The Watch Expert's Guide: W For Watchland


September 19, 2017 | BY Celine Yap

The A-Z of luxury watches: How Frank Muller's manufacture, Watchland, came to be. Hint... It's got something to do with Elton John. 


Franck Muller is headquartered in a town named Genthod, which is located about 30 minutes away from the centre of Geneva. But where most large manufactures take the form of a modern building several storeys high, Franck Muller’s home base is a sprawling neo-Gothic mansion that was built by a Swiss architect named Edmond Fatio at the beginning of the 20th century. All of the manufacturing equipment, the watchmaking benches, and the meeting areas and offices are situated in different rooms throughout the estate.

(Related: The Watch Expert's Guide: Discover The Jargon So Far) 

It is said that the idea to name this estate Watchland originated from the British singer Elton John, who was a personal friend of Muller’s. The ambition was to establish the manufacture as a theme park where watch enthusiasts and other visitors may enter to discover, through guided tours, the intricacies of modern watchmaking by Franck Muller. Not only are the ateliers fascinating but the surrounding gardens, too, are breathtaking both in the winter as well as summer.

Earlier this year, Watchland introduced a new annexe to its existing manufacture, the Grand Malagny, which was built in the 18th century. Its crowning glory is certainly the bell clock from the early 20th century, which was restored by the manufacture

The company has grown exponentially since its inception in 1991 and to make way for the expansion, Franck Muller has commissioned a new wing in Watchland, which is to be built in the same architectural style as the existing structure in order to preserve the integrity of Fatio’s design. This new compound is almost complete and will be fully operational come January 2018.

Related Stories