The Watch Expert's Guide: F for Franck Muller
The A-Z of luxury watches: Ultimate horological maverick Franck Muller is responsible for ushering a new wave of mechanical watchmaking.
It takes a certain kind of genius to be able to reimagine something as sophisticated as the mechanical watch, and Franck Muller was one of the first few watchmakers to have done so. He received his training in classical watchmaking, but Muller was always intrigued by high complications. It was said that before founding his eponymous brand, the master watchmaker had tinkered with numerous types of watches. Once, he modified a Rolex Oyster Day-Date by changing the components in the movement in order to turn it into a perpetual calendar.
He founded the brand Franck Muller in 1991 and throughout the decade he was known for his World Premieres. Year after year, Muller would release a new timepiece featuring never-before-seen complications.
Muller is the sort who’d never back down from a challenge. He also had very good relations with his clients. The Cintrée Curvex watch, today practically a symbol of the brand Franck Muller, began as a request from the wife of a client, who sought a timepiece that curved comfortably around the wrist. This was the first time Muller worked on a complex creation that was not a watch movement. Indeed, the Cintrée Curvex case was exceedingly challenging to produce because it necessitated a curved sapphire glass.
Another iconic Franck Muller timepiece that came out as a result of interaction between Muller and a client is the Master Banker, a watch that displays three time zones, all of which are controlled by the crown. Muller reportedly detests rules and restrictions, which is why many of his creations break conventions and depart from tradition.
(Related: The Watch Expert's Guide: A For Aeternitas)