1540 VS17 calibre. Spec-wise, it’s a manually wound, twin-barrel movement providing up to four days of power reserve, comprising 153 components all together. It’s a slow-beating one, too, at 18,000 vph, which is rare to see in a modern movement, the power coming through Franck Muller’s in-house escapement. Being extensively skeletonised, it’s well-decorated, with a mirror-polished main plate and chamfered bridges in black PVD, while the regulator features both mirror-polishing and chamfering. The stainless-steel components carry alternating brushed and polished finishes, with brushing on the wheels and barrels.
Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds pricing and availability:
The Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds is available now. Price: A$70,700
|Model||Vanguard Rose Skeleton Diamonds|
|Case Dimensions||35mm x 46.30mm x 10.40mm|
|Case Material||18k white gold with PVD coating, set with 422 brilliant-cut black diamonds|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Dial||Skeletonised, with red and green enamel varnish and 75 brilliant-cut rubies|
|Strap||Red alligator strap, 18k white gold folding buckle with PVD coating and black diamonds|
|Movement||FM 1540 VS17, in-house, manual winding, twin-barrel, 4-day power reserve|