Independent Watch Brand
Franck Muller, who has earned the title of "Master of Complications", needs no introduction. He has managed to launch the most successful luxury watches project of all that emerged in the early 1990s, and today his watches, encased in unconventional tonneau cases, are probably the most recognizable luxury timepieces in the world.
At the age of 15, Franck Muller entered the prestigious Swiss watchmaking school L'École d'Horlogerie de Genève, where he became interested in making watch movements. After graduating from the Geneva watchmaking school in 1978, Muller restored antique pocket watches for private clients, auction houses, and luxury watch brands, including Patek Philippe Museum. During this period, Muller familiarized himself with many outstanding complicated watches, and it eventually encouraged him to start creating watches under his brand.
In 1986, Muller, inspired by Abraham-Louis Breguet's invention of the tourbillon, developed his tourbillon with jumping hour, which he presented in Basel. Unlike Breguet's tourbillon, which was located on the back of the movement, Franck Muller moved this whirlwind mechanism to the watch dial. Muller's next achievement was the minute repeating tourbillon. And in 1989, Muller designed and created a perpetual calendar with an inverted tourbillon and a minute repeater.
When Muller met a manufacturer of watch cases Vartan Sirmakes in 1991, the two men decided to set up the Franck Muller brand that would specialize in complication watches. That resulted in the founding of a watch company with bold, avant-garde designs, innovative movements, and great watch complications.
When Muller met a manufacturer of watch cases Vartan Sirmakes in 1991, the two men decided to set up the Franck Muller brand that would specialize in complication watches.
In 1994, the company moved to a lakeside mansion on the outskirts of Geneva, named Watchland. As the largest of the company's six production sites, today Watchland produces 40,000 watches a year.
Franck Muller is known as a watchmaker who does not follow trends and is not afraid to set new ones. Following this concept, in 2003 his brand introduced the Crazy Hours collection with a rebellious spirit. The hour markers on the dial were arranged chaotically. Nevertheless, the watch showed time correctly thanks to the innovative Franck Muller jumping hour mechanism.
Another instantly recognizable and iconic collection is called Cintrée Curvex. The curved tonneau-shaped case and the dial with enlarged Arabic numerals became the epitome of Franck Muller's style. The tonneau shape was introduced by Franck Muller at the time when round, rectangular, and square watches were the most popular. The variety of versions, from time-only to complicated versions with tourbillon and minute repeater, proves Muller’s tireless creativity and ingenuity.
In 2007, the brand released the most complex watch, the Aeternitas Mega, boasting 36 complications and comprising 1,483 components, which is reputedly one of the most complicated watches in the world. Franck Muller has spent five years working on the development and creation of this watch. After the release, Aeternitas Mega was acquired by a private collector for 2.7 million US dollars.
Providing the creative inspiration for Franck Muller watches, Franck Muller Watchland SA atelier produces all watch components in-house, including cases, dials, bracelets, glasses, movements, and even ebauches (basic movements).
The motto of the Franck Muller brand sounds like this: "You can always create something new." Franck Muller strongly believes that it is always possible to create something fundamentally new – you just need to be bold enough.
Auction 2023 lot:
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