Complication masters aside, Franck Muller’s second contender, de Guerre, is likely to be a breaker, as it is not yet known to be a leading watch company that plays by the rules. Franck Muller’s watch cheap style has been considered unique and avant-garde since its inception. In fact, the company’s eponymous founder himself is well-known in every way — with a wicked sense of humor. In addition to some truly insane skills unearthed from classical watchmaking, Müller was able to conceive of a high level of sophistication that no other modern watchmaker has. This dramatic beat is the mastermind behind indomitable horological creativity and genius creations such as The Banker Master, Moments of Madness, Totally Crazy, Clever Aeternitas Collection Grand Complications and, most recently, dazzling creations such as the Giga Tourbillon.
Launched two years ago in 2013, Vanguard is a modern take on Franck Muller. Bestsellers like the Cintrée Curvex and Long Island dominated their brands for much of the 2000s, thanks in large part to recognizable tonal or rectangular cases with curved sapphire crystals and Those whimsical Art Deco-inspired faceted watches. A synonym for Frank Muller. While these watches have been and will always be the company’s classic icons, it’s clear that the current owners of these watches want and need something else – something Franck Muller’s irreversible remains distinctive, bold, and even more so. People are excited. That’s the rationale behind the Vanguard, a watch that retains the core DNA of the Cintrée Curvex, but takes the dial up a few notches in terms of technology and design.
Audacity may be Franck Muller’s middle name, but the Geneva-based watchmaker really gritted his teeth when it came to handling the most complicated watch movements. Legend has it that during his apprenticeship, Muller tinkered with a Rolex, deconstructing the movement and adding additional components to create a perpetual calendar. The legend doesn’t say whose Rolex this is, but that’s not the point. What’s more, Muller started his brand shortly after graduating from watchmaking school in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and introduced new and better quality watches year after year. Released as world premieres, the watches included the first tourbillon watches to feature a tourbillon on the dial side, a practice that didn’t exist until then.
Vanguard tourbillon in precious materials
Decades have passed since Franck Muller made this bold decision, but the audacity of tourbillon manufacturing remains undiminished. If anything, it’s gotten bolder, especially since the turn of the millennium, with collections like Evolution watches, Aeternitas watches, and more recently the Giga Tourbillon featuring longer lifespans and an oversized Gravity. The Giga Tourbillon exudes a more classic appeal, while the Gravity is extraordinarily edgy and modern, perfect for the Vanguard collection.
Due to its enormous proportions, this technological journey has left a huge legacy. It takes up more than half of the dial, which is by no means a modest size. After all, this watch measures an impressive 44mm X 53.7mm. Even more impressive is the structure of the tourbillon, which stands out with a pair of beams that form a bridge. The entire structure is made of blackened steel and measures 21.2mm at its widest point at the oval hole, providing double stability by being mounted on four points instead of two.
Where the bars meet, a ruby and its associated sleeve hold the aluminium tourbillon cage firmly to the bridge. Rotating every 60 seconds, the cart chases the balance wheel around an elliptical track. In keeping with the oversized theme, the balance wheel also measures 14mm. Even the numbers listed and the hour and minute hands are at least solid. Vanguard Gravity is also versatile, using a range of materials from black machined titanium to noble or rose gold. Each version has a unique color palette that shows different sides of the watch.
In addition to the Gravity, the Vanguard collection includes more classic models such as the Vanguard Tourbillon and the Vanguard Chronograph. While clearly in a different league than the Vanguard Gravity, these watches certainly hold their own when it comes to complications. In particular, the tourbillon model supports the famous black polished FM tourbillon cage found in all Franck Muller flying tourbillons. Whether studded with diamonds or designed in a cool industrial style, Vanguard’s intricate designs are a force to be reckoned with.
The importance of design in luxury watchmaking cannot be overstated, and in the case of Franck Muller, it even helped establish one of the watches as a modern icon. The classic Cintrée Curvex, with its peculiar Art Deco numerals, is Franck Muller’s most recognizable watch, and it has few functions other than the time and date. Available in a dizzying array of colors and styles, the classic Cintrée Curvex piece fits perfectly to the shape of the wrist, and this invisible feature may be its biggest selling point. Over the years, longtime watch collectors have been fascinated by their true proportions, funky numerals and discreet dial decorations, proving that despite the discovery of high complexity, simple pieces often win out.
With the Vanguard collection, you don’t have to look too far to find traces of design creativity. Of course, they pack complicated watches with a mix of different materials for the case, dial and strap. Even simple designs can sometimes steal their thunder, and the Vanguard Cobra is a great example. This beautiful creation is sure to make you fall in love with it, don’t ignore it. Following the provocative older models in the Cintrée Curvex range, such as the Iron Croco, Black Croco and Gold Croco, the Cobra Vanguard hits the mark.
Like alligator and crocodile, snakeskin exudes a sexy and seductive quality that other leathers usually don’t have. This indomitable, unbridled indulgence evokes luxury. With the Vanguard Cobra, that feeling was intensified when Franck Muller fake sculpted a solid gold case with stripes imitating the scales of the deadly king cobra. Not only the case, but also the dial reflects this fascinating design theme. The parts are milled from a single block of gold to achieve realistic cobra scales, complemented by a rubber and leather cobra effect. With a little imagination, you’re sure to see the similarities between this Vanguard cover and the retractable hood of this greatest kobas.