The Franck Muller Vanguard Beach is a summery sports watch inspired by the seaJamie Weiss
- An Asia-Pacific exclusive, this colourful new Franck Muller collection arrives just in time for Southern Hemisphere summer
- The Vanguard Beach’s glass fibre composite case is designed to resemble sand on a beach
- Colourful and sporty, it represents a new entry-level offering for the high-end brand
Franck Muller’s watches have never been accused of being subtle. The self-styled “Master of Complications” is well-known for his penchant for tonneau cases, haute horlogerie and a healthy disrespect for convention, as well as a willingness to experiment with bold colours. The new Vanguard Beach collection, however, represents some of the most colourful Franck Mullers yet. Light, sporty and unmistakably vibrant, these summery pieces are characteristically lighthearted whilst also demonstrating Franck Muller’s technical edge.
As its name implies, the Franck Muller Vanguard Beach is inspired by the seaside and comes in three eye-catching colours: fiery red, cerulean blue, and emerald green. To my eyes, they remind me of ice creams or candies one might snack on during a day at the beach. Their colourful cases are made from a glass fibre composite, which Franck Muller explains has been specially designed to create a pattern of undulating lines reminiscent of ripples in the sand on a beach. This effect is achieved by first melting glass at 1,500°C, drawing it into filaments, then cooling it down again and forming into sheets at a lower temperature of 700°. The sheets are then dyed before being layered and compressed into blocks which are then machined into watch cases. This layered effect makes the Vanguard Beach’s case look somewhat raw, like a stone eroded from years drifting across the sea bed. It’s very tropical.
The other advantage of this glass fibre composite case is that it’s very lightweight – it’s about a quarter of the weight of steel while being comparably robust – which complements the Vanguard Beach’s brief as an easy-to-slip-on summer watch. A colour-matched fabric Velcro strap further adds to its sportiness. As for the Vanguard Beach’s dial, it’s classic Franck Muller, with large, hand-painted Arabic numerals and a deeply recessed circular date window at 6 o’clock. Its movement, the in-house calibre FM 800-DT, is nothing to write home about, especially compared to Franck Muller’s more complicated pieces: it’s a simple automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve. The interesting case material and its bold colour are the big story here.
Actually, the biggest problem with this beach-inspired watch is its water resistance – or lack thereof. It’s only water-resistant to 30m, which means it’s more suited to sunbathing than bodysurfing… Although we suspect that your average Franck Muller buyer probably isn’t swimming with their watch anyway.
Franck Muller Vanguard Beach pricing and availability
As mentioned above, the Franck Muller Vanguard Beach collection is an Asia-Pacific exclusive and is available now for inquiries. Price: A$17,700.
|Reference Number||V-41-SC-DT-BEACH-GFRGFRG (red)
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 12.2mm (T) x 49.95mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Glass fibre composite|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Dial||Matte red/blue/green, white hand-painted Arabic numeral indices|
|Strap||Fabric Velcro strap w/ epoxy titanium buckle|
|Movement||Manufacture calibre FM 800-DT, automatic|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|